Antibiotics are not an uncommon input in animal husbandry. However, overuse of antibiotics has caused some bacteria to become resistant to these drugs, contributing to the crisis of antimicrobial resistance. This project aims to use genomic tools to develop antibiotic alternatives called antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) from naturally occurring proteins to fight bacterial infections in animals.
There is evidence that AMPs are effective and that bacteria are less likely to develop resistance to AMPs than to conventional antibiotics. The team aims to identify 10 effective and safe AMPs that will be tested in chicken eggs for protection from major infectious diseases that are of concern to the poultry production industry. The team will also conduct an in-depth analysis of the economic, ethical, and regulatory issues related to using AMPs in agriculture, and will assess the opinions of stakeholders from the farming and food industries as well as the general public.