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WHO/Europe Offers Lab Training to Uzbekistan

Saturday 28 February 2015

Through its Food Safety programme and Uzbekistan Country Office a four-day training session looked at foodborne diseases and antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The training sessions, at the Research Institute of Epidemiology, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases in Tashkent, established diagnostics for Campylobacter and testing for AMR in Salmonella and Campylobacter.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is resistance of a micro-organism to an antimicrobial drug that was originally effective for treatment of infections caused by it.

Resistant micro-organisms (including bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites) are able to withstand attack by antimicrobial drugs, such as antibacterial drugs (e.g., antibiotics), antifungals, antivirals, and antimalarials, so that standard treatments become ineffective and infections persist, increasing the risk of spread to others.

The evolution of resistant strains is a natural phenomenon that occurs when micro-organisms replicate themselves erroneously or when resistant traits are exchanged between them. The use and misuse of antimicrobial drugs accelerates the emergence of drug-resistant strains. Poor infection control practices, inadequate sanitary conditions and inappropriate food-handling encourages the further spread of AMR.

Currently, Campylobacter rates in poultry and frequency of campylobacteriosis are unknown. Training was led by Dr Jaap Wagenaar and Dr Koen Verstappen, from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. It demonstrated preliminary success in isolating campylobacter from both human and poultry for the first time in Uzbekistan. 

The training served as the initial component of a survey to provide insight on AMR in the foodborne pathogenic bacteria Salmonella and Campylobacter to humans and poultry in Uzbekistan.

This survey will help strengthen food safety capacity by launching surveillance and control of foodborne pathogens.

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