Altering the rumen and fecal microbiome to minimize the development and export of antimicrobial resistance from beef cattle systems
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The development and export of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) from animal husbandry systems threatens preservation of effective animal and human therapeutics. Development of AMR in animal production systems is a complex issue, primarily linked to many microbial interactions in rumen, feces and manured-soil. Therapeutic antibiotics useage has been suggested to induce AMR development. However, it is not clear whether addition of ionophore antibiotics can also influence AMR development by altering microbiome interactions. Understanding these interactions in tropical cattle breeds is highly pertinent, as anticipated climate-change effects will increase the demand for heat tolerant cattle. Additionally, understanding breed traits with major differences in AMR due to host genetics will be valuable for breeding cattle with reduced shedding of AMR organisms. This project's goal is to evaluate diet and supplement based microbiome responses on AMR genes, in temperate and tropical cattle breeds, and to minimize the development and export of AMR from beef-cattle systems.By use of a characterized research beef cattle resource at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center in Overton, our interdisciplinary research team will acquire the foundational information needed to s pursue a broader investigation of AMR in the environment of research and commercial feedlots. This project aligns with USDA efforts to understand and mitigate risks of development of antimicrobial resistance in order to protect animal and public health. Specifically, the proposed project will identify the risks of AMR development among the differing temperate and tropical beef cattle breed types, which could be used to develop novel breeding strategies to minimize AMR shedding in cattle. The project work will identify diet quality and ionophore effects on AMR development and export, which will be used to develop recommendations on diet and feed supplements for different breeds to minimize the risks of AMR development and export.