U.S – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA’s APHIS) is spearheading a transformative effort to combat the critical threat of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in food animal agriculture.
APHIS has recently announced 12 awards totaling over U.S$3.2 million in cooperative agreement funding to establish antimicrobial resistance (AMR) dashboards. These innovative tools aim to enhance scientific knowledge, monitor AMR patterns, and promote data-driven strategies to protect both human and animal health.
The agency received funding from the U.S. Congress as part of its appropriations for fiscal years 2021 and 2023 to carry out the AMR dashboards project.
This financial support, coupled with APHIS’s expertise in animal health and its strong partnerships with federal, state, tribal, and industry entities, positions the agency at the forefront of AMR detection and prevention efforts, safeguarding the U.S. food supply.
The emergence of AMR poses a significant challenge to global food safety and public health. The misuse and overuse of antimicrobials in agriculture have contributed to the development of resistance in various pathogens.
Recognizing the urgency of this issue, APHIS, in collaboration with the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA) and several prominent universities, including Cornell University and North Carolina State University, is leading the charge to address AMR through data-driven solutions.
The AMR dashboards, developed through public-private partnerships, will serve as vital tools for monitoring AMR trends, detecting emerging resistance profiles, and understanding the intricate relationships between antimicrobial use, animal health management practices, and AMR.
These dashboards will provide comprehensive insights into AMR patterns in domesticated animals, including livestock, poultry, and companion animals, with a focus on enhancing data confidentiality, identifying user needs, and implementing effective data management strategies.
The adoption of a One Health approach, which recognizes the interconnectedness of human, animal, and environmental health, has gained traction globally in combating complex health challenges like AMR.
APHIS’s initiative aligns with this holistic perspective, emphasizing the importance of collaboration between agricultural and public health sectors to mitigate the threat of AMR effectively.
The development of AMR dashboards aligns with APHIS’s existing initiatives in combating AMR. The National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS), operated by APHIS, collects and evaluates data voluntarily provided by U.S. farmers and ranchers to understand antimicrobial use within the broader context of animal health.
Additionally, APHIS partner labs in the National Animal Health Laboratory Network (NAHLN) play a crucial role in identifying and monitoring AMR, enabling APHIS to provide actionable guidance to veterinarians, producers, and stakeholders.
The establishment of AMR dashboards by USDA’s APHIS marks a significant step forward in combatting antimicrobial resistance.
By harnessing data-driven insights and fostering collaboration across sectors, APHIS aims to protect human and animal health, ensure the continued effectiveness of critical antimicrobials, and secure the integrity of the U.S. food supply.