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The State of Connecticut Department of Public Health Retail Food Program


The State of Connecticut Department of Public Health
NARMS Cooperative Agreement Program to Strengthen Antibiotic Resistance Surveillance in Retail Food Specimens(U01) Clinical Trials Not
Project Summary/Abstract
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) State Public Health Laboratory (SPHL) is currently
participating in the National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) Retail Meat
Surveillance program through Food and Drug Administration/Center for Veterinary Medicine
(FDA/CVM). The goal of this surveillance project is to determine the prevalence of antibiotic resistance
among Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli, Enterococcus, Vibrio, Aeromonas, and other lactose
positive bacteria isolated from retail food samples purchased from grocery stores in the United States
This surveillance project is intended to improve the detection of antibiotic resistance among bacteria in
food commodities. This application will seek funding to support CT DPH SPHL’s participation in the
NARMS retail meat surveillance program including designated personnel who will be responsible for
surveillance activities. The activities in this surveillance project include a) collecting and processing 20
retail meat samples from pre-selected grocery stores throughout Connecticut twice a month for a total
of 40 samples, samples include 10 chicken, 10 ground turkey, 10 ground beef, and 10 retail pork (ground
or chops); (b) purchasing 8 seafood samples once a month from the same stores the retail meat is
collected. Samples include 2 raw shrimp, 3 raw salmon and 3 raw tilapias; (c) performing all phases of
microbiological testing including initial enrichments, secondary enrichments and culture testing for the
identification of Salmonella, Campylobacter, Escherichia coli and Enterococcus isolates from retail meat
samples and performing initial enrichments followed by culture testing for the isolation of Vibrio,
Enterococcus, Aeromonas and other lactose positive bacteria from seafood samples. All testing is
performed following protocols provided by FDA/CVM; (d) entering all sample information and results
into the electronic NARMS data sheets and the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS); (e)
shipping all isolates monthly to FDA/CVM; (f) submitting all required NARMS electronic data sheets to
FDA monthly; (g) performing necessary quality assurance/quality control functions; (h) submitting
Salmonella, Campylobacter, and primary Escherichia coli isolates to the CT DPH SPHL Advanced
Molecular Detection (AMD) section for whole genome sequencing (WGS); (i) AMD section submits
sequences to NCBI and uploads to PulseNet monthly. Clusters of 2 or more WGS-closely related isolates,
clinical or clinical and food, (local or multistate involving CT) prompt same-day notification from State
Laboratory to CT epidemiologists to facilitate a rapid and complete investigation. The CT DPH SPHL looks
forward to participation in this program to provide data for the improvement of the detection and
surveillance of resistance among foodborne bacteria.

Razeq, Jafar
Connecticut Department of Public Health
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