AVANT: Alternatives to Veterinary ANTimicrobials 

Post-weaning diarrhoea (PWD) is a serious disease in piglets commonly associated with the infection of enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), causing significant financial loss. Traditional prevention methods involving vaccines, the prophylactic use of antibiotics or zinc oxide as feed additive have been inefficient or problematic because of the spread of antibiotic resistance and environmental pollution.

AVANT (Alternatives to Veterinary ANTimicrobials) is a collaboration project between five academies and eight companies funded by the European Union, which aims to develop economically sustainable solutions for PWD. Within AVANT, we use lytic phages that were previously isolated by the PHAGEBio group. We determined the antimicrobial activity of the phages in vitro to model dosages required for oral administration in pigs and we are establishing analytical methods for quantification of the phages in biological material using quantitative PCR (qPCR). We run animal experiments to determine the phage efficacy against ETEC and the safety of the phage formulation in pigs. Gut microbiome and virome profiling from treated pigs will be used to assess the pathogen-specificity of the product. These results will consolidate the use of phages against ETEC and reduce antibiotic use in pig herds, in line with WHO’s One Health program. 

The AVANT project is supported by the European Union. For more information see the homepage of the project: https://avant-project.eu/  

For more information please contact Assistant Professor Michela Gambino mgambino@sund.ku.dk 


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