People: Lucy Brunton, Maria Garza Valles, Barbara Haesler, Ana Mateus, Javier Guitian

Aquaculture systems are highly complex and influenced by environmental, biological, cultural, socio-economic and human behavioural factors. The growing importance of aquaculture is fuelling a transition of small-scale farming to industrial intensification in low and middle income countries. This transition is likely to be driving the extensive and often indiscriminate use of antibiotics in these systems to treat or prevent disease and increase productivity, often to compensate for management and husbandry deficiencies. But enforcement of regulations for the responsible use of antibiotics is often inefficient and surveillance or monitoring of antibiotic usage (ABU) and antibiotic resistance (ABR) in these countries is lacking or absent.

The aim of the AMFORA project is to use a ‘systems-thinking’ approach to map aquaculture systems in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Egypt, and identify potential hotspots for the emergence and selection of resistance and human exposure to antibiotics and antibiotic-resistant organisms. This will enable the identification of potential drivers of ABU and interventions to reduce ABU.

This is an RVC-led multi-disciplinary project in collaboration with University of Stirling, LSHTM, International Livestock Research Institute, WorldFish, Chittagong Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Bangladesh, Research Institute for Aquaculture No.1, Viet Nam and Kafrelsheikh University, Egypt. AMFORA is funded by an AMR Global Development Award from the UK Medical Research Council.

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