Antimicrobial Resistance in the Food Chain

A three-week online course developed by the AFTP covering Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) will run again in August 2017 on the FutureLearn MOOC platform, and it will be completely free to study.

AMR is a term that we are increasingly coming across, on news broadcasts, trade journals and websites discussing animal and human health.

But what does AMR mean to animal producers, food manufacturers and retailers? How does resistance to antibiotics develop in bacteria and what impact will this have now and in the years ahead? These are some of the questions we will be considering in our free three-week online course entitled ‘Antimicrobial Resistance in the Food Chain’ which runs for the second time from 7th August 2017.

The MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) will be free to access once learners have registered on the FutureLearn platform, who provide this course in conjunction with the University of Nottingham and the AFTP. The course comprises short videos, articles, quizzes and discussions that can be accessed in your own time. If all elements are completed, it should take around three hours per week to fully take part.

You will learn about the scientific mechanisms and farm practices which have enabled potentially harmful bacteria to become steadily more resistant (e.g. E. coliSalmonella and Campylobacter), and the ways in which they can transfer from the farm to our dinner plates, potentially leading to infections in humans which may not be treatable.

Key speakers include representatives from the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Veterinary Medicines Directorate (VMD), the pharmaceutical industries, and academics working in veterinary and human health from both the UK and overseas.

By the end of the course, you should have all the information you need to make up your own mind about what we should do to tackle this immensely important problem.

When the course ran for the first time last year, over 97% of respondents indicated it had met or exceeded their expectations, with 95% rating it as excellent or good. Other highlights in terms of the course performance were that of all the 150 FutureLearn courses on offer, AMR in the Food Chain was in the top 20 for the number of completion certificates purchased by learners, indicating that those who took part value and appreciate the continuing professional development offered by this type and mode of course delivery.

It was also nominated for an 'Educational Multimedia' award at the Learning on Screen Awards 2017, in which the judges comments reflected how effective the course is in 'communicating important lessons about antibiotic resistance to a broad audience'.

It is not necessary to have studied this subject before to take part in the course. All that is needed is a keen interest, an internet connection and device (computer, tablet or phone), and a few hours each week to take part.

On successfully finishing the course, you will have the opportunity to purchase a certificate of completion. The course also acts as a useful springboard for our more advanced courses on animal health.

To register please take a couple of minutes to visit the FutureLearn website to sign up for your place on the course.

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