WASHINGTON – The US Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced it has funded more than $5.1 million in research at five universities to mitigate vulnerabilities in the food supply chain created by microbial resistance. NIFA’s grant program, known as the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s Mitigating Antimicrobial Resistance across the Food Chain, supports integrated research, education and Extension projects. Researchers will conduct risk assessments and as part of their approaches they will address antibiotic management, advancing learning about emerging pathogens and how they achieve resistance and investigating disease control using alternative antimicrobials. 

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

NIFA’s contributions to the US government’s efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance is part of its Combating Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria National Action Plan 2020-2025.

Grants for the project have been awarded to the University of Arkansas, the University of Connecticut, the University of Florida, Iowa State University and The Ohio State University.