Seven alternatives to antibiotics in animal production

A published report can help the industry and professionals involved in animal health for a more rational use of antimicrobials.

The American company specialized in data analysis. Lux Research recently published a study in which it points out the seven main alternatives to using antibiotics in animal production. The report, which can be downloaded at this link, explains that it will improve the industry while helping professionals involved in animal health achieve a more rational use of antimicrobials.

The excessive use of antibiotics in livestock production, recalls Lux Research, has become one of the great concerns of consumers worldwide. Currently, a hundred countries have national action plans committed to the fight against resistance to antimicrobials.

Seven technologies in three categories

The report highlights three main categories of alternatives to antibiotics:

  • Eubiotics - Products that help regulate your digestive environment or directly affect your microflora to produce key health or performance results.
  • Targeted antibiotic therapies: selective therapies for a specific pathogen, group of pathogens, or virulence factor.
  • Vaccines: introduction of attenuated or inactivated microorganisms, toxins, antibodies, or cells that prevent disease by proactively activating the host's immune response.

In turn, these three categories are subdivided into seven technologies aimed at improving animal health:

  1. Probiotics
  2. Prebiotics.
  3. Organic acids.
  4. Phytogenic.
  5. Bacteriophages.
  6. Antimicrobial peptides.
  7. Vaccines.

The study authors believe that eubiotic solutions could be one of the most successful antibiotic alternatives in the short term "given the advanced stages of technological readiness, scalability, ease of approval and cost of the product," explains Laura Krishfield, associate researcher at Lux and co-author of the report.

"On the other hand, we believe that targeted antimicrobials such as bacteriophages and antimicrobial peptides should be seen as a long-term opportunity, as the current state of technological readiness may be unclear and regulatory hurdles abound," she adds.

Not all products are equally scalable, the researchers note. But by linking key characteristics, such as the scalability of probiotic fermentation, with the production and secretion of antimicrobial peptides, the solutions can achieve greater scalability and cost reductions. 

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