The PulseNet program started in Latin America in 2004. Its principal goal is to support the Pan American regional strategy approved by the Ministers of Health in the Regional Plan for Food Safety (Resolution CD 42/10) in strengthening surveillance of food-borne diseases (FBD) and to reinforce technical cooperation among the member countries in relation to food safety and health.
In Latin America, Institutions that have played an important role in the creation and continuous strengthening of PulseNet are the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Instituto Nacional de Enfermedades Infecciosas (INEI) - ANLIS “Carlos G. Malbrán”. While INEI is in charge of the technical support regarding PFGE protocols, analysis, certification and quality control programs (Regional Reference Laboratory), PAHO provides all the aspects needed for the communication among members, server development and maintenance for the Regional Databases and project developments. Both organizations, together with CDC, share responsibilities for strategic planning and conduction of PulseNet Latin America (LA).
The objectives of the PulseNet LA network are to strengthen national and regional laboratory based surveillance of FBD; diagnosis, and research of the diseases burden; detect early emerging and reemerging pathogens; establish national and regional databases; strengthen communication among the member countries; and actively use the national and regional information in coordinated public health actions and interventions. Actions such as these are used to consolidate the collaboration, which should be increasingly stronger between laboratories and the areas of food, clinic and epidemiology.
PulseNet Latin America has established the capability in the participating countries for genotype bacterial pathogens strains with standardized protocols for selected pathogens ( Salmonella spp, Vibrio cholerae, Escherichia coli O157 and STEC no-O157, Shigella spp, Campylobacter spp, Listeria monocytogenes), has initiate the creation of a regional database of the isolates, and has promoted regional research.
PFGE YouTube Videos
PulseNet Latin America have produced a series of videos explaining PFGE. These have been uploaded to YouTube(external link) where they are accessible to all - but at this stage only in Spanish!
(external link) (external link)
For further information please contact
Enrique Perez, Pan-American Health Organization.
Dr Mariana Pichel, INEI-ANLIS, Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA.
PulseNet Latin America group photo