In FY2016, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries organized a "Working Group for the Surveillance of Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) in Companion Animals" (hereinafter referred to as "Working Group"), in order to collect inputs from experts concerning monitoring methods for antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in companion animals, and to conduct a pilot surveillance. Informed by their input, routine monitoring of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria derived from diseased dogs and cats was launched in FY2017. Antimicrobial susceptibility tests measured the MIC values of antimicrobials in respect of the bacterial strains collected, using a broth microdilution method compliant with the CLSI Criteria. For agents with a BP indicated by the CLSI, susceptibility was interpreted using the CLSI Criteria. The BPs of the other antimicrobial agents used EUCAST values or were determined microbiologically (midpoint of a bimodal MIC distribution).
It must be noted that monitoring of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria derived from diseased animals has the potential to be affected by the use of antimicrobials in treatment or by the incidence of diseases. As with food-producing animals, obtaining information about antimicrobial resistance trends in healthy companion animals to serve as a baseline is considered important. Accordingly, as well as ongoing monitoring of diseased animals, there are plans to move forward with a study of healthy companion animals, taking into account the deliberations by the Working Group.