APHL supports public health laboratories in their efforts against antimicrobial resistance (AR) by assessing capability and capacity, releasing guidance, conducting training and liaising with clinical laboratory partners. Public health laboratories conduct antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) to determine emerging resistance, identify and report novel resistance mechanisms, maintain reference testing methods and respond to community outbreaks of resistant organisms. AST is an essential laboratory function shared by public health and clinical laboratories who perform AST to inform clinical treatment of ill patients.
In 2013 CDC released Antibiotic Resistance Threats in the United States, a comprehensive assessment of top antimicrobial resistance threats. The report emphasized that collaboration across all sectors of government, public health and healthcare would be critical to meet this challenge. APHL is now working with partner organizations to draw attention to the issue and to advocate for a swift and united response.
PHLs & the AR Lab Network
In 2015, Congress provided $161 million to CDC to implement aspects of the 2014 National Strategy for Combatting Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. The strategy, which aims to fight antibiotic resistance in the US and globally, calls for a regional laboratory network of public health laboratories, established in September 2016, to respond to local outbreaks of antimicrobial resistant organisms.
Using conventional and advanced methods to detect and characterize antimicrobial resistant organisms, the Antibiotic Resistance Laboratory Network detects changes in resistance and helps identify outbreaks of antimicrobial diseases. State public health laboratories in Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin provide nationwide coverage for AR testing.
In addition to supporting the ARLN, APHL will play provide training for the AR regional laboratories to assist them in educating other public health laboratories to ensure that they have the skills and resources to perform critical baseline AST. APHL will also sponsor forums for public health and clinical laboratories to encourage a seamless flow of specimens and information.
From the APHL blog
Fighting Antimicrobial Resistance Requires Clinical and Public Health Response
Representing Public Health Labs at the White House Forum on Antibiotic Stewardship
Antibiotic Resistance Lab Network
From CLSI AST Subcommittee
Newsletter of the CLSI AST Outreach Working Group