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Mitigating Antimicrobial Resistance in the Male Dairy Calf Production System


Dairy-beef and vealcalf production systems areunderrecognizedandimportant sourcesof antimicrobial resistance(AMR).Male dairycalvesare an unwanted by-productof the dairy industrythat have largely been ignored byresearchers.Research within male calf production systems is necessary to comprehensively address AMR in animal production systems in the United States. Therefore, our group will characterize male calf transportation networkstoidentifyinfluential transmission points. To do this, we willusea combination ofregulatory and industry data todescribethe transportation networkof surplus maledairycalves.We willuse a participatory sampling approach and a combination of traditional and molecular epidemiology todescribe transmission pathways and riskfactors for thepathogen. Lastly for the first aim, we willcreate a simulation modelthattestsstrategies to controlS. Dublin and incorporates network connections, risk factors, andgeographical location. These data are necessary toidentifycost-effective and risk-basedstrategies that effectivelylimit the dissemination of MDR bacteria.Additionally, our group willwork toreduce theantimicrobial selection pressurewithin male calf production systems.We willuse a farm-levelrandomized trial to test theeffectof benchmarking reports to motivate reductions inAMUby dairy-beef and veal calf growers. We'll additionally use qualitative methods identifypsychosocial barriers to improvements instewardship. Lastly for the second aim, we will identify additional characteristics of the producer and animal populationthatinteract to influencequantitativeAMUlevels. Furthermore, we will deliver extension materials on antimicrobial stewardship and biosecurity. We will create and disseminate electronic coursework and videos to calf professionals. All calves (male and female) are challenged by similar disease pressures, and electronic media facilitates broad dissemination of antimicrobial stewardship and biosecurity materials. Additionally, the unique population raising male calves requires in-person and culturally appropriate delivery of information critical to on-farm behavioral changes. Our team will use our industry connections and in-person meetings to deliver in-person and culturally appropriate antimicrobial stewardship and biosecurity education.

Habing, Gregory
Ohio State University
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