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Animal Susceptibility to Infection and Disease: Do Husbandry Systems and Welfare Drive Microbial Colonisation and Immune Development


This is a collaborative project with University of Bristol and Institute of Animal Health. It is funded by DEFRA under its `Veterinary Training and Research Initiative and illustrates the use of IFR molecular expertise in the context of a broad whole food chain strategy for food safety. <P>
IFR contributes molecular microbiology with respect to Salmonella, Campylobacter and analysis of the complex microflora of the animal GI tract. The Government has recently set out a vision for the future -Animal Health Welfare Strategy for Great Britain- in which animals are healthy and protected from harm, and consumers have confidence in the food they eat and the way it is produced. <P>
This project will contribute to the vision by targeted training and research in microbiology, immunology, behaviour and welfare. The project will examine host susceptibility to relevant infectious diseases, which clearly involve interactions between the pathogen, host and the environment including husbandry systems.
The focus is on pig and poultry systems and zoonotic bacteria of public health as well as veterinary importance.<P>
The project will aim to identify rational, cost- effective control measures, not reliant on antibiotics that will improve animal welfare and will be equally applicable to intensive and extensive systems. The proposed research programme will explore the role of environmental factors, focussing mostly on inbred lines (to minimise genetic variation) and using challenge with mucosal and systemic pathogens. <P>
The hypothesis to be examined is that improvements in husbandry will lead to the identification of sustainable production systems, which will reduce susceptibility to infectious disease. <P>
A multidisciplinary approach will be used to examine the impact of husbandry systems and welfare on disease susceptibility.

Institute of Food Research, UK
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