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Alternatives to Veterinary ANTimicrobials

Project description

Substituting antibiotics in livestock

Veterinary use of antimicrobials poses a threat to human health because of the possible transfer of resistant bacteria to people. AVANT aims at developing and testing the efficacy and sustainability of alternatives to antimicrobials for the management of pig enteritis, as this disease condition accounts for the majority of antimicrobials used in food animals. The alternatives under study include gut microbiome modulators, innovative medicines targeting the pathogen or the pig immune response, and feeding strategies for disease prevention. Based on the results of pre-clinical studies, including regulatory considerations, the efficacy of the most promising interventions will be assessed by farm trials. Mathematical modelling will be used to predict the effects of these interventions on reduction of antimicrobial use.


Antimicrobial resistance in livestock is a public health threat due to the risk of zoonotic transmission to humans and its negative consequences on animal health and welfare when diseases cannot be treated. AVANT is a multi-actor inter-sectorial project aimed at developing alternatives to antimicrobials for the management of bacterial infections in pigs, especially diarrhoea during the weaning period, as the major indication for antimicrobial use in livestock in Europe. Antimicrobial treatment options for pigs are increasingly limited because of planned restrictions in the use of colistin and zinc, two current choices for treatment of post-weaning diarrhoea. The AVANT portfolio comprises a variety of alternatives for treatment or prevention of diarrhoea and/or respiratory infections, namely (i) gut-stabilizing interventions based on a symbiotic (pre- and probiotic) product and faecal microbiota transplantation; (ii) novel veterinary medicinal products containing bacteriophages and polymers for targeted treatment of enterotoxigenic E.coli infections; (iii) immuno-stimulating injectable and feed additive products, and (iv) alternative feeding strategies targeting sows and piglets. During pre-clinical studies, efficacy, toxicity, and mode of action of these interventions is tested, and their dosage and formulation optimized. The results and a survey for veterinarian-, farmer- and consumers perception of antimicrobial alternatives, will be used together with legal and economic considerations to select three interventions for large-scale farm trials, assessing clinical efficacy and impact on antimicrobial use. All steps are supported by regulatory advice for quick market entry post-project. Generated and existing data on antimicrobial use, pig demographics and projected consumption of pork, will be used in mathematical modelling to estimate the reduction in antimicrobial use that could be achieved by 2030 if the AVANT alternatives were widely adopted in pig production.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 2 254 125,00
Norregade 10
1165 Kobenhavn

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Danmark Hovedstaden Byen København
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (13)