CIEL | Project: Novel non-antibiotic treatment of multi-drug resistant organisms in poultry

Genetics | Reproduction | Behaviour | Nutrition | Health & Welfare | Productivity | Food Integrity | Environmental Impact

CIEL is part of a UK-China consortium developing a new non-antibiotic antimicrobial treatment that could control the spread and development of antibiotic resistant pathogens in poultry.

UK company GAMA Healthcare, best known for their infection control products in hospitals, are partnering with CIEL, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC); and Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute to customise and trial innovative patented technology for use in poultry.

The technology, held by Aga Nanotech – a subsidiary of GAMA Healthcare, couples a cancer medicine delivery system (microparticles) with a new class of short-lived antiseptic, which will be applied to reduce MDR bacteria in on chicken farms.

*** Project update January 2022***

Antimicrobial alternative offers promising results for the poultry sector. Project partners Aga Nanotech and Gama Healthcare have developed a novel non-antibiotic antimicrobial agent which works by releasing a wide spectrum biocide called peracetic acid. 3 trials focusing on broilers have been carried out at SRUC Allermuir Avian Innovation and Skills Centre and the Shanghai Veterinary Institute in China.

Trials have tested two administration methods: feed and water.

SRUC trials have demonstrated that there is no association between peracetic acid and mortality or other side-effects in broilers. In fact, a positive effect of animal performance was observed. Peracetic acid was significantly associated with better body weight, body weight gain and feed conversion ratios, even when birds were challenged with the presence of re-used litter.

Further trials are ongoing to better understand the interactions between peracetic acid and gut microbiota.

For more technical insight on the trials and findings to date, please click here.

Project Background

The use of antimicrobial treatments in agriculture is vital in protecting animal health and aiding the production of safe and nutritious food. However, overuse of antibiotics in the livestock sector is attributed to the rise in multi-drug resistant (MDR) bacteria, constituting a significant threat to broader animal and public health. This is especially a problem in China where antibiotics are still used for growth promotion in livestock.

CIEL helped the consortium secure vital funding to develop the new technology from the UK Department of Health and Social Care’s AMR fund, managed through Innovate UK, and China’s Ministry of Science and Technology.
The funding is enabling the project team to characterise microparticles possessing correct biocide release rates for animal use and test effectiveness of the technology in poultry.

Early laboratory trials have shown the loaded microparticles to be effective in treating antibiotic resistant bacteria. The novel technology can be customised to meet the specific needs of the end-user, delivering a toxic payload to bacteria present within the animal, and can be produced cheaply & safely.

The particles have been successfully manufactured and quantified with the required levels of active ingredient.
Subsequent trials were carried out in the SRUC Allermuir Avian Innovation and Skills Centre near Edinburgh, the UK’s largest research facility of its kind, developed by SRUC and CIEL. Initial findings will also be trialled across several commercial poultry farms in China.

Early results at the Allermuir AISC indicate good uptake of particles by the birds when mixed with feed. Work is now underway at GAMA Healthcare to optimise the particles to maximise shelf life stability ready for a larger UK trial.
Running until Aug 2022, successful completion of the project could see the technology extended to other livestock species.

For more information, contact [email protected]

Poultry Trial | SRUC | antimicrobial