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ICASA seeks pig and beef cattle research

ICASA seeking pig and beef cattle research

Looking for research to improve antibiotic stewardship 

The International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture (ICASA), one of the largest public-private partnerships focused on antibiotic stewardship in animal agriculture, is issuing two separate calls for research concepts, one to improve detection, treatment and prevention of infectious lameness in pigs and the other to develop new diagnostic methods and technologies that facilitate antibiotic traceability across the beef and pork supply chains. Matching funds are optional for this program.

Mycoplasma hyosynoviae is an organism prevalent in swine herds that can invade the joints and may lead to swelling and lameness. The condition is a major driver of antibiotic use in pigs but is difficult to diagnose by standard laboratory methods. The ICASA Swine Health Working Group is soliciting concepts related to the development of novel diagnostic protocols and procedures to better detect pigs that are infected with M. hyosynoviae, to conduct epidemiological studies, and/or evaluate standard therapeutic strategies that enhance the judicious use of antibiotics for this condition.

Separately, the ICASA Technologies Working Group is seeking projects related to early disease detection, pathogen control or elimination and antibiotic use traceability in beef cattle and pigs. Several states and municipalities require grocers to report numeric data on antibiotic use for meat products. However, producers and suppliers of these products do not have a straightforward method to collect antibiotic use data across their entire supply chains. Additionally, it is unclear how to incentivize the adoption of antibiotic traceability technologies by smaller-scale producers, given the additional time and cost involved in adoption of these tools. ICASA is supporting the development of technologies that may improve antibiotic traceability and economic cost/benefit analyses that consider trade-offs to implementation from multiple perspectives.

“These two calls for research concepts underscore the need for bold research that improves animal health and welfare while supporting farmer profitability,” said the Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research’s (FFAR) Advanced Animal Systems Scientific Program Director Dr. Tim Kurt. “The tools, technologies and strategies resulting from ICASA-funded research have the potential for real world impact from producer to consumer.”

Full application details for both opportunities are available on FFAR’s website. Applicants must submit their letter of intent by May 12, 2021. Applications will be reviewed by ICASA participants and will be evaluated on a variety of factors including potential for supply chain implementation, potential for impact, likelihood for successful completion, originality, key personnel qualifications and strength of partnerships.

FFAR created ICASA in 2019 to facilitate research that promotes the judicious use of antibiotics, advances animal health and welfare and increases transparency in food production practices. ICASA improves antibiotic stewardship by building cross-sector partnerships among participants representing all stages of the US livestock supply chain.




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