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Spore probiotics: an alternative to antibiotics in animal husbandry *

Contract nr: QLRT-CT-2000-01729
Project type: RS (Research and Technological Development Project)
Starting date:
Duration: 36 months
Total cost: 2,204,949 EUR
EC Contribution: 2,204,949 EUR
Scientific Officer:
Research topic: 5.1.1. Sustainable agriculture/Animal Systems

Abstract:
The overuse of antibiotics in the farming industry has profound public health implications. Of most concern is the proliferation of drug-resistant bacteria and the transfer of these bacteria from farm animals to humans. This year Denmark has made the landmark decision of banning antimicrobials as growth promoters in pigs. This decision reinforces several key actions in the Fifth Framework Programme in 'finding antibiotic alternatives' and 'reducing their use in animal husbandry'. One option is the use of probiotics or CE agents. We have recently discovered that bacterial spores are effective CE agents and can suppress the colonisation of an E. coli pathogen in poultry. Spores are remarkably robust and could be mixed with animal feed. We have assembled a group of three spore researchers and two commercial partners, co-ordinated by a leading agricultural research facility. We will determine how spores work as CE agents/probiotics and commercially exploit them.

Objectives:
Bacterial spores will be evaluated and developed as alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters in animal husbandry. Spores offer unique advantages over other probiotic bacteria/competitive exclusion (CE) agents (eg, lactobacilli spp) since they are extremely robust and could be pre-mixed with animal feed. Our aims are: To establish the efficacy of Bacillus spore forming species in suppressing a known pathogen in either mice or poultry. To establish how spores suppress a pathogen. To identify new spare forming species that are indigenous to the animal being treated (this being an important ethical consideration). To develop the optimum strategy for producing large quantities of spores by fermentation. To exploit spores in the agricultural industry by commercial sale of spores with proven efficacy using existing partners in this proposal.


Coordinator
John MORRIS
Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
Addlestone
UNITED KINGDOM
Tel.: +44 01932357479
Fax: +44 01932357214
E-mail: jamorris@vla.maff.gsi.gov.uk


Partners
  Jane ROSS
School of Biological Sciences, Royal Holloway and Bedford New College
Egham
UNITED KINGDOM
Tel.: +44 1784443011
Fax: +44 1784475309
E-mail: j.ross@rhbnc.ac.uk
  Sergio AMMENDOLA
Bioprogress spa, Department of biotechnology
Anagni (Frosinone)
ITALY
Tel.: +39 775766524
Fax: +39 775766544
E-mail: amendola@bioprogress.it
  José Manuel BERNARDO MONTEIRO
Instituto de Biologia Experimental e Tecnológica
Oeiras
PORTUGAL
Tel.: +351 214427787
Fax: +351 214421161
E-mail: iribeiro@itqb.unl.pt
  Antonio BARLETTA
University Federico ii of Napoli, department of general and environmental physiology
Napoli
ITALY
Tel.: +39 0815424824
Fax: +39 0815424848
E-mail: barletta@biol.dgbm.unina.it
  Manuel NUNES DA PONTE
Instituto de Tecnologia Quimica e Biologica
Oeiras
PORTUGAL
Tel.: +351 214469317
Fax: +351 214411277
E-mail: gea@itqb.unl.pt