BIOMIN Announces Participation in €6M Research Project for Alternatives to Veterinary Antimicrobials in Pigs
Getzersdorf 1 July 2020 – Leading animal nutrition firm BIOMIN has recently announced its involvement in a 5-year, €6 million EU-backed research consortium effort to decrease the application of antibiotics in pigs.
The Alternatives to Veterinary ANTimicrobials or AVANT Project, involving 14 partner organizations from 9 countries and funded by Sustainable Resources for Food Safety & Growth European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation Platform, is led by the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.
The project seeks to develop alternatives to antimicrobials for the management of bacterial infections in pigs, especially diarrhea during the weaning period, as the major indication for antimicrobial use in livestock.
A serious issue
Dr Veronika Nagl, Research Program Director Gut Performance at BIOMIN, observed, “Post-weaning diarrhea is a serious issue for the swine industry. For more than 35 years, BIOMIN has been committed to providing non-antibiotic feeding solutions to the livestock sector. By applying our scientific know-how to real on-farm challenges, we aim to make farm animals healthier and more productive. This benefits the industry and society as a whole through greater sustainability, a lower risk of antibiotic resistance, enhanced food security and better food safety.”
The need to find novel solutions to prevent post-weaning diarrhea in piglets has gained higher importance in recent years due to several factors:
- No effective vaccines are available at present
- The use of medical zinc oxide will be banned in Europe in 2022
- The use of colistin has been restricted due to its critical importance in human medicine
- Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) has the potential to be resistant to all veterinary antimicrobials of lower medical importance
“Piglet scours is a costly, multi-factorial challenge. Pig producers need an expanded set of natural and innovative tools in order to successfully move away from the application of antimicrobials and zinc, which are associated with several drawbacks. Within the Alternatives to Veterinary ANTimicrobials project, BIOMIN will test a novel feed additive that we’ve developed to promote good gut health in swine using state-of-the art tools and techniques, including -Omics technologies and bioinformatics,” noted Dr Verity Ann Sattler, Scientist at BIOMIN.
AVANT is a multi-actor inter-sectorial project aimed at developing alternatives to antimicrobials for the management of bacterial infections in pigs, especially diarrhea during the weaning period, as the major indication for antimicrobial use in livestock in Europe. During pre-clinical studies, efficacy, toxicity, and mode of action of these interventions is tested, and their dosage and formulation optimized. The results and a survey for veterinarian-, farmer- and consumers perception of antimicrobial alternatives, will be used together with legal and economic considerations to select three interventions for large-scale farm trials, assessing clinical efficacy and impact on antimicrobial use.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under Grant Agreement No 862829.