Joint effort will explore alternative to antibiotics

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A unique two-year research project is being undertaken by Diamond V and the National Animal Disease Center (NADC) of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to examine the impact of antibiotics, dietary supplements, and stress on the microbial communities and host mucosal tissues of the swine intestinal ecosystem. The goal is to identify alternatives to traditional antibiotics for use in reducing the antibiotic resistance gene reservoir and food borne pathogens in farm animals.

Diamond V, headquartered in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is a leading supplier of microbial fermentation products that are used to optimize digestive function and nutrition and are a key to animal and aqua health, productivity, efficiency and profitability. It also researches and develops products to advance livestock production. Recently the company has moved into human nutrition and health.

Located in Ames, Iowa, NADC is the largest federal animal disease center in the United States. Research is conducted there to solve the animal health and food safety problems faced by livestock producers and the public. NADC is uniquely equipped to conduct research to examine the impact of dietary components on the composition and activities of gastrointestinal bacteria of farm animals.

“Both ARS and Diamond V share a common interest in discovering alternatives to traditional antibiotics for farm animal growth and for the production of a safe and secure food supply in the U.S. and around the world,” says John Bloomhall, president and chief executive officer, Diamond V. “Together, we’ll develop an in-depth understanding of the path from the diet through the intestinal microbiome to healthy animals and safe food.”

“Advances in research technology give us new capabilities in defining the microbial populations in the gastrointestinal [GI] system, their interactions and influence on the health and well-being of the host animal,” says Mike Wright, Director – Global Marketing and Research, Diamond V. “Using metagenomics, genomics and bioinformatics technologies, we will together focus on how diets impact the intestinal ecosystem. This ecosystem – microbes, host-tissues, dietary components and products of the microbes and tissues -- is fundamentally important for animal health and food safety.”

The collaborative research will be directed by Thad Stanton, research leader, NADC Food Safety and Enteric Pathogens Research Unit (FSEPRU) and Jason Frank, director-swine research, Diamond V. The research will be conducted by Benjamin Bass, a postdoctoral research scientist, as an employee of Diamond V, and Meggan Bandrick, DVM, NADC postdoctoral veterinarian. Other project collaborators will include NADC microbiologists, molecular biologists, pathologists, veterinarians and animal scientists.

Diamond V will share its first-hand experience gained through the large- scale production and analysis of innovative applications for nutrition and health with fermentation products and microbial cell derivatives. Its expertise includes measuring and monitoring the effects of specific diets on biochemical, physiological, immunological and cytological responses by livestock.



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