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Antimicrobial Use and Resistance in Animal Production

Project summary

Bacteria resistant to several antibiotics are one of the main concerns for WHO. Countries are taking action to address this problem at a human, animal and environmental level. Project AMURAP is a collaboration between Teagasc, the University College Dublin School of Veterinary Medicine, and DAFM to study the use of antibiotics in Irish pig and chicken farms and the consequences in the appearance of bacteria resistant to antibiotics in products and environment. The project will provide the first baseline on the use of antibiotics in Ireland as it has been recently done in other countries. This baseline is key in order to demonstrate the good practices currently applied in pig and poultry Irish farms and to further reduce the use of antibiotics by better farming to ensure Irish pork and chicken keeps being one of the safest in the world.

The project commenced in April 2017 and is expected to be completed by April 2021. The project has been split into two parts:

1) to quantify antimicrobial use in pig production in Ireland and identify patterns of use and

2) to investigate the relationship between AMU and the occurrence of AMR in commensal and zoonotic bacteria of pigs.

Expected benefits

The outputs of this research will allow pig producers to

  • Identify the factors leading to reduced antimicrobial use on their farms.
  • Promote a reduction in antimicrobial use which may lead to a reduction in antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and commensal bacteria in animals and in the food chain. A decrease in the transmission of resistant bacteria from animals to humans should provide long-term benefits to consumers and human health.

Additionally, the outputs of this project will also:

  • Help policy makers in the development of regulations. The veterinary medicines and medicated feed legislation is currently under review at EU level; this research could impact on the future translation of these into national legislation in the near future.
  • Advance scientific knowledge, both nationally and internationally, in its subject areas and will increase the capacity and profile of Irish research in these areas.


Project coordinator: Edgar Garcia Manzanilla

Partners: Dr. Nola Leonard UCD

PhD Student: Lorcan O'Neill

Postdoc: Maria Rodrigues da Costa


DAFM (15/S/676)

Collaborating institutions


Preliminary results