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Veterinary phase therapies as alternatives to antibiotics in poultry production
EC contribution
: € 674.026
: 36 months
Starting date
: 01/05/2005
Funding scheme
: Specific Targeted Research Project
: phages, poultry, Salmonella, Campylobacter, lysis, infection
Contract/Grant agreement number
: 2005-7224
Project web-site


Phages are very specific in killing a limited range of bacterial strains, cf. antibiotics, and do not cause infections of animals or plants. Replication of a lytic phage results in lysis and killing of the host bacterium, increasing phage numbers considerably, in comparison with antibiotic therapy. Research has identified phages which kill Salmonella, Campylobacter, and other pathogenic bacteria, and established rapid, simple methods for amplification of phages to very large numbers. Recent work has shown phages to be effective in removing contamination from poultry carcasses, and also in killing pathogens in the intestinal tract of live poultry and in eggs. Using this phenomenon to protect or "cure" infected animals is the focus of ongoing investigations.
This project is focused on trials in live poultry to evaluate the importance of the following factors on safety and quality (WP6): phage choice and production (WPs 2, 4); route of administration and timing of administration (WP5); quantity of phages administered (WP5); modeling of the infection and curing process (WP3).
Alternative strategies were also considered for potential constraints related with development of phage-resistant strains of pathogens; mass application causing environmental concerns; and destruction of phages by stomach acidity following oral administration.

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