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Dr. Paolo Bosi
University Of Bologna
Alternatives to Antibiotics in Livestock Management
Monday, September 13, 2010
2:30 - 3:00 pm

Abstract:  The EU ban on in-feed antibiotics and the worldwide trend to reduce their use, increase the microbial disease pressure on the gut of farm animals. This stimulates research on dietary tools to manipulate gut microbial colonisation and to strengthen the intestinal barrier function, robustness and immunological competence of young animals. New dietary solutions are urgent for animals more exposed to stress, like in early life, weaning and abrupt changes of environment.
Better knowledge on the nutrient requirements, particularly for the gut requirements during stress, is emerging for weaning animals. Essential or conditionally essential amino acids of interest are Tryptophan, Threonine, Arginine, and Glutamine.

The dietary use of organic acids to control bacteria is already an established solution, but more knowledge on their action and on their possible manipulation to delay the release in the gut could improve their effectiveness and reduce possible drawbacks. Studies on plant extracts are frequent, however, problems related to their variability, their metabolism in the animal, and their action should be extended before use is advised. Scientific and practical evidences indicate that zinc oxide can be a substitute for in-feed antibiotics, however more detailed knowledge on its action could help to design zinc sources effective at lower doses in order to reduce zinc losses and environmental concern. Probiosis is a well known and biologically sound practice, but beneficial bacteria provided with the diet should overcome the resilience of resident microbiota, to help the maturation of the intestinal barrier function. Finally the interaction of dietary solutions with animal genotypes should be better explored and appropriate models of stress incorporating different genotypes are welcome to evaluate alternatives to antibiotics in livestock.

photo of Paolo Bosi
Prof. Paolo Bosi was born 3 March, 1953 in Bologna (I), received his degree in Veterinary Medicine in 1978, since 1990 he is a Full Professor of Animal Nutrition and Feeding at the University of Bologna. He has coordinated the PhD course of Animal Science since 1994.

He published more than 140 scientific reports mainly on the subjects: effects of genetic and environment factors on chemical composition and of milk and its attitude to cheese making; effects of genetic and environment factors on meat quality of the pig; nutritive value of forages for ruminants and its prediction with chemical and physical methods; nitrogen and phosphorus requirements of the heavy Italian pig; high quality diets for the early weaned pig.

He was the scientist in charge, as a participant, of many research programs granted by the European Union or by privates, as an expert of piglet nutrition. In these researches he examined the potential of using beneficial bacteria, plant extracts and other natural substances not considered harmful for human or animal health, as alternatives to antibiotics, used as prophylactic and growth promoting agents in livestock. Now he is involved in the EU project INTERPLAY that will study the kinetics of colonisation by commensal as well as potentially pathogenic microbiota along the GIT of young pigs, and concomitant impact on gastro-intestinal function throughout life.

Click to view Paolo Bosi's ABIC 2010 presentation