The 2011 National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System (NARMS) Executive Summary was released on Monday, and while it may have been a bit dense for the average consumer, FDA is planning to revamp the format of these reports to make them more accessible. The reports summarize information on Salmonella, Campylobacter and generic E. coli from all three federal agencies (FDA, CDC and USDA), and are composed of data analyses, interactive data displays and a summary of key findings. The current is report is very “data-dense and it’s hard for those without science backgrounds to understand what they’re looking at,” said Heather Tate, an epidemiologist with FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, during the NARMS Scientific Meeting on Tuesday. There’s also no link to risk management. The aim of the new report is to be “less dense and more focused, more digestible to consumers of the data, less likely to be misunderstood or misinterpreted, and also increases the ratio of plain language to technical language,” Tate said. The first of this kind will be published in the spring of 2015 under the title of “Integrated NARMS Report” rather than “Executive Summary.” “Our summary does describe increases and decreases in resistance for important drug-bacteria combinations, but we really don’t explain those increases or decreases, and we don’t discuss what we think may be driving those increases or decreases,” Tate said. “This leaves the door wide open for misinterpretation of NARMS data.” NARMS is trying to move toward releasing isolate-level data to the public, but this requires context. So the new report will include background on organisms tested, Salmonella serotypes, an explanation of why resistance is a public health concern, descriptions of the measures of resistance, the drug classes of importance to human and animal health, and the data tables of the current report will be moved to appendices. “It will be very narrative-heavy,” Tate explained. Among other things, the new report will also highlight NARMS research in other information such as epidemiological cut-off values, use a better defined baseline to compare a given reporting year to historical ones, and incorporate additional data from Salmonella serotypes common to food animals but not necessarily prevalent in the human population, including additional demographic data and outbreak information. Up until now, these overview reports involved each of the agencies filling out a spreadsheet with summarized data from their own separate database and sending them to FDA for integration. Agencies historically didn’t have access to one another’s raw data, but this has now changed with the advent of an interagency database. Moving forward, FDA expects to rely on the interagency database for the Integrated NARMS Reports. There is usually a lag time of two years for data, but Monday’s report presented three-year-old data. So, to catch up, the spring 2015 report will include data from both 2012 and 2013.