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Research Abstracts Online
January - December 2011

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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 the 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. 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 DNA pyrosequencing, and the data have been analyzed using MSI supercomputing resources and with the help of the MSI technical support group. The researchers are continuing the project with more data and from a second project collecting metagenomic data that further requires MSI resources.

Group Members

Klaudyna Borewicz, Staff
Hyeun Bum Kim, Graduate Student
Alexa Pragman, Graduate Student