Current Projects

Antimicrobial Use, Resistance and Alternatives

20-07 Antimicrobial use and resistance in Ontario cow-calf herds - Establishing a baseline for antimicrobial stewardship

Research Lead: Dr. Jessica Gordon , University of Guelph

Executive Summary

Antimicrobial resistance and use are growing concerns for the beef industry. This concern has two facets, both concerns that antibiotics will not function properly when they are needed and concerns around public perception. The public is increasingly concerned about use of antimicrobials in food animals, which has led to stricter regulations on antibiotic use. To help ensure we maintain our right to utilize antibiotics when necessary and that they remain as effective as possible, we need to better understand patterns of use and resistance on farm and look for areas of improvement or refinement.

The purpose of this project is to better understand antimicrobial use and antimicrobial resistance in Ontario cow-calf herds. This study will leverage the Canadian Cow-Calf Surveillance Network, a unique opportunity for surveillance across the country, by targeting project herds. The funding requested from BFO will be used for herds located across Ontario that are enrolled in the project and wish to participate in this initiative.

Ten herds will be enrolled and asked to keep treatment records for one year starting in fall 2020 in paper or digital format, based on producer preference. Fecal samples will be collected in the spring and fall of 2021 from 10 cows and 10 calves in each herd. The fecal samples will be cultured for E.coli and Enterococcus spp. and 1 of each will be tested for susceptibility to a standard panel of antimicrobials using Sensititre technology. Resistance patterns and areas for improved antibiotic stewardship will be explored.

Specific Project Area(s): Animal Health and Welfare, Antimicrobial Use, Resistance and Alternatives

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