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AB Agri and Intralytix investigating the use of bacteriophages in animal feed

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

AB Agri partnered with US biotechnology company Intralytix to explore the use of bacteriophages in animal feed as an alternative to antibiotics and other drugs. Both companies believe there is potential to use the abundant probiotic microorganisms to intensify natural processes, thereby tackling bacteria and boosting gut health without the need for a broad-spectrum antibiotic medication. 

The new partnership follows a collaborative research project with the University of Leicester earlier this year, which centered around the delivery of bacteriophages in feed for broiler chickens. The study demonstrated a low dose of bacteriophages reduced targeted pathogenic bacteria levels in chickens to below detection limits. This new partnership between AB Agri and Intralytix is initially investigating one animal health pathogen, with the potential to move on to other targets and indications.

“Bacteriophages have been around for three billion years and are the most ubiquitous organisms on earth. They are the natural enemies of bacteria and can very effectively kill targeted specific bacteria without affecting anything else, ensuring an unprecedented level of safety for an antimicrobial,” said Intralytix founder and CEO, Alexander Sulakvelidze. “At Intralytix, we are working with several partners to develop bacteriophage-based products to control bacterial pathogens in environmental, food processing, and clinical settings. We are looking forward to working with AB Agri to see which applications we can work on together to benefit animal nutrition and agriculture more widely.”

“We need to produce our food in a more sustainable way to meet growing demand and higher standards and are very excited about the opportunities ahead,” said AB Agri’s innovation director, Nell Masey O’Neill. “We are at the development stage with the team at Intralytix, researching the efficacy and safety of bacteriophages in animal nutrition. By using naturally occurring bacteriophages, we would be building on the existing mode of action in the gut, putting back what should already be present.”


Photo caption: Helen Masey O’Neill, innovation director, AB Agri (left) and Alexander Sulakvelidze, founder and CEO of Intralytix (right).


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