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Research Abstracts Online
January 2010 - March 2011

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

PI: Richard Isaacson

The Effects of Antibiotic Growth Promoters on Pig Distal Gut Microbiota and Potential Public Health Impacts

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. However, it is likely that growth promotion is a result of controlling bacterial growth in the intestinal tract or selection of specific bacterial populations in the 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 affects on public health or reduces the health of swine, and whether antibiotic growth promoters mediate their effects by alteration of the intestinal bacterial microflora. The researchers have generated a large amount of data by pyrosequencing, and the data have been analyzed using MSI supercomputing resources and with the help of the MSI technical support group.

Group Members

Tim Johnson, Faculty Collaborator
Hyeun Bum Kim, Graduate Student
Randall Singer, Faculty Collaborator
Srinand Sreevatsan, Faculty Collaborator