Bacteriocins: a very promising natural alternative to replace antibiotics in poultry production

June 06, 2019
Baby Chickens
© Worldbank

The aviculture sector in Tunisia represents 12% of agricultural production, 33% of animal production, and 59% of meat production.

Despite its great potential, the poultry industry faces many constraints that can negatively affect profitability. These include economic losses and human health implications associated with disease, and a growing consumer demand for information on the impact of poultry farming on food safety, animal welfare, and the environment.

Promising antibiotic alternative

Bacteriocins (an antibacterial substance) are increasingly being lauded as one of the most promising alternatives to antibiotics in the fight against multiresistant germs in animal production. However, despite extensive literature, scientific data on the safety of these molecules for humans and animals is scarce.

Research objectives

The goal of this project is to limit the spread of antibiotic resistance in Tunisian poultry operations. A multidisciplinary approach will be adopted to study the potential of bacteriocins as a therapeutic and prophylactic alternative in poultry production.

This research will generate rigorous scientific evidence and data to encourage the use of bacteriocins to better control certain common intestinal infections and to improve the performance and profitability of operations.

Expected results

The anticipated outcome is the development of industrial processes to produce purified bacteriocins that can inhibit certain bacterial pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli, while stimulating growth in poultry.

Lead institutions

This project is a collaboration between Université Laval in Canada, L’Institut supérieur des sciences biologiques appliquées de Tunis in Tunisia, and the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle in France.

  • Duration: 33 months
  • Budget: CA$1,780,400