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Frequently Asked Questions

What is InFARM?

What is InFARM?

The International FAO Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring (InFARM) is a global information system consisting of an IT platform and related FAO activities. Through InFARM, FAO will support participating countries in collecting, collating, analyzing, visualizing, and effectively utilizing their AMR surveillance and monitoring data in animals and food.

How to participate in the InFARM global calls for data?

How to participate in the InFARM global calls for data?

FAO will open a call for AMR data on an annual basis for a duration of several months. During this period national authorities responsible for AMR surveillance in food and agriculture will be reached through different channels. There are three requirements to participate in InFARM. First, identify the status of implementation of key AMR surveillance components. Secondly, nominate the National InFARM focal points who would initiate the reporting process. Lastly, commit to progressively establish a national AMR Surveillance system capable of collecting and communicating AMR data in animals and food to InFARM on an annual basis.

What should be the profile and technical expertise of national InFARM focal points (InFARM -FPs)?

What should be the profile and technical expertise of national InFARM focal points (InFARM -FPs)?

The InFARM-FPs should be national experts with knowledge and experience in microbiology and/or epidemiology, and data management of AST results. The InFARM-FPs should also be familiar with the national AMR surveillance implementation and should be granted with the authority to access national AMR data.

Is it a requirement to undergo a training programme to participate in InFARM?

Is it a requirement to undergo a training programme to participate in InFARM?

During the InFARM open calls for data, FAO will host regional training sessions primarily designed for countries beneficiary of FAO projects. Attendance to these trainings is optional for InFARM-FPs from participating countries. FAO already provides comprehensive guidance through the manual for implementation of the InFARM system and will progressively make available additional virtual training materials for participation of countries in full autonomy. Moreover, technical assistance for participating countries is also accessible via email correspondence at [email protected].

Is it possible to participate in InFARM without sharing AMR data?

Is it possible to participate in InFARM without sharing AMR data?

Yes, it is possible. InFARM offers two options for countries to participate in the initiative by:

  •  only sharing information on the level of development and implementation of AMR monitoring and surveillance activities through a questionnaire.
  • or by sharing both information about the development and implementation of AMR monitoring and surveillance activities through the questionnaire, and data on antimicrobial susceptibility testing of bacterial isolates from animals and food (AMR data).

What type of data is submitted to the InFARM IT platform?

What type of data is submitted to the InFARM IT platform?

The InFARM IT platform accepts data primarily from livestock, fisheries, and aquaculture, along with their associated food products. The system is initially designed to host and present AMR data generated through phenotypic antimicrobial susceptibility testing (AST) from:

  • priority bacterial species of public health significance, including zoonotic and foodborne pathogens and commensal indicator bacteria from animals and food sources.
  • bacterial pathogens that could impact animal health and productivity.

InFARM is designed to accommodate to the diverse levels in development and implementation of AMR monitoring and surveillance across countries. It gathers AMR data from various microorganisms and specimens related to animal and food surveillance programs. The data accepted is following the InFARM framework for AMR surveillance in animals and food. For more information, please see “The International FAO Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring (InFARM) System: Manual for implementation.

Is InFARM going to expand to other areas under the remit of FAO such as the monitoring and surveillance of the use of antimicrobials in plant production?

Is InFARM going to expand to other areas under the remit of FAO such as the monitoring and surveillance of the use of antimicrobials in plant production?

Yes, the implementation of monitoring of the use of antimicrobials (AMU) as pesticides in plant production and protection is currently being developed as an area of expansion of the InFARM system. The aim is to have regular collection of initially qualitative data antimicrobials used as pesticides in plants/crops.

What are the options for reporting AMR data files to the InFARM IT platform?

What are the options for reporting AMR data files to the InFARM IT platform?

The InFARM data model offers two options for reporting AMR data:

  • Option A: Involves reporting AST results and associated metadata at the isolate level, with each row of the AMR data file corresponding to a distinct bacterial isolate.
  • Option B: Entails reporting aggregated AST results, where each row in the AMR data file represents the count of isolates categorized as resistant, intermediate, susceptible, wild type, or non-wild type, and associated metadata for a specific bacterial genus/species/serotype.

Both reporting options are valid to share AMR data into the InFARM IT platform, however, countries are encouraged to report through option A when possible.

How to login to InFARM IT platform (web-application)?

How to login to InFARM IT platform (web-application)?

Upon receiving the enrolment questionnaire where the countries provide the name and email address of their InFARM focal points, FAO would authorize these individuals, granting them access to their respective country accounts. The credentials and login instructions for the InFARM IT platform will then be sent to the email addresses provided to FAO. This access would allow the focal points to complete various tasks, including submitting the enrollment questionnaire, completing the surveillance questionnaire, and uploading AST data. For technical support, countries can contact FAO InFARM team by email at [email protected]

Who can upload the AST data to the InFARM platform?

Who can upload the AST data to the InFARM platform?

Focal points with access to the InFARM IT platform have the authority to complete the surveillance questionnaire online and upload the AST data. In cases where focal points encounter difficulties in performing these tasks, the InFARM coordination team or selected FAO personnel can upload the data on behalf of the country, as requested.

Who can see and access my country’s data?

Who can see and access my country’s data?

The InFARM IT platform provides participating countries with secure data storage and controlled data sharing at varying levels of confidentiality. Three reporting levels can be chosen when sharing AMR data files:

  • Private Level I: the AMR data file shared into the InFARM IT platform and associated interactive data visualizations will only be visible to the country InFARM focal point(s). Data shared at this level will not be included in regional, subregional, and global analyses.
  • Public Level II: the AMR data file shared into the InFARM IT platform and associated interactive data visualizations will be visible to the country InFARM focal point(s). Data shared at this level will be included in the production of publicly available interactive data visualizations aggregating information at subregional, regional, and global levels (i.e. keeping the identity of the country anonymized).
  • Public Level III: the AMR data file shared into the InFARM IT platform and associated interactive data visualizations will be visible to the country InFARM focal point(s). Data shared at this level will be included in the production of publicly available interactive data visualizations at country level (i.e. displaying country identity) and aggregating information at regional, subregional, and global levels.

Reporting AMR data at public levels II and III offer the possibility of understanding and interpreting the data as compared to other countries, subregions, regions or at global level. Additionally, all data shared at public levels (II and III) will be migrated respecting the chosen level of confidentiality to the upcoming Quadripartite GISSA platform.

How does FAO ensure the protection and privacy of data into the InFARM platform?

How does FAO ensure the protection and privacy of data into the InFARM platform?

FAO places a high priority on safeguarding the confidentiality and privacy of data within its InFARM platform through the implementation of FAO’s Terms and Conditionsand Data Protection and Privacy notice. Moreover, specific “Terms of Use” for InFARM are provided upon enrollment for agreement by InFARM focal points to ensure users adhere to the stipulated terms governing information sharing and publication of information on the InFARM IT platform.

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