“AVANT – Alternatives to Antibiotics”

A big research project funded by the EU has just been launched to develop alternatives to antibiotics in pig production. Nearly DKK 50 million are dedicated to the work in weaning healthy pigs.

Reduced use of antibiotics in pig production is an ambition set by the industry and the authorities. In the weaner unit, a large amount of antibiotics is used for treating diarrhoea, and when the use of medicinal zinc ends in July 2022, antibiotic use for treatment of typical post-weaning diarrhoea is expected to increase. This is not only a Danish challenge, but an obstacle in pig production in all EU countries.

Therefore, we are pleased to announce that EU supports a new five-year research project with nearly DKK 50 mil. The project AVANT (Alternatives to Veterinary ANTimicrobials) has recently seen the light of day and aims to develop alternatives to antibiotics for prevention of and managing post-weaning diarrhoea, which is most frequently caused by certain types of E. coli bacteria (ETEC).

AVANT involves the development of seven different technologies which potentially may prevent and/or treat post-weaning diarrhoea. These include 1) synbiotics [prebiotics & probiotics], 2) faecal microbiota transplantation, 3) bacteriophage, 4) polymer, 5) immune immune-stimulating feedstuffs, 6) immune-stimulating substances for injection, and 7) feeding strategies for sows and piglets. All seven technologies will initially be tested in small-scale tests, and the three or four most promising products will be used in large-scale testing in commercial pig herds.

The project includes a strong group of 14 partners from nine EU countries. From Denmark, the University of Copenhagen is the initiator and leader of the project, including coordinator and professor Luca Guardabassi and project manager Carmen E. Gongora. Further participants from Denmark are SEGES Danish Pig Research Centre, which is responsible for herd tests, and the company Easy-Agricare. For more information, please contact project manager and veterinarian, Poul Bækbo from SEGES.

Find the SVIN Magazine Article about AVANT here!