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Main research question/goal
Brachyspira is the cause of dysentery in pigs and therefore has a major economic impact on pig farms in Flanders. At the moment, no efficient treatment exists. The aim of the project is to study possible ways to combat Brachyspira, which would lead to more sustainable pig production and a reduction in antibiotic use.  

Research approach
The aims of the project are 1) to control Brachyspira by changing the feed composition resulting in a beneficial gut microbiota hindering colonisation by Brachyspira, 2) to develop a serological test to determine the dysentery status on a pig farm to avoid the introduction of Brachyspira on healthy farms,  3) to optimize the treatment of Brachyspira by identifying high-pathogenic Brachyspira bacteria and to adjust treatment protocols to the acquired antimicrobial resistance and the ability of this pathogen to form biofilms.

Various Brachyspira species cause colitis or typhlitis in pigs. Pigs showing clinical signs represent major economic losses for the pig farmers. Both dysentery and 'porcine intestinal spirochetosis' are being diagnosed with increasing frequency on Flemish pig production farms. Treatment of these infections is difficult and consists of the curative and preventive use of antimicrobial compounds. This has led to a high level of antimicrobial resistance in Brachyspira isolates.

Funding provider(s)
IWT - Instituut voor de aanmoediging door wetenschap en technologie in Vlaanderen

External partner(s)
UGent - Center for Strategic Prophylaxis and Vaccine Development
Ugent - Fac. Diergeneeskunde
Effective start/end date1/10/111/10/15

ID: 4151670