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Learnings from the pilot Citizen Science and AMR project


The overall aims of CSAMR were twofold: 1. To generate evidence on the cultivation and food preparation practices of homegrowers which provides further insight into the ways in which AMR moves through the food system. 2. To assess the efficacy of using a citizen science approach in antimicrobial resistance research. These aims positioned CSAMR to contribute evidence relevant to FSA Research Priority Areas 1 and 2 (as described in the FSA’s 2022 statement on Areas of Research Interest), which are themselves highly relevant to the delivery of the UK National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance 2019-2024 (Department of Health and Social Care, 2019). Research into the risks associated with vegetable crops, and leaf crops in particular, was also highlighted as a high priority recommendation in the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food’s report to the FSA in 2018 (ACMSF, 2018). To achieve these aims CSAMR established the following objectives: 1) Organise a series of project activities to support participants’ understanding of AMR, how it moves through the food chain and the possible impacts of their growing and preparation practices 2) Collaboratively design and refine research methods with participants, benefitting from their expertise 3) Engage home-growers across the UK in the process of bacterial sampling and provision of relevant contextual data 4) Analyse samples provided by home-growers for the presence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria and, if present, investigate possible relationships with growing practices and preparation practices 5) Capture any changes in participant understanding and/or behaviours through a pre-post project survey.

Way, L., West, S., (SEI - York, University of York); Swift, B.; Whatford, L., (Royal Veterinary College); Rymer, C. (University of Reading)
Food Standards Agency (FSA) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
Funding Source