Unilorin researchers get N1.7bn grant to develop antibiotic alternative

A University of Ilorin research group, Innovative Veterinary Solutions For AntiMicrobial Resistance (INNOVET-AMR) 2 Research Group, has won a grant worth 1.6 million Canadian Dollars (about N1.712,000,000) to develop innovative solutions for antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in food-producing animals.

According to information contained in the university’s news bulletin, the grant was awarded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) of Canada.

Speaking when he visited the university Vice Chancellor, Professor Wahab Egbewole (SAN), the leader of the Research Team, Dr. Ismail Ayoade Odetokun, said that the team would collaborate with researchers from Spain’s Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA) and the Royal Holloway University of London, UK to focus on developing a bacteriocin-rich extract (BRE) as a potential antibiotic alternative.

Other team members include the Director of UNILORIN Veterinary Teaching Hospital, Professor Ibrahim Adisa Raufu; Professor Wasiu Jimoh, Dr. Ismail Adeyemo, Dr. Basiru Afisu, Dr. Aremu Abdulfatai, and Dr. Olayiwola Akeem Ahmed, all from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

Their project, titled “Bacteriocin-rich Extract from Engineered Lactic Acid Bacteria as an Antibiotic Alternative for Therapeutic and Prophylactic Use in Ruminants and Aquaculture (BAC4RumA),” aims to explore the effectiveness and economic benefits of BRE as a treatment and preventive measure against bacterial infections in livestock and aquaculture.

Dr. Odetokun said that the project not only seeks to develop a patentable product but also plans to recruit four postgraduate students and participate in capacity-building initiatives throughout the 32-month project duration.

Reacting to the development, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Egbewole, SAN, expressed delight at the team’s achievement and encouraged them to uphold the University’s reputation for excellence.

He said he believed that the research has the potential to pave the way for future advancements and collaborations for Unilorin.

Professor Egbewole also said that the grant signifies a major stride for Unilorin’s research efforts and holds promise for the development of a novel approach to combat AMR, a growing threat to global public health.



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