BioAtlantis Ltd., Clash Industrial Estate, Tralee, Co. Kerry, Ireland. :: Tel: +353 66 711 8477 :: Fax:+353 66 7119802 :: Click here to email us


Animal Gutcare Overview

Modern systems of animal production have proven highly successful in delivering high output-low cost food to society.  However, demands for high productivity combined with increases in livestock numbers gives rise to increased pressures and stresses which impact negatively upon animal performance and growth.  Producers have traditionally dealt with such problems through the use of antimicrobial growth promoters as a means of improving performance and/or health. However, the use of antibiotic growth-promoters was banned in EU member states from 1st January 2006. No effective substitute has been introduced to date.

BioAtlantis, in collaboration with NUI University College Dublin has conducted trials comparing results obtained using our product, GutCare™, with those of in-feed antibiotics. In particular, we demonstrate similar growth responses as measured in terms of average daily gain and feed conversion. This level of scientific validation provides confidence that the GutCare™ technology platform will deliver viable products to fulfil the much needed requirements within the sector. Piglets are faced with many new challenges during the post-weaning period, particularly changes to diet and environment. Intestinal imbalances typically arise in this stage of life and are associated with reduced growth rates, changes in gut morphology and microbial population numbers, culminating in an increased susceptibility to disease. Post-weaning colibacillosis is the most common intestinal disorder of piglets in the immediate post-weaning period.  Associated reductions in feed-intake, weight loss, dehydration, and death are particularly problematic. Historically, these problems have been managed in a controlled fashion by using in-feed antibiotics (Williams et al., 2001). High concentrations of zinc oxide have also been used as they decrease the incidence of nonspecific post-weaning scours and to improve growth performance of newly weaned pigs (O’Doherty et al., 2005). However, the use of high concentrations of inorganic minerals has raised some environmental concerns.

Pathogens such as Salmonella spp. represent key causes of acute, food-borne disease in humans, with 10.3% of pigs arriving at slaughterhouses across the EU testing positive for this pathogen. Therefore, nutritional strategies to combat salmonella infection in pigs are of particular importance in any effort aimed at producing safer foods for consumers. Likewise, Campylobacter infection in poultry has serious implications for public health, representing one of the leading causes of human food-borne illness in Europe and United States. Epidemiological evidence indicates poultry and poultry products in particular are a significant source of human Campylobacter infections (Adams 2001). Control of Campylobacter in broilers is difficult as this microbe is non-pathogenic in poultry with those infected not exhibiting symptoms of disease.

BioAtlantis and its research partner UCD have spent several years investigating the link between pig health and nutrition. Concentrating on the strategic use of natural food components to prevent a wide variety of disease and to avoid health maintenance measures, this research aims to contribute to an improved and more acceptable system of animal production without the use of growth promoting antibiotics. While it has been shown that in-feed antibiotics increase pig growth rate (from weaning to 30 kg) by +11% and improve feed efficiency by 3.4% (De Lange et al., 2010), use of such growth promoters have been banned in EU since 1st January 2006. However, the consequences of this ban are highly problematic as it has given rise to a growth in the use of therapeutic antibiotics (Van Dyck, 2008), a potentially dangerous outcome from a human health perspective.

Latest News:

Animal health project “Thrive-Rite” discussed on RTE Radio 1

Professor John O’Doherty, University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland, appeared on RTE Radio 1’s Bright Sparks programme on 29th of June 2015 and discussed “Thrive-Rite” (http://www.thriverite.eu), an EU FP7 project coordinated by BioAtlantis Ltd. Click on the podcast link below and scroll ahead to 53 minutes to hear Professor O’Doherty describe the research taking place in UCD and Truly Irish Country Foods Ltd. and how molecules from seaweed (manufactured by BioAtlantis Ltd) may be used as effective replacements to the use of in feed antibiotics in pig and poultry production. Podcast: http://www.rte.ie/radio/utils/radioplayer/rteradioweb.html#!rii=9%3A10434651%3A0%3A%3A


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