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The initial research will focus on intensive beef farming

University gains £1.2 million funding to battle Anti-Microbial Resistance

The University of Exeter has received a substantial £1.2 million of funding to further understanding into antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The grant is funded by The UK Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and UK Aid through the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The university will be working alongside the University of Edinburgh and Rothamsted North Wyke.

Argentine partners include the National Institute of Infectious Diseases (INEI – ANLIS), the National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA), the National Service for Agrifood Health and Quality (SENASA) and the Institute of Microbiology and Parasitology (IMPAM) at the University of Buenos Aires who are all funded by the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET).

Will Gaze, Professor of Microbiology and research lead, said: “antimicrobial resistance is an issue of global importance with recent estimates suggesting that by 2050, resistant infections will be the leading cause of death globally with a total economic cost of $100 trillion. This collaboration allows us to look in much greater detail at the use of antibiotics and similar drugs in livestock and expand our findings to apply it to a wider range of uses.

“We hope that our research will help to reduce the financial burden of antimicrobial resistance on governments and most importantly decrease the number of resistant infections, therefore saving lives.”

The research team from the university includes Professor Will Gaze, Dr Anne Leonard, Dr Aimee Murray, Professor Stuart Townley and Dr Emma Pitchforth.

Initially their work will focus on intensive beef farming to help understand the complex nature of AMR in livestock with the team then relating this to clinical and environmental settings. It also develops an existing framework for considering public health issues used by the World Health Organisation.

The grant was announced on the 4th October during the first research programme meeting in Buenos Aires, attended by researchers Professor Gaze and Dr Anne Leonard.

Whilst in Argentina, they also attended a reception at the British Embassy along with research teams from Bristol, Nottingham, Liverpool and Edinburgh following a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ signed by former health secretary Jeremy Hunt in May 2018. This agreement between the UK and Argentinian Governments announced the intention to work together to combat AMR.

You can read more about the grant application “Developing a conceptual framework to improve understanding of AMR in livestock”. To find out more about AMR at The University of Exeter, use #ExeterAMR on Twitter and visit the Exeter AMR webpages.

Date: 4 October 2019