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Piglet Isosporosis: Integrated disease management to improve animal welfare, food quality and safety


Isosporosis in nursing piglets is a disease caused by Isosporosis is and represents an increasing problem throughout the world, especially in countries with intensive pig production. The epidemiology of neonatal isosporosis is still not fully understood and the difficulties in controlling I. suis have forced practitioners to blind treat piglets with anti-coccidial drugs, an action which is expensive for the producer, troublesome for the piglet organism and which may ultimately lead to development of resistance against the anti-coccidial. Once I. suis has established in a farm, it is probably maintained through piglet-to-piglet transmission via the contaminated farrowing pen. During the initial Marie Curie project aspects of the disease such as: the way individual piglets respond to infection, the intra-litter dynamics of the infection and how some changes in herd management may influence disease transmission have been clarified and new techniques involving coprological diagnosis and in vitro testing of oocysts viability have been developed.

The aim of this project is to complete these studies focusing in investigating the effect of different interventions in the farrowing pen to inhibit the spread of I. suis infestation within the litter. In addition, to apply the know-how gained from the initial Marie Curie project to the applicant's home country (Greece) in order to provide crucial information for this disease status and ways to intervene. More precisely, to describe isosporosis prevalence in Greek farms and t o apply all new evidence taken from manipulating management factors in the herd as well as conducting further surveys involving the effect of even more environment changing factors. The overall results are expected to increase current knowledge on l.suis transmission and to optimise practical intervention, thereby improving animal health, product quality and animal welfare limiting at the same time unnecessary use of chemicals.

Call for proposal

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Funding Scheme

ERG - Marie Curie actions-European Re-integration Grants