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Research Abstracts Online
January 2008 - March 2009

University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Veterinary Medicine
Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences

PI: Richard Isaacson

Potential Public Health and Food Safety Impacts Associated With Use of Antibiotic Growth Promoters

Antibiotics have been extensively used for the past five decades as growth promoters in animal production. The mechanisms whereby antibiotics are able to act as growth promoters remain unknown, but it is likely that growth promotion is a result of controlling bacterial growth in the intestinal tract or selection of specific bacterial populations in intestinal tracts of animals. This project was developed because of concerns that the use of growth promoters will be reduced or eliminated in the future. The overall objectives of this research are to use a molecular epidemiologic approach to determine whether eliminating the use of antibiotic growth promoters has adverse effects on human health, reduces the health of swine, and whether antibiotic growth promoters mediate their effects by alteration of the intestinal bacteria microflora. Public health concerns include whether halting the use of antibiotic growth promoters results in increased carriage or load of food-borne pathogens.

Group Member

Hyeun Bum Kim, Graduate Student