Exploring the dynamics of antimicrobial resistance in livestock production

A typical One Health problem, AMR development and spread among people, animals and the environment is attracting a lot of research attention but many questions still remain unanswered. The animal sector is estimated to account for more than 50% of the global usage of antibiotics, and animal production is an important source of the development and spread of AMR. We know that antibiotic use exerts a selective pressure for resistant bacteria in the exposed microbiota. Prudent use of antibiotics (only when needed and in the correct form and dosage) in people and animals is, therefore, key to preserving the effect of antibacterial drugs. What we do not know is how to fine-tune this use to minimize the development of AMR. Identification of associations between AMR and multiple epidemiological- and environmental factors is needed to understand the micro- and macro level dynamics of AMR in livestock production.

Factors involved in development and transmission of AMR in livestock

This project will explore the dynamics of AMR in livestock production, an important contributor to AMR in the environment and a useful model for AMR studies. Initially, a systematic scoping review and comprehensive method validation will be performed, to guide the in-depth study of resistant bacteria and resistance genes in the farm environment. Subsequently, metagenomics and bioinformatics will be used on samples from livestock farms, and detailed data on epidemiological factors and parameters that could influence the dynamics of AMR will be collected. 

The project findings will have implications for use of antibiotics in livestock and could also be applied in a One Health context.

Valeriia Ladyhina

Doctoral Student at the Department of Biomedical Science and Veterinary Public Health; Division of Bacteriology and Food Safety, SLU.


Susanna Sternberg Lewerin

Professor at the Department of Biomedicine and Veterinary Public Health Sciences (BVF); Unit of Bacteriology and Food Safety, SLU


Related published research

  1. WHO. Antimicrobial resistance: global report on surveillance. 2014. 
  2. Swedres-Svarm. Consumption of antibiotics and occurrence of resistance in Sweden.   Solna/Uppsala ISSN1650-6332 12. 2017. 
  3. Hernando-Amado S et al. Fitness costs associated with the acquisition of antibiotic resistance. Essays in biochem. 2017;61(1):37-48.
  4. Yazdankhah S et al. Zinc and copper in animal feed–development of resistance and co-resistance to antimicrobial agents in bacteria of animal origin. Microb ecol health dis. 2014;25(1):25862.
  5. Larsson DJ et al. Critical knowledge gaps and research needs related to the environmental dimensions of antibiotic resistance. Environ int. 2018;117:132-8.
  6. Pedersen KS et al. Clinical utility and performance of sock sampling in weaner pig diarrhoea. Prev vet med. 2015;120(3-4):313-20.
  7. Van Damme R et al. Metagenomics workflow for hybrid assembly, differential coverage binning, transcriptomics and pathway analysis (MUFFIN). PLoS Computational Biology. 2021.
Last modified: 2022-02-02