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Antibiotic-Free Pig Rearing to be Studied at New Centre

by 5m Editor
7 January 2010, at 9:22am

GERMANY - Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG; German Union for Research) has approved funding for 17 new collaborative research centres, one of which will be based in Berlin and aims to find better ways to raise pigs without antibiotics.

The DFG has approved the establishment of 17 new Collaborative Research Centres as of 1 January 2010. This decision was made recently by the relevant Grants Committee in Bonn. The new centres will initially be funded for four years with a total of €132 million. In addition, 20 per cent overhead funding for indirect costs will also be provided for each project.

The new projects will address, among other topics, the development of an antibiotic-free diet for swine, communication processes within and between cells on a molecular level, new perspectives on material systems with electronic interactions, and the significance of Roseobacter clade bacteria for the carbon balance of the world's oceans.

The project CRC 852 'Nutrition and Intestinal Microbiota–Host Interaction in the Pig' will take an interdisciplinary approach in addressing the effect of nutrition on intestinal function and animal health. Researchers at the Free University in Berlin aim to treat swine diseases that have health-policy and economic relevance more effectively or even prevent them. In particular, they seek to achieve greater efficiency in animal husbandry without the use of antibiotics. This research will open up numerous possibilities for animal nutrition, health and food safety.

The potential transferability of the results to humans is a long-term part of the research programme.

The host university is the Free University in Berlin, and the spokesperson is Professor Jürgen Zentek. Other participating universities are Charité University Hospital in Berlin; Humboldt University in Berlin and Technical University of Berlin, and participating institutions are the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment in Berlin and the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam-Rehbrücke.