During the last WOAH Global Conference on Aquatic Animal Health, held in Chile in 2019, it was announced that WOAH would develop a global Aquatic Animal Health Strategy. One of the objectives of the Strategy is capacity building to support WOAH Members’ implementation of the standards. The Center for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Aquaculture (CASA), under the auspices of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Chile, was designated as a WOAH Collaborating Centre in 2022, with the aim of providing scientific support.
CASA has a multidisciplinary team of professionals and researchers who have developed new lines of research into AMR and the prudent use of antimicrobials in aquaculture, specifically in salmon farming. This is the first Collaborating Centre in the Americas to support the prudent and responsible use of antimicrobials in aquaculture. Its role is to provide advice, particularly at the regional level, by offering scientific knowledge and support to national WOAH Focal Points in the implementation of standards.
The Collaborating Centre will:
provide support to Competent Authorities and the aquaculture sector through public–private partnerships in their countries;
act as a reference in the prudent and responsible use of antimicrobials in aquaculture;
carry out research;
offer expertise, advice on the standardisation of techniques, and disseminate knowledge.
CASA will assist countries in the implementation of WOAH standards on antimicrobial use in the aquatic sector, including:
principles for responsible and prudent use of antimicrobial agents in aquatic animals;
monitoring the quantities and usage patterns of antimicrobial agents in aquatic animals;
the development and harmonisation of national AMR surveillance and monitoring programmes for aquatic animals;
risk analysis for AMR due to the use of antimicrobial agents in aquatic animals.