June 14-17 2011 Oslo, Norway
WHO Advisory Group on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance
The WHO Advisory Group on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance met in Oslo, Norway on June 14-17 to discuss recommendations for surveillance of antimicrobial use in human and animal populations and surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria of human, animal, and food origin. Results from a number of country pilot project in integrated surveillance were presented, and the WHO list of Critically Important Antimicrobials (CIA) was updated. ________________________________________________________________________________
April 18, 2011 Boston, MA
2011 Boston Marathon
WHONET Co-Director Dr. John Stelling recently completed the 26.2 mile (42.2km) Boston Marathon in under 4 hours. Dr. Stelling began training for the Boston Marathon in December and was happy to see all of his hard work pay off with a personal best time. Dr. Stelling is already gearing up for his next marathon, and will run the New York City Marathon in November with his sister.
7 October 7, 2010: Rome, Italy
Istituto Superiore di Sanità
Dr. Paolo D’Ancona of the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) organized a technical visit with his data management team and other colleagues. We discussed the Italian national program for surveillance of antimicrobial resistance and their participation in the EARS-Net collaboration coordinated by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. We reviewed questions on their use of WHONET and BacLink, as well as suggestions for further improvement of the software.
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October 6, 2010: Rome, Italy
WHO Regional Office for Europe: Food Safety
Members of our team met with Dr. Hilde Kruse and her staff in the Department of Food Safety of the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The focus of this meeting was preparation for a meeting “Expert meeting: Development of a policy-oriented guidance booklet for European countries on antimicrobial resistance from a food safety perspective” to be held on November 11-12 in Rome. The use of antimicrobials in cattle, chickens, swine, and other food animals is needed to ensure animal welfare and safety of the food supply. However, antimicrobial use in food production leads to increased rates of resistance in bacterial population, and consequently also poses public health risks to human populations.
The objective of the November meeting is the preparation of a brochure on public health concerns related to antimicrobial use and resistance in food animals which will be distributed to Ministries of Health, Ministries of Agriculture, the general public, and others. The brochure will be for available for release on World Health Day 2011: Antimicrobial Resistance, April 7, 2011.
October 4-5, 2010: Parma, Italy
European Food Safety Authority
John Stelling and WHONET intern Gianpiero Menza spent two days with staff at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in Parma, Italy to discuss surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in food animals in European Union Member States . EFSA activities are coordinated by the Zoonosis Data Unit. One area of discussion was improving aspects of the WHONET software related to its use in food and veterinary laboratories.
Further information about EFSA activities in antimicrobial resistance can be found at the website:
September 6-8, Uppsala, Sweden
The Global Need for Effective Antibiotics: Moving towards Concerted Action
As the burden of antibiotic resistance grows, securing the need to effective antibiotics must become a top priority on the global health agenda. To address this challenge, Uppsala University/ReAct (Action on Antibiotic Resistance) hosted the conference “The Global Need for Effective Antibiotics - Moving towards Concerted Action” on September 6-8, 2010 in Uppsala, Sweden.
This invitational conference built upon and deepened the discussions held at the expert meeting on “Innovative Incentives for Effective Antibacterials,” organized by the Swedish EU Presidency in the fall of 2009. Taking a global perspective on these problems, the Uppsala conference pursued concrete solutions to critical issues such as establishing a framework for priority setting for research and development of new drugs and diagnostic methods, enhancing knowledge-sharing for drug discovery, and explore different combinations of incentives to reinvigorate the innovation of new antibacterials.
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August 26-28, Lyngby, Denmark
Global Foodborne Infections Network – Five-year Strategic Plan
The Global Foodborne Infections Network (GFN, formerly Global Salm Surv) has provided capacity-building activities over the past ten years including over 70 training workshops for food, veterinary, and public health laboratories; site visits; external quality assurance; laboratory and epidemiological protocols; and laboratory reagents. In this meeting, GFN members and stakeholders met to review the past ten years of activities and to establish strategies and activities looking ahead for the next five years.
Of direct relevance to WHONET activities is the desire that GFN evolve over the next five years from a primarily capacity-building collaboration to a dynamic partnership of local, national, and international agencies with greater impact on disease prevention and control measures and which generates data required to support risk assessment and management in the food production industry. One aspect of this is an expansion of the existing Country Data Bank for Salmonella serotypes to include automated electronic submissions; antimicrobial susceptibility test findings; and perhaps someday isolate listings from special surveys and projects.
Global Foodborne Infections Network
August 25, Copenhagen, Denmark
WHO Regional Office for Europe: Expert consultation on Antimicrobial Resistance
The WHO Regional Office for Europe (WHO-EURO) invited international experts to meeting to summarize priority antimicrobial resistance threats in Europe and to review resistance surveillance, education, and containment efforts in Europe. Participants provided guidance to the development of a WHO Regional Strategy for Containment of Antimicrobial Resistance in Europe to be published by WHO-EURO in 2011; and to identify priority audiences, messages, and activities for World Health Day 2011 on Antimicrobial Resistance.
August 24, Geneva, Switzerland
World Health Organization planning session for World Health Day 2011 – Antimicrobial Resistance
A conference call was coordinated to discuss priorities and activities for World Health Day 2001 – Antimicrobial Resistance. As indicated on the website: we live in an era of medical breakthroughs with new 'wonder drugs' available to treat conditions that a few decades ago, or even a few years ago in the case of HIV/AIDS, would have proved fatal. For World Health Day 2011, WHO will launch a worldwide campaign to safeguard these medicines for future generations. Antimicrobial resistance - the theme of World Health Day 2011 - and its global spread, threatens the continued effectiveness of many medicines used today to treat the sick, while at the same time it risks jeopardizing important advances being made against major infectious killers.
World Health Day 2011 website]
August 2-6, Ankara and Istanbul, Turkey
WHONET technical consultancy to Turkish Ministry of Health
The Turkish Ministry of Health has developed plans to launch a national program for surveillance of antimicrobial resistance, significantly expanding an existing network of 16 laboratories which have participated for a number of years in the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (EARSS). The national program will be coordinated by the Refik Saydam National Hgyiene Centre under the leadership of Dr. Nilay Çöplü. During a one-week technical consultancy, national staff were trained data management including data acquisition, standardization, analysis, and interpretation. Several hospitals were visited, and BacLink interface options for a number of the primary local laboratory information systems and diagnostic instruments.
June 14-15, Washington, DC, United States
First face-to-face meeting of Trans Atlantic Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance
The EU-US Summit Declaration agreed on 3 November 2009 called for the establishment of “…a transatlantic task force on urgent antimicrobial resistance issues focused on appropriate therapeutic use of antimicrobial drugs in the medical and veterinary communities, prevention of both healthcare- and community-associated drug-resistant infections, and strategies for improving the pipeline of new antimicrobial drugs, which could be better addressed by intensified cooperation between us”.
The objectives of the task force are to increase the mutual understanding of US and EU activities and programmes relevant to the antimicrobial resistance issues, identified in the declaration, to deepen the transatlantic dialogue, to provide opportunities to learn from each other, and to promote information exchange, coordination and co-operation. The outcomes of the task force will include a proposal with suggestions for areas of future cooperation between the EU and the US to be presented at the EU-US Summit in 2011.
On June 14th-15th, the members of the Trans Atlantic Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance – TATFAR – had their first face to face meeting in the US. During the meeting, issues such as the Terms of Reference of the TATAFAR, membership, timeline of expected events and meetings and topics related to the TATFAR working groups were discussed.
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June 2-7, Guelph, Canada
WHO Advisory Group for Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (WHO AGISAR)
The WHO Advisory Group on Integrated Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (WHO-AGISAR) was established in December 2008 to support WHO's effort to minimize the public health impact of antimicrobial resistance associated with the use of antimicrobials in food animals. In particular, the Advisory Group assists WHO on matters related to the integrated surveillance of antimicrobial resistance and the containment of food-related antimicrobial resistance.
This was the second meeting of WHO AGISAR members. Objectives of the meeting included
-- Further development of strategic framework and recommendations for WHO activities on integrated antimicrobial resistance surveillance
-- Selection of sentinel sites for country pilot studies and focused projects on the surveillance of AMR
-- Future plans of WHO-AGISAR sub committees developed and an implementation scheduled devised
-- Define future work plans for the four WHO-AGISAR working subcommittees: Usage monitoring; AMR surveillance subcommittee; Capacity building, country pilot study and focused projects; Software development and data management
[Text from WHO AGISAR website]