Sunday, January 24, 2010

Surveillance Network Operating

The Army’s response to the antibiotic resistance crisis as reported in the current U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research (USAISR) JTTS newsletter, was to establish the Multidrug-Resistant Organism Repository and Surveillance Network (MRSN).

The Army Medical Command in 2009 authorized the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research to establish the MRSN. The MRSN requires Army hospitals to submit all Multidrug Resistant Organisms (MDRO) encountered during healthcare delivery to the network repository along with associated clinical demographic information. The repository determines their genetic relatedness, performs extended phenotypic and phylogenetic analyses, and preserves them indefinitely.

The MRSN uses regular monitoring and feedback on infection control components along with site visits. Additionally, the MRSN plans to move beyond data-driven epidemiology and use diagnostic and research techniques to characterize and infer important phenotype and genotype changes.

By the end of 2009, the MRSN conducted four site assistance visits to stateside and overseas facilities and acquired over 800 MDRO from existing repositories. The network also assisted in two potential outbreak investigations.

Eventually, facility specific regional and global antibiograms along with other epidemiologic data will be made available on a secure web-enabled database with archived isolates available to investigators. The MRSN team will have system-wide active surveillance standardized characterization and centralized archiving available for organisms to enable teams to be able to detect outbreaks earlier.

For more information email Amy Summers at or Colonel Emil Lesho at