Caribbean Integrated Surveillance system on Antimicrobial Resistance in Agriculture (CISARA) pilot projects

The Caribbean Integrated Surveillance System on Antimicrobial Resistance in Agriculture (CISARA) pilot studies were conducted in seven primary poultry-producing countries within the region during June-October 2016. The project successfully provided baseline data on the prevalence of Salmonella in the poultry production chain of the respective countries and the associated antimicrobial resistance profiles.

The Ohio State University, under the direction of Dr. Armando Hoet, organized and coordinated the logistics and implementation of the pilot projects. They also provided customized training to various countries in the region in antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance in agriculture.

The CISARA Project was facilitated by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) through funding by the 10th European Development Fund SPS Project.

The main goal of this initiative was to establish a Caribbean Integrated Surveillance System on Antimicrobial Resistance in Agriculture (CISARA) with the expectation of enhancing monitoring of antimicrobial resistance in food production animals and food products of animal origin in the Caribbean.

To accomplish this goal, public health and agricultural officials from seven primary poultry-producing countries in the Caribbean (Belize, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Barbados, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Guyana) participated in a multi-country pilot study which focused on pre-harvest and retail poultry.
The overall purpose of these pilots was to establish a baseline prevalence of Salmonella spp. in the region and its relation to antimicrobial resistance, while strengthening the laboratory capacity and expertise in each respective country.  
► Poultry was chosen as the commodity for this study because it is one of the most consumed sources of protein of animal origin in the Caribbean.
► The targeted pathogen for the pilots was Salmonella spp. as this is one of the most common microorganisms associated with foodborne illnesses in the region and is an excellent marker to monitor antimicrobial resistance.

Poultry Production Systems Baseline Study (Pilot 1)

The aim of this pilot study was to estimate, at the farm level, the prevalence and characteristics of the Salmonella spp. in broiler birds at pre-harvest in the region.

Retail Poultry Baseline Study (Pilot 2)

The aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence and phenotypes of Salmonella spp. in chicken products that consumers in the region are exposed to.

Sampling and Methodology

Each representative country collected 100 caecal samples from commercial slaughter plants and obtained 100 locally produced (non-imported) raw chicken parts from retail facilities for analysis.
Isolation and identification of Salmonella spp. from the caecal samples and chicken parts were done using conventional culture methods. Once confirmed as Salmonella, basic serotyping using standard somatic (O) antigen agglutination testing was performed in each country as an initial identification step. The antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) of all obtained Salmonella was done using the Kirby–Bauer antibiotic sensitivity test following the guidance established by the Clinical Laboratory Standards Institute (CLSI). Any isolates that were determined to be multidrug resistant were further characterized and tested to determine their Minimal Inhibitory Concentration (MICs) at the Diagnostic and Research Laboratory of Infectious Diseases (DRLID) at The Ohio State University.

Results

The seven countries that participated in the CISARA project collected over 1400 samples and preliminary results suggest low multidrug resistance.

Future work

The next steps of the CISARA Project will involve analysis of the data, expansion of the programme to target other food-borne pathogens and additional commodities of animal origin as well as to address any problems with antimicrobial resistance in agriculture within the region.

Regional Impact

Seven countries within the region were able to establish surveillance programmes in agriculture through the CISARA Project. This approach can now be used as a model system throughout the Caribbean to enhance AMR surveillance in agriculture and more importantly, it can be implemented as part of each national action plan to address antimicrobial resistance.

Published: 06/04/2018

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