Short-Chain Fatty-Acids to Mitigate Antimicrobial Resistance in the Gut

This technology is a method to prevent horizontal gene transfer in bacteria that results in antibiotic resistant and multidrug resistant bacteria in humans and livestock though the use of short chain fatty acids

Antibiotic resistant (AR) and multidrug resistant (MDR) bacteria are growing threats to both animal and human health. These bacteria have become genetically resistant to antibiotics due to over use. These bacteria can transfer their resistance to drugs to other bacteria via horizontal gene transfer (HGT). The spread of these bacteria is very dangerous, and faster than drug companies can produce a new product to counteract it. Every year an estimated 2.8 million infections occur and 35,000 people die. Antibiotics are heavily used in food producing animals due to the desired weight gain side effect. Researchers have developed a method to mitigate these bacteria’s ability to spread MDR though the use of Short-Chain Fatty Acids (SCFAs). SCFAs exist naturally in the gastrointestinal track. Researchers have developed a unique combination of SCFAs that significantly reduces HGT and preserves drug efficacy.


  • Reduction of infections and subsequent losses
  • Increase/protect the efficacy of existing antibiotics
  • Reduction of risks to human health
  • Increased social acceptance


  • Food producing live stock farms. Hospitals.


  • Patent(s) Applied For


Development Stage:


Contact Information

TTO Home Page:

Name: Jack Hartwigsen

Title: Technology Marketing Manager

Department: Iowa State Research Foundation


Phone: 515-294-4740