A collaborative research project by AB Agri and the University of Leicester, centered around the delivery of bacteriophage – the natural viruses of bacteria – in animal feed.
Tests demonstrate a low dose of phage reduced the Salmonella count to below detection limits – a result that could have far-reaching impact in poultry production and food hygiene.
Professor of Microbiology at the University of Leicester, Martha R. J. Clokie, said: “This study offered us an opportunity to further explore one of the exciting emerging themes in bacterial virus research. The results highlight phages as a promising tool to target bacterial infections in poultry.” AB Agri’s Director of Innovation, Nell Masey O’Neill said: “Food-borne diseases, including Salmonellosis in humans, are a significant world health challenge. According to the World Health Organization almost 1 in 10 people fall ill and 33 million of healthy life years are lost every year. This study shows that phage may be a useful weapon against this challenge, helping our industry produce safer food.”
“Furthermore, our industry has been responsible by taking growth-promoting antibiotics out of poultry diets, but that leaves us with gut health challenges. Phages could offer a potential solution, so we were keen to explore the possibilities with academic partners at the University of Leicester.” The Poultry Site