ICASA Seeks Research to Prevent Liver Abscesses in Beef Cattle



  • Advanced Animal Systems

WASHINGTON (December 9, 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 to prevent liver abscesses in beef cattle.

Liver abscesses typically affect up to 32 percent of beef cattle, sometimes more, and occur in most U.S. feedlots. The condition is caused by bacteria crossing from an animal’s gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream, where they accumulate in the liver. While affected animals show no signs of liver abscess externally, the syndrome can reduce feed efficiency, cause condemnation of potentially edible products, and result in increased trimming of meat at the processor, all which further impacts value. Although antibiotics are commonly used to prevent and control liver abscesses, the disease is still highly prevalent and costs producers approximately $30 million annually.

While liver abscess syndrome has been described for many years, animal scientists and veterinarians do not fully understand how liver abscesses form and why prevalence rates vary under different scenarios. Part of this challenge is that the syndrome is difficult to reproduce under controlled conditions. Accurate research models would help improve our understanding of the causes of liver abscesses and enable the investigation of new treatment strategies.

Preventing liver abscesses in beef cattle can improve performance while also ensuring producer profitability. This research is critical to developing alternatives to antibiotics and promoting stewardship. Sally Rockey, Ph.D.
Executive Director

ICASA is soliciting research concepts on understanding the etiology and pathogenesis, and developing new models, for liver abscesses in beef cattle. Applicants should describe how their research enhances responsible antibiotic use, reduces the potential for resistance and/or provides actionable information that can be used by stakeholders.

Full application details are available on FFAR’s website. Applicants must submit their letter of intent by January 27, 2021. Matching funds are required for this program. 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.

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.

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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 & 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.

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