A Purdue University professor has been awarded more than $1 million in grants to further his research of bovine respiratory disease, which is one of the most common and costly diseases affecting beef cattle.
Mohit Verma is working to develop biosensor technology that would help cattle producers better manage the disease and reduce the use of antibiotics.
“Bovine respiratory disease is a complex syndrome with multiple infectious agents, including bacteria and viruses,” Verma said. “And the emergence of antibiotic resistance has definitely complicated this issue.”
Purdue says Verma recently received multiple awards, totaling $1.4 million, from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to support his work.
Verma, who is an assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue, is developing a biosensor-based decision-making tool to manage the disease.
“But I feel confident we can develop biosensors that can be used in the field that determine which pathogen is present. Biosensors are low-cost and user-friendly,” said Verma. “Since our biosensors incorporate most of the complexity within the device, users will require minimal training
The foundation recently announced Verma’s receipt of the FFAR New Innovator Award and the International Consortium for Antimicrobial Stewardship in Agriculture Technology Working Group Award.
Purdue says the awards will also give Verma’s team more access to some of the biggest feedlots and users of beef in the U.S. including Tyson Foods and McDonald’s.
“With support from FFAR and our industrial partners, we will be able to create a diagnostic solution that will reduce losses, improve productivity and reduce the spread of antibiotic resistance,” said Verma.