Antimicrobial Resistance

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)


The FAO Reference Centre for AMR in Animal Health and Agriculture pulls expertise from three Defra agencies:

Veterinary Medicines Directorate
Woodham Lane, New Haw, Addlestone,
Surrey, KT15 3LS, UK | Website

Centre for Environment Fisheries and Aquaculture Science
Weymouth Laboratory, Barrack Road, The Nothe, Weymouth,
Dorset DT4 8UB, UK | Website

Animal and Plant Health Agency
Woodham Lane, New Haw, Addlestone,
Surrey, KT15 3NB, UK | Website

Date of Designation

29 April 2019

Areas of work

  • AMR surveillance in veterinary and zoonotic pathogens  
  • Detection of AMR in bacteria from animals (terrestrial and aquatic) and environment
  • Isolation of bacteria and AMR characterization using phenotypic methods
  • Whole genome sequencing, bioinformatics and computational biology for screening of resistance and virulent genes, as well as for molecular phylogenetic investigations
  • Research and development on AMR (e.g. development of new phenotypic and genotypic diagnostic tests)
  • Monitoring of impacts of interventions reducing antibiotic use  
  • Antibiotic residues surveillance advice and training

Key activities

  • Raising awareness on AMR and antimicrobial usage via science blogs, social media, reports, scientific publications and conferences
  • Developing protocols for antimicrobial susceptibility testing and interpretative criteria for key bacterial species currently lacking standardized methods (e.g. aquatic pathogens)
  • Establishing external quality assurance scheme for antimicrobial susceptibility testing (Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp., Enterococci, aquatic pathogens)
  • Designing and providing residential AMR training courses for food and agriculture stakeholders
  • Supporting partner self-assessments, including assessments of AMR laboratory capacities using FAO-ATLASS
  • Contributing to policy meetings at national and international level using Reference Centre activities as exemplars and highlighting outputs/benefits
  • Providing advice and support for the adaptation and implementation of alternatives to antibiotics such as vaccination, enhanced biosecurity, appropriate disposal of animal waste and carcasses, effective cleaning and disinfection
  • Providing technical advice in international fora on AMR and AMU
  • Providing expert advice on monitoring national sales and usage of antibiotics and monitoring resistance

Working languages

  • English

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