GLOBAL – The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is creating a platform dubbed the “International Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring (InFARM) platform” to gather data on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in food and agriculture that may help to manage the risks.
Food is a significant factor in the spread of AMR. The presence of AMR microorganisms in the agrifood systems and food chain is a potential route of exposure for everyone.
According to him, this InFARM portal is a component of the “Action to support implementation of Codex AMR Texts (ACT)” project, in which FAO helps governments gather information on antimicrobial usage and resistance in the food chain in order to make risk management decisions.
FAO Food Safety Officer Jeffrey LeJeune explained that AMR surveillance information across the food chain is necessary for countries to tackle AMR.
“This information allows response to AMR risks before they become large-scale emergencies. This AMR evidence is crucial for designing and monitoring control programmes and for guiding the implementation and evaluation of AMR interventions,” he said.
The InFARM data platform offers a standardized method for gathering, analyzing, interpreting, and sharing AMR data pertaining to livestock and food.
It will be a part of the worldwide antimicrobial resistance and use platforms, which are supervised by four collaborative international organizations known as the Quadripartite.
Data from InFARM, as well as from the World Health Organization (WHO) platform GLASS, and the World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH) platform ANIMUSE will be shared regularly to a Quadripartite integrated surveillance global platform.
The platform’s preliminary version is currently being reviewed and comments are being given by interested countries before the platform’s final version is introduced early next year.
“In many countries, AMR data is not often analysed or used as a basis for decision-making. This platform will strengthen countries’ capacities for surveillance and monitoring antimicrobial resistance in food and agriculture.
“We are releasing the first version of this platform in November and we would like to hear feedback from countries to incorporate in the final version,” said Alejandro Dorado-Garcia, FAO Animal Health Officer.
InFARM will also facilitate data sharing into the international Tripartite Integrated System for Surveillance of AMR and AMU (TISSA).
By giving users access to distinct private and public interfaces with different levels of confidentiality for data exchange, data privacy will be ensured.
Participants in InFARM will have the option to exchange data in a private interface that is only accessible to authorized officials in the country or to make data open to the entire world.