map describing MRSN collection totals since 2009

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 pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Enterobacter 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 60,000 bacterial samples collected from patients treated across the MHS. The laboratory receives 500-800 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 (GCC) 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 (IC)
  3. Assisting military healthcare centers to detect and appropriately respond to potential outbreaks using the most advanced and accurate molecular methods available

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

Contact us! For more information about submissions, consult the MRSN Submission Manual. For more information about WRAIR's efforts against bacterial disease, visit the Bacterial Disease Branch's page.