College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Animal & Avian Sciences

Berry by-products may provide alternative to antibiotics

When antibiotics were first discovered in the early 20th century, it was one of the most revolutionizing technologies for the human medical field. Not only have antibiotics saved millions of human lives over the decades but they have also been successfully adopted in animal agriculture to treat, control and prevent disease in a therapeutic manner.

More recently, antibiotics have also been utilized in animal agriculture in subtherapeutic ways that aid in increased production efficiency. Berry byproducts may provide alternative to antibiotics 14 MomentUM While society has reaped the benefits of antibiotic use, both in human and animal health fields, the emergence of antibiotic resistance has become a world-wide concern. Headlines that warn of ‘superbugs’ have heightened the awareness and depicted the reality that there are now bacteria that ca n out-smart antibiotics, rendering them totally ineffective. This issue has become such a risk to human and animal health that the Obama administration created the National Action Plan for Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria.

The plan outlines enhancing domestic and international capacity to prevent and contain outbreaks of antibiotic-resistant infections; maintain the efficacy of current and new antibiotics; and develop and deploy next-generation diagnostics, antibiotics, vaccines and other therapeutics. Due to this increased focus on judicious antibiotic use in both humans and animals, innovative alternatives to antibiotics have garnered additional attention. Specifically, within animal agriculture, farmers are looking for products that will retain the efficacy of antibiotics, without sacrificing their animals’ health or production efficiency. In turn, Dr. Debabrata Biswas, assistant professor in the Depart ment of Animal and Avian Science and Center for Food Safety and Security Systems, and one of his graduate students, Serajus Salaheen, have identified a possible antibiotic alternative that could be adopted for use in poultry production systems. Read more>>

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