In collaboration with Capillary Film Technology, Design Science and the National Institute of Animal Biotechnology, researchers from the University of Reading are working together on a new project funded by Innovate UK to create an easy to use and portable test to tackle antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in dairy farming.

A rugged briefcase can be used on farms or in veterinary clinics to make an evidence-based selection of antibiotics for cows and buffalo suffering from bacterial infections such as mastitis.

Dr Partha Ray, a Lecturer in Animal Dairy Science at the University of Reading said:

“Dairy farming requires the almost constant use of a wide range of antibiotics to keep cattle healthy, much like other livestock sectors.  However, the overuse of antibiotics due to the lack of a tool for rapid testing of AMR in disease-causing bacteria is contributing to the development and spreading of antimicrobial resistance.

“We have been working with partners in India where over one fifth of the world’s milk is produced to design and develop an AMR test kit to make field testing of antibiotic resistance as simple as possible. The goal here is to enable vets to make precise decisions about which antibiotics to use on cattle and limit the chances of bugs becoming resistant to them.”

As a result of his collaborative approach and innovative solutions to analytical challenges Dr Partha Ray was recently named by the Department of Animal Science at Virginia Tech (where he studied his PhD and undertook Post-Doctoral research) as their 2020 Dairy Science Outstanding Recent Alumnus in Academia.