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2nd International Symposium on Alternatives to Antibiotics

A Report from the 2nd International Symposium on Alternatives to Antibiotics

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Alternatives to antibiotics are broadly defined as any substance that can be substituted for therapeutic drugs that are increasingly becoming ineffective against pathogenic bacteria due to antimicrobial resistance. Although antibiotics remain an essential tool for treating animal diseases on the farm, the availability of effective medical interventions to prevent and control animal diseases is one of the most significant challenges facing veterinary medicine in the 21st century.  The call from the global public health community to reduce the use of medically important antibiotics in animals warrants further research to better understand the drivers of antimicrobial resistance in farm animals and develop new tools that can provide antibiotic alternatives.  Although the actual mechanisms by which antibiotics enhance feed efficiency and weight gain in animal production remain largely unknown, there is also a need to find alternatives to antibiotics to improve animal health and production efficiency.  

The 2nd International Symposium on Alternatives to Antibiotics was held at the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) Headquarters in Paris, France, December 12–15, 2016, to discuss recent scientific developments to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture and to develop antibiotic alternatives to combat the global increase in antibiotic resistance. More than 200 participants from academia, government research institutions, regulatory agencies, and animal industries from 25 different countries came together to discuss promising novel technologies that could provide alternatives to antibiotics for use in animals; assess challenges associated with their commercialization; and devise actionable strategies to facilitate the development of alternatives to antibiotic. The 3-day meeting consisted of scientific sessions focused on four product categories:  1) vaccines; 2) microbial-derived products; 3) phytochemicals; 4) immune-related products, and 5) innovative drugs, chemicals and enzymes.  Each session was followed by an expert panel discussion that included industry representatives and scientists that shared their experience and challenges associated with the research and development of antibiotic alternatives.  Examples for each product category are reviewed in the following six review articles, which should provide guidance to scientists and research funders interested in investing in promising antibiotic alternatives to combat antimicrobial resistant bacteria in farm animals.

Foreword by Dr Cyril G. Gay

  1. Content type: Review

    The alarming number of recently reported human illnesses with bacterial infections resistant to multiple antibacterial agents has become a serious concern in recent years. This phenomenon is a core challenge f...

    Authors: Yousef I. Hassan, Ludovic Lahaye, Max M. Gong, Jian Peng, Joshua Gong, Song Liu, Cyril G. Gay and Chengbo Yang

    Citation: Veterinary Research 2018 49:71

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  2. Content type: Review

    Due to the continuing global concerns involving antibiotic resistance, there is a need for scientific forums to assess advancements in the development of antimicrobials and their alternatives that might reduce...

    Authors: Bruce S. Seal, Djamel Drider, Brian B. Oakley, Harald Brüssow, David Bikard, Joseph O. Rich, Stefan Miller, Estelle Devillard, Jason Kwan, Gérard Bertin, Stuart Reeves, Steven M. Swift, Margot Raicek and Cyril G. Gay

    Citation: Veterinary Research 2018 49:66

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  3. Content type: Review

    Vaccines and other alternative products can help minimize the need for antibiotics by preventing and controlling infectious diseases in animal populations, and are central to the future success of animal agric...

    Authors: Karin Hoelzer, Lisa Bielke, Damer P. Blake, Eric Cox, Simon M. Cutting, Bert Devriendt, Elisabeth Erlacher-Vindel, Evy Goossens, Kemal Karaca, Stephane Lemiere, Martin Metzner, Margot Raicek, Miquel Collell Suriñach, Nora M. Wong, Cyril Gay and Filip Van Immerseel

    Citation: Veterinary Research 2018 49:64

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  4. Content type: Review

    Innate defense mechanisms are aimed at quickly containing and removing infectious microorganisms and involve local stromal and immune cell activation, neutrophil recruitment and activation and the induction of...

    Authors: Albert van Dijk, Chris J. Hedegaard, Henk P. Haagsman and Peter M. H. Heegaard

    Citation: Veterinary Research 2018 49:68

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  5. Content type: Review

    There are heightened concerns globally on emerging drug-resistant superbugs and the lack of new antibiotics for treating human and animal diseases. For the agricultural industry, there is an urgent need to dev...

    Authors: Hyun Lillehoj, Yanhong Liu, Sergio Calsamiglia, Mariano E. Fernandez-Miyakawa, Fang Chi, Ron L. Cravens, Sungtaek Oh and Cyril G. Gay

    Citation: Veterinary Research 2018 49:76

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  6. Content type: Review

    Vaccines and other alternative products are central to the future success of animal agriculture because they can help minimize the need for antibiotics by preventing and controlling infectious diseases in anim...

    Authors: Karin Hoelzer, Lisa Bielke, Damer P. Blake, Eric Cox, Simon M. Cutting, Bert Devriendt, Elisabeth Erlacher-Vindel, Evy Goossens, Kemal Karaca, Stephane Lemiere, Martin Metzner, Margot Raicek, Miquel Collell Suriñach, Nora M. Wong, Cyril Gay and Filip Van Immerseel

    Citation: Veterinary Research 2018 49:70

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