Maintaining the efficacy of antibiotics affects both human and animal health and is a priority for livestock producers. The International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture (ICASA), one of the largest public-private partnerships focused on antibiotic stewardship in animal agriculture, is soliciting calls for research concepts on animal-health monitoring and diagnostic technologies.

 Antibiotics are essential to preventing, treating and controlling disease in livestock production. The responsible use of antibiotics impacts the entire supply chain and is complicated by additional factors such as genetics, nutrition, infectious diseases and environmental stressors. 

 The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (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.

 Through the Consortium’s first call for Letters of Intent (LOI), ICASA participants seek to advance stewardship and improve health outcomes for livestock. Specifically, LOIs should describe concepts for the development, improvement and/or validation of animal-health monitoring or rapid in-field, pen-side or animal-side diagnostic tools. These technologies can be early-stage or close-to-market and must have potential for implementation by commercial livestock producers. 

 Concepts must be relevant to beef cattle, pigs and/or poultry. Projects should describe how their work will improve antimicrobial stewardship in animal production, reduce the potential for resistance and/or provide actionable information to antimicrobial-prescribers. Meritorious research concepts will be invited to submit a full proposal, with the potential for up to $250,000 in research funding and/or access to commercial livestock production facilities. Additional contributions are allowed.

 “Leveraging knowledge and resources from diverse organizations will advance antibiotic stewardship and improve health outcomes for livestock,” said FFAR’s Executive Director Dr. Sally Rockey. “FFAR is thrilled that ICASA’s fourteen participating companies are soliciting these novel and potentially high-impact research concepts.” 

 LOIs are due February 26, 2020 and must be submitted via FFAR’s online portal. 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.