• ICASA Solicits Call for Research Concepts to Address Infectious Cattle and Pig Diseases

    WASHINGTON (May 6, 2020) –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 related to metaphylaxis, an approach to controlling infectious diseases in beef cattle and pigs. Infectious outbreaks in cattle and pigs can be difficult to detect and prevent with the tools that are currently available. As a result, it can be challenging to know the best time to treat animals and which animals will benefit most from treatment. Without the proper tools to identify affected animals, diseases spread rapidly and can have significant impacts for producers. For example, one of the most prevalent and economically important diseases affecting cattle is bovine respiratory disease (BRD), which affects approximately 20 percent of cattle and costs producers $800-900 million annually. One approach to treating and controlling BRD and other infectious diseases is called metaphylaxis, in which a group of animals is treated at the same time to prevent the disease from spreading and affecting many animals. However, it is a challenge to know when to use metaphylaxis and how to best identify and exclude animals that may not need treatment. More accurate detection tools and strategies are needed to better predict the occurrence of infectious diseases in cattle and pigs while enhancing animal welfare and preserving the economic sustainability of the industry. ICASA is soliciting research concepts to develop tools that enable producers and veterinarians to identify the animals at highest risk of infectious diseases and those that would benefit most from treatment. Such tools would enable more targeted approaches to metaphylaxis. Separately, researchers should address how metaphylaxis impacts the prevalence of antimicrobial resistance and/or develop health and management practices that improve health outcomes in beef cattle and pigs. “ICASA is working across the industry to tackle the complicated problem of when and how to best administer antibiotics in livestock to improve animal welfare,” said FFAR’s Executive Director Dr. Sally Rockey. “We are looking forward to reviewing proposals for strategies and technologies that improve metaphylaxis and ensure the judicious use of antibiotics. Additional information about the call for research concepts is available on the ICASA website. Pre-applications are due June 17, 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. 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. ### About the International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture The International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture (ICASA) is a public-private partnership created by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) to advance research on antimicrobial stewardship in animal agriculture. ICASA’s research promotes the judicious use of antibiotics, advances animal health and wellness, and increases transparency in food production practices. FFAR’s initial $7.5 million investment is matched by the ICASA participants for a total investment of $15 million in antimicrobial stewardship research. ICASA’s founding participants include: Advanced Animal Diagnostics, the Beef Alliance, Cactus Research, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, HyPlains Research and Education Center, JBS USA, McDonald’s, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Pork Board, the Noble Research Institute, Pipestone Veterinary Services, Tyson Foods, US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and Veterinary Research and Consulting Services.


    Continue reading
  • International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture (ICASA) Issues Call for Research Concepts

    WASHINGTON (January 15, 2020) -- 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 are seeking to collaborate 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. ### About the International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture The International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture (ICASA) is a public-private partnership created by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) to advance research on antimicrobial stewardship in animal agriculture. ICASA’s research promotes the judicious use of antibiotics, advances animal health and wellness, and increases transparency in food production practices. FFAR’s initial $7.5 million investment is matched by the ICASA participants for a total investment of $15 million in antimicrobial stewardship research. ICASA’s founding participants include: Advanced Animal Diagnostics, the Beef Alliance, Cactus Research, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, HyPlains Research and Education Center, JBS USA, McDonald’s, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Pork Board, the Noble Research Institute, Pipestone Veterinary Services, Tyson Foods, US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and Veterinary Research and Consulting Services.


    Continue reading
  • FFAR Launches International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture

    ICASA accelerates innovation and knowledge across the livestock supply chain WASHINGTON (January 30, 2019) – The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) today launched the International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture (ICASA), a public-private partnership to advance research on antimicrobial stewardship in animal agriculture and improve animal health and welfare. Antibiotics are extremely valuable tools in the effort to protect animal health. Maintaining the efficacy of antibiotics is a highly complex issue, affecting both human and animal health, and it is a top priority for veterinarians and livestock producers. The responsible and judicious use of antibiotics is key to addressing this challenge, which impacts the entire supply chain and is further complicated by factors that influence animal health, including genetics, nutrition, infectious diseases, environmental stressors and other factors. The purpose of ICASA is to accelerate innovation and improve antibiotic stewardship by building the cross-sector partnerships critical to making advances on a broad scale. The Consortium will uncover long-term solutions to major drivers of antibiotic use by field-testing new technologies and management practices. Ultimately, the Consortium aims to develop and publish results that improve animal health and welfare, promote responsible and judicious antibiotic use, and benefit animal agriculture as well as the general public. “ICASA has the potential to have extraordinary impact. The collaborative framework brings together exceptional expertise and significant resources to tackle major challenges in livestock production. Working together is critical to improving animal health and welfare and preserving the efficacy of antibiotics for both animals and people,” said Tim Kurt, scientific program director at FFAR. Collectively, ICASA member organizations represent approximately 40 percent of all fed beef cattle marketed in the U.S., through operations that feed over 2.75 million head of cattle and provide veterinary services to an additional 2 million head of cattle. The Consortium includes three of the world’s largest companies that process or sell beef, pork and chicken products, along with two livestock associations that together represent over 85,000 producers. ICASA is the first research consortium to bring together participants representing all stages of the U.S. livestock supply chain, from producers to restaurant chains, to accelerate improvement in animal welfare and judicious antibiotic use. Private-sector participants are matching FFAR’s initial $7.5 million investment in ICASA, resulting in a total investment of $15 million towards innovative animal health and antimicrobial stewardship research. ICASA projects will initially focus on animal health issues that underlie significant challenges to welfare and reducing the need for antimicrobial use in beef and pork. ICASA will also support cross-species projects focused on animal health and welfare monitoring. Understanding the diseases that drive antibiotic use will allow producers to find alternatives while maintaining animal health. “It’s a truly unique opportunity when 12 organizations work together to solve major industry challenges,” said FFAR Executive Director Sally Rockey. “Not only does ICASA represent one of the largest investments in antibiotic stewardship and livestock welfare research, it’s bringing the right people to the table. ICASA has the potential to advance animal agriculture in amazing ways.” ### About the International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture The International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture (ICASA) is a public-private partnership created by the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) to advance research on antimicrobial stewardship in animal agriculture. ICASA’s research promotes the judicious use of antibiotics, advances animal health and wellness, and increases transparency in food production practices. FFAR’s initial $7.5 million investment is matched by the ICASA participants for a total investment of $15 million in antimicrobial stewardship research. ICASA’s founding participants include: Advanced Animal Diagnostics, the Beef Alliance, Cactus Research, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, HyPlains Feedyard, JBS USA, McDonald’s, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the National Pork Board, the Noble Research Institute, Tyson Foods, and Veterinary Research and Consulting Services.


    Continue reading