The strategic objective of AVANT is to significantly reduce antimicrobial consumption by demonstrating 3 field interventions that target the animal species and disease condition accounting for the majority of antimicrobials used in livestock.

The Challenge

Antimicrobial resistance in livestock is a public health threat due to the risk of zoonotic transmission to humans and its negative consequences on animal health and welfare when diseases cannot be treated. Antimicrobial treatment options for pigs are increasingly limited because of planned restrictions in the use of colistin and zinc, two current choices for treatment of post-weaning diarrhoea.

The Solution

AVANT is a multi-actor inter-sectorial project aimed at developing alternatives to antimicrobials for the management of bacterial infections in pigs, especially diarrhoea 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.

The Main Impacts

The AVANT research activities aim to produce a complementary set of alternatives for treatment or prevention of diarrhoea and/or respiratory infections, namely gut-stabilising interventions based on a synbiotic (pre- & probiotic) product and faecal microbiota transplantation, novel veterinary medicinal products containing bacteriophages and polymers for targeted treatment of enterotoxigenic E. coli infections, as well as injectable and oral immunostimulants, feed additive products, and alternative feeding strategies targeting sows and piglets.