16 January 2009
Food ingredient could cut farm animal infection
New trial shows protection again salmonella
A unique food ingredient can help prevent bacterial infections and could improve the growth of farm animals, according to new trials.
The breakthrough study reveals the benefits of a “second generation” galactooligosaccharide – commercially available as Bimuno - and provides vital clues for a much-needed alternative to antibiotics.
The Journal of Medical Microbiology, reports that Bimuno was shown to suppress Salmonella colonisation in mice, protect the gut from, and reduce all clinical signs, symptoms and severity of Salmonella infections.
Researchers at the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) showed that feeding mice with Bimuno prior to Salmonella infection rapidly reduced the impact of Salmonella.
In addition, over a five-day period, fewer Salmonella were able to colonise in mice pre-dosed with Bimuno, compared with controls dosed with Salmonella alone.
Salmonella can be found in the intestines of farm animals and is transmitted to humans on meat products. Symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea can be observed and are most severe in the very young or very old – posing a serious public health problem.
The findings are significant, given that the use of antibiotics in animal feed to help control infections, has been banned since 2006, although is still common place in countries outside the EU.
Bimuno is a powder, and could be added to all livestock feeds.
Dr George Tzortzis, an author of the study from Clasado Ltd, explained:
“The growing evidence about this specific ingredient shows it has huge potential to protect livestock from Salmonella. This is a positive development in the urgent search for antibiotic alternatives to help animals resist infection.
"Bimuno also has ‘prebiotic’ properties, which mean it is not destroyed, digested or absorbed in the stomach or small intestine. It therefore reaches the colon intact to selectively target and feed the host’s immunity boosting bifidobacteria while reducing harmful bacteria.
"This study may have positive implications for both animal and human health, given that this bacterium can be transmitted to humans via the food chain."
Bimuno is the result of eight years of intensive research conducted in collaboration with the University of Reading's Food Microbial Sciences Unit
For more information, visit www.bimuno.com or call 01908 577 850.
For more media information, or copies of the full paper, please contact:
Matt Steele / Alan Murray
0207 544 0016 / 07887 877 077
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