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US government invests $11M into antimicrobial resistance research

The United States’ National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is investing $11 million into research that could help reduce the amount of antimicrobials used in pig production.

The funding is being made available for projects that are investigating ways to mitigate antimicrobial resistance — a growing public health issue that affects more than 2 million people each year, reports National Hog Farmer.

Provided through NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, the investment aims to help the sector find ways to limit its use of antibiotics, and find alternative methods for farmers to treat sick pigs.

Previously NIFA-funded projects related to microbial resistance have included work by Kansas State University looking at effective alternatives to antibiotics for pig production systems.

It has also helped to fund a study by Colorado State University scientists who are using DNA analysis to identify links between animal production and illness related to antimicrobial resistance.

Sonny Ramaswamy, NIFA director, said: “In addition to promoting responsible antibiotic use in both humans and animals, we need research to counter the growing threat of antimicrobial resistance.

“NIFA investments support extramural research, education, and extension activities to better understand and mitigate [antimicrobial resistance] along the food chain.”

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Posted on May 8, 2017

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When a sow doesn’t reach her full potential, the cost to the farm and the income stream of the sow herd is often “grossly underestimated,” said John Deen, DVM, PhD, a professor at the University of Minnesota.

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