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ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Livestock Issues Research » Research » Research Project #443467

Research Project: SBIR Phase 2: Polyvalent Bacteriophages as Livestock Feed Additives & Alternatives to Antibiotics for Pathogen Control & Improved Animal Performance

Location: Livestock Issues Research

Project Number: 3096-32000-009-037-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Dec 5, 2022
End Date: Sep 30, 2023

The overall objectives for this NSF Phase 2 SBIR proposal are to complete research and development on the proposed phage-based Fusobacterium antimicrobial feed additive, optimize production scale-up and purification, and conduct proof-of-concept animal trials.

Our approach is to utilize a multidisciplinary team with broad expertise in beef cattle nutrition, microbiome, microbiology, immunology, and physiology to evaluate the efficacy of using targeted bacteriophages to eliminate/reduce the populations of Fusobacterium and Salmonella in the gastrointestinal (GI) tracts of cattle. To this end, we will conduct two studies. The first study will be a pilot study to evaluate various doses of a bacteriophage cocktail whose component phages have been selected specifically for their ability to infect Fusobacterium and Salmonella. Twenty weaned dairy calves will be inoculated with the bacteriophage cocktail for 2 days prior to and for 1 day after an oral challenge with Fusobacterium and Salmonella. Calves will be subsequently harvested to collect the GI tracts, livers, and lymph nodes to track the bacteria translocation throughout the calves. Based upon findings from the pilot study, a full-scale study with 40 weaned calves will be conducted. As in the pilot study, calves will be dosed with the bacteriophage cocktail and orally challenged with Fusobacterium and Salmonella. Harvest times will be determined from the pilot study. Tissues to be collected will include various segments of the GI tract, liver, and lymph nodes.