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PeptAid – Antimicrobial Peptides to Replace Antibiotics in Farm Veterinary Practice

2018 Large-Scale Applied Research Project Competition: Genomics Solutions for Agriculture, Agri-food, Fisheries and Aquaculture
Agriculture and Agri Food
Genome Centre(s):
Genome British Columbia
Project Leader(s):
Inanc Birol (University of British Columbia)
Project Description: 

Antibiotic drugs are routinely used in agriculture. However, in the past, overuse of antibiotics has caused some bacteria to become resistant to these drugs, contributing to a looming crisis of antimicrobial resistance. The project aims to use genomic tools to develop antibiotic alternatives based on naturally occurring proteins, called antimicrobial peptides (AMPs), that are produced by a number of species to fight bacterial infections. There is evidence that AMPs are effective and that bacteria are less likely to develop resistance to AMPs than to conventional antibiotics. The team aims to identify 10 effective and safe AMPs that will be tested in chicken eggs for protection from major infectious diseases that are of current concern to the poultry production industry. The team will also conduct an in-depth analysis of the economic, ethical, and regulatory issues related to using AMPs in agriculture, and will assess the opinions of stakeholders from the farming and food industries as well as the general public.