US invests $5M in mitigating antimicrobial resistance across food chain

Nine projects received funding
calendar icon 6 June 2022
clock icon 2 minute read

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced an investment of more than $5 million to mitigate antimicrobial resistance across the food chain.

“Pathogen resistance to antimicrobials is a complex problem, encompassing human medicine, poultry and livestock health, and even plant crop production,” said acting NIFA director Dionne Toombs. “The projects supported through this investment will work to ensure a safe, nutritious and abundant food supply while conserving antimicrobial effectiveness.”

This investment is part of NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s Mitigating Antimicrobial Resistance across the Food Chain grant program, which supports integrated research, education and Extension projects. Research approaches include risk assessment, antibiotic management and stewardship, advancing understanding of emerging resistant pathogens and their mechanisms for resistance, and disease control using antimicrobial alternatives. NIFA’s work contributes to the overall federal strategy to combat antimicrobial resistance as described in the Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria National Action Plan 2020-2025.

Nine projects are being funded, totalling $5,117,165. Examples of the funded projects include:

Florida is the largest citrus producer in the US, but the citrus industry relies on the application of medically important antibiotics to control citrus greening disease, which has reduced Florida citrus production by 70%. Scientists at the University of Florida will study the effects on naturally occurring bacteria when citrus greening disease-infected trees are sprayed with antibiotics to characterize development of antimicrobial resistance. ($299,999)

Scientists at Iowa State University of Science and Technology will model the movement of bacteria through different environments, such as surface and subsurface water, as a route for bacterial movement from animal and human waste to plant crops. ($1,000,000)

Scientists in Veterinary Preventive Medicine at Ohio State University will study the movement of auctioned male calves through the market to better understand the use of antimicrobial drugs to prevent and treat disease. ($999,938)

This research will help strengthen USDA’s overall efforts to protect public health through agricultural research that addresses antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

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