The Multidrug-Resistant Organism Repository and Surveillance Network (MRSN), a department within WRAIR's Bacterial Diseases Branch, is a unique entity that serves as the primary surveillance organization for antibiotic-resistant bacteria across the Army, Navy and Air Force. The MRSN focuses on the so-called “ESKAPE-E” pathogens (Enterococcus faecium (vancomycin-resistant), Staphylococcus aureus (methicillin-resistant) Klebsiella pneumoniaeAcinetobacter baumanniiPseudomonas aeruginosaEnterobacter spp. and Escherichia coli), the most common bacteria in humans that are associated with antibiotic resistance.
The MRSN maintains these submissions in the DOD's only large-scale repository of multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial isolates, currently housing over 82,000 bacterial samples collected from patients treated across the Military Health System (MHS). The laboratory receives 800-1200 new samples every month from combat support hospitals across the world and routinely collaborates with other U.S. government agencies, allied partner nations and academic and civilian research institutions.

MRSN Directly Impacts DOD Readiness and Force Health Protection by:
  1. Providing near real-time analysis for the geographic combatant commands of the prevalence and mobility of “superbugs” within their area of operation to better prepare medical personnel to treat war wound infections
  2. Conducting retrospective and prospective analyses of antibiotic resistance trends and bacterial epidemiology across the entire MHS to improve performance and enhance infection control
  3. Assisting military healthcare centers to detect and appropriately respond to potential outbreaks using the most advanced and accurate molecular methods available
Bacterial Diversity Panels:
The MRSN has developed bacterial diversity panels which include 100 genetically diverse strains of the same bacterial species.  These diversity panels, available free of charge, are a valuable tool to researchers seeking to test novel, investigational antibiotics and other bacterial countermeasures. Currently a panel is available for Pseudomonas aeruginosa, with other diversity panels currently under development.  

A Partnership with the MRSN will:
  • Improve patient outcomes by rapidly characterizing MDR infections to inform treatment decisions
  • Facilitate the sharing of epidemiologic information
  • Assist hospitals in meeting joint commission accreditation requirements for infection control and patient safety, as well as mandatory state reporting rules
  • Increase the likelihood of earlier detection of an outbreak or emerging pathogen
  • Provide cost savings to participating institutions 

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