Resistencia a los antimicrobianos

Aquaculture and AMR experts meet to deliberate the draft regional guidelines on AMR monitoring and surveillance


Regional guideline to harmonize monitoring and surveillance of antimicrobial resistance in aquaculture in Asia and the Pacific

A number of countries in Asia still lack systematic and regular collection of high quality information on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in livestock and aquaculture. Such information is important in addressing the spread of AMR. With this in mind, international, regional and national experts on AMR and aquaculture virtually met from 22-25 June 2020 to refine a regional guideline on monitoring and surveillance of AMR in bacterial pathogens from aquaculture.

Fish and aquaculture products remain essential sources of animal proteins, micronutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital in low-income food-deficit countries and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Asia and the Pacific. Globally, fish and fish products are among the most highly traded food products accounting about 38 percent of the international trade. Of the estimated 59.5 million people engaged in the primary sector of fisheries and aquaculture globally, more than 50 million are in Asia and the Pacific.

The rapid growth in the industry is also seeing the increase in the use of antimicrobials as prophylactic or as growth promoters. Antimicrobials like antibiotics are important in disease control but strategy to mitigate spread of AMR should also be put in place given the signicance of this growing global health concern. 

Towards a harmonized monitoring and surveillance of AMR

Data on monitoring and surveillance of AMR are vital information on mitigating AMR spread. “This virtual consultation is an important step to finalizing the Regional AMR monitoring and surveillance guideline volume 3 (Aquaculture). The regional guideline is important in the long run in our campaign to addressing the spread of AMR,” said Kachen Wongsathapornchai, Officer-in-Charge of the Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Diseases in Asia.

FAO, the Singapore Food Agency and the Singapore National Parks Board collaborated to organize the first virtual AMR meeting on the Regional Guidelines with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Singapore National Parks Board’s Veterinary Health Management Director Kevin Lee, meanwhile, said “while the COVID-19 is ongoing, the problem of AMR is not going away. Therefore, we need to keep the grindstone going and work to combatting the spread of AMR.”

USAID’s Senior Regional Emerging Infectious Diseases Advisor Dan Schar emphasized that “AMR surveillance in aquaculture compared to AMR surveillance in humans and terrestrial animal productions, remains to be undocumented. This data gap should be addressed.”

Among the recommendations of the participants included implementation guidelines to making sure that the series of publications do not become just a reference in laboratory shelves. 

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