29 Mar 2023
An interview with Dr. Joshua Gong - Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
A multi-institutional team of scientists is conducting research aimed at replacing antibiotics with probiotic bacteria to combat diarrhea in nursery pigs.
In response to public concerns over antibiotic use in livestock production and the potential for antibiotic resistance, scientists with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the University of Manitoba, the University of Guelph and the University of Saskatchewan with funding from Swine Innovation Porc are working to develop viable alternatives to antibiotics to improve pig gut health, targeting Enterotoxigenic E. Coli infection and piglet diarrhea in nursery pigs.
Dr. Joshua Gong, a Senior Research Scientist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, says antibiotic resistance threatens public health and food safety.
Clip-Dr. Joshua Gong-Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada:
We are focused on probiotics and enzymes.
For the probiotics research we focused on the probiotics selection, development and evaluation.
We have identified bacillus isolates that have good potential to reduce pig diarrhea.
If those selected probiotics can be used in the production of the piglets, that can reduce the use of antibiotics in feed and promote sustainable production of the pigs.
In addition, this project has contributed to the improvement of encapsulation of heat sensitive probiotics.
That technology has been adopted by a Canadian company located in Alberta.
Dr. Gong notes the probiotic research has generated a number of peer-reviewed publications, results have been presented at various symposiums and the information can also be used by related industries, scientific communities and regulatory agencies.