Insights into environmental transmission of antimicrobial resistance and metal tolerance in escherichia coli in beef production

Project Details

Status: Active
Investment: $150,000
Commodity: Beef Cattle
Organization: University of Calgary
Investigator: Sylvia Checkley

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a critical issue for human and animal health.

Why is this research important for Alberta ag?

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a critical issue for human and animal health. The sustainability of animal production depends on using antimicrobials in a prudent manner, optimizing animal and environmental health, food safety, and consumer confidence. Transmission of mobile genetic elements (MGEs) and antimicrobial resistant genes (ARGs) between disease-causing bacteria and the normal flora of people, animals and the environment is highly complex.

This project will use genomic sequencing and comparative genomics to better understand similarities and differences between E. coli, their MGEs and associated ARGs isolated from different sources, such as humans, cattle, poultry, surface water, wastewater, and retail meats.

What benefits can producers expect from this research?

Data produced will contribute to understanding AMR and metal tolerance in cow-calf production environments, sustainable practices, and soil and water quality. Findings will support both the beef industry and environmental sustainability. Understanding environmental transmission will help inform surveillance systems and mitigation strategies.

How will these research findings reach producers on-farm?

Stakeholder meetings with government and industry representatives will be held to share results. They will also be shared through industry conferences such as the Alberta Beef Industry Conference and Canadian Beef Industry Conference. Results will also be published in industry journals and publications such as the Western Producer, Canadian Cattlemen, and Grainews.

Funded in part by the Government of Canada under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.