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ARS Research on Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and Alternatives to Antibiotics (ATA)

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a serious concern in the U.S. and across the globe. It affects people, animals, and plants by making antibiotics and other infection-fighting medications less effective for treating diseases. The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) in-house non-regulatory research agency. It has a strong record of delivering innovative and sustainable solutions to challenges affecting agriculture, including AMR.

Scientists across all four ARS National Programs are developing tools and strategies to fight AMR in agricultural and food processing settings. Activities include development of detection methods, diagnostics, infection prevention and treatment strategies including alternatives to antibiotics (ATA), and sanitation tools. Scientists are also working to understand how pathogens travel in different environments and ecosystems, and to find solutions to reduce their spread.


AMR Research Strategy  2019-2021
AMR and ATA Summary
AMR and ATA Summary


Be the global leader for innovative, equitable, sustainable research solutions for AMR in agriculture.


To promote the resilience of agriculture to AMR for the health and safety of animals, plants, and the public, acknowledging the environmental component of AMR movement, through cutting-edge research solutions and outreach.

Research Priorities


Develop risk tools and models to assess drivers of infections and resistance genes across agricultural settings. Develop predictive analysis abilities to optimize processes to address AMR.

Systems Biology and Detection Strategies

Develop rapid and innovative end-user-based technologies for AMR detection and diagnosis, facilitate data exchange, and advance strategies for using risk models and decision support systems to reduce and prevent critically important AMR.


Develop novel infection prevention and intervention strategies, including alternatives to antibiotics, to optimize antibiotic use and/or reduce AMR transmission.

Science Outreach

Foster collaboration and communication around ARS AMR and ATA research to enhance solution-based research.