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Published: 22 May 2013

International veterinary research project awarded funding

Academics from the University of Surrey are working with colleagues from universities in America and Brazil to understand the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacterial foodborne pathogens.

Professor Roberto La Ragione, Associate Dean for Veterinary Strategy, is one of three leading academics involved in the ‘Demonstration and scaling-up project: First steps towards developing a global public health surveillance program to reduce the burden of bacterial pathogens in food animals’. The project aims to develop better ways of monitoring and controlling resistance to antibiotics used in food animal production.

The research was recently awarded funding from the University Global Partnership Network (UGPN), designed to help leading universities — including University of Surrey, North Carolina State University and the University of São Paulo — develop collaborative research, learning and teaching by working together on issues of global importance.

The funding, worth US$10,000 to each partner institution, will enable Professor La Ragione’s laboratory to work towards identifying the specific genes that are associated with antibiotic resistance and the ability of foodborne pathogens to cause diseases in animals and humans.

He said: “This project will allow us to understand how mobile genetic elements contribute to the emergence of highly virulent and antibiotic resistant strains of common foodborne pathogens. A greater understanding of the genetic makeup of these important pathogens will enable us to develop more pragmatic control strategies in the future.”

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