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UK FAO Reference Centre for Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the most profound challenges facing humankind. Unless the present rates of increase in AMR are checked, many of the advances in modern medicine will be made redundant and we will return to the pre-antibiotic era, where even a minor cut could result in a life-threatening infection. Antibiotics are also widely used in animal (including aquaculture) production. Thus, erosion in their effectiveness also poses significant food security risks.

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas), the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA) and the Veterinary Medicine's Directorate (VMD) together have been designated as the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) Reference centre for AMR (UK).

FAO Reference Centres provide independent technical and scientific advice related to the FAO’s mandate. The FAO Reference Centre for AMR (UK) supports this by (OUR VISION). The Reference Centre is funded by UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the Department of Health and Social Care (Fleming Fund).

The UK is a global leader in efforts to address the profound challenges AMR presents and the three Defra agencies each play a key role in assisting the UK government in these efforts.

Together, APHA, Cefas and VMD create a powerful and unique synergy of complementary expertise in antimicrobial resistance in bacteria isolated from terrestrial animals, environment and food (APHA); aquatic animals and environment (Cefas); and in monitoring antimicrobial usage (AMU) and development of policy surrounding AMR and AMU (VMD). This expertise will be made available to Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMICs) prioritised by the Fleming Fund through the Reference Centre.

If you are interested in working with us, please contact us at faoreferencecentreforamr@vmd.gov.uk.