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Modified Baker’s Yeast Offers Potential as Replacement for Growth Promoting Antibiotics

Researchers with VIDO are evaluating the addition of modified baker’s yeast to the rations of piglets in place of antibiotics to protect health and stimulate increased weight gain. With funding provided by the Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund, scientists are exploring the potential of adding modified bakers yeast to the rations of piglets to deliver antimicrobial peptides and essential amino acids directly to the gut. Dr. Heather Wilson, a Research Scientist with VIDO and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and the School of Public Health at the University of Saskatchewan, says the goal is to develop feed supplements that will attack bacteria and viruses in the gut without the risk of antimicrobial resistance.

Quote-Dr. Heather Wilson-Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization:
We’re partnering with Renaissance Bioscience Corp from British Columbia and what they’re experts in is yeast bioengineering.
They simply take bakers yeast, brewer’s yeast, the same thing that we use all of the time and they’re putting in some small modifications so that the yeast can have a protein on the surface so it localizes to the small intestine of the pig. That overcomes the huge dilution effect of the digestive tract and then it’s going to be secreting into the lumen or the gut itself these antimicrobial peptides and we’re going to then test if it’s promoting piglet health and protecting them against bacterial and viral infections.

What we’re lining up is looking at which proteins we want to use to localise the yeast to the small intestinal wall.
We already know which antimicrobial peptides we’re going to put into the yeast so they can be secreted, we already know which of the essential amino acids are going to be secreted by the yeast as well. We think that if we can show that adding simple modified baker’s yeast to piglet diets then we can help their growth and their health and it’ll benefit the pigs and the producers.

Dr. Wilson says the work is in its early days but the hope is that this approach will protect piglet health, especially during the stressful weaning period, and stimulate increased growth and faster weight gain.

Source : Swine Web

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