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Institute: Institute of Animal Physiology

European network on the factors affecting the gastro-intestinal microbial balance and the impact on the health status of pigs
Európska sieť pre spoluprácu v oblasti faktorov ovplyvňujúcich mikrobiálnu rovnováhu gastrointestinálneho traktu prasiat a jej význam pre zdravie prasiat
Program: COST
Project leader: MVDr. Lauková Andrea CSc.
Annotation:The "hoped" reduction in the use of antibiotics for pig production has not materialized as they are still being widely used for the control of intestinal disease. This is nowdays recognized as hazardeous with negative impact on animal or consumer health. Recently, a balanced and diversified intestinal microbiota were proposed as pre-requisits for optimal health status and allow to exploit the genetic potential of the pigs that in turn affects the production efficiency. However, the development and maitenance of a well-balanced microbiota are not completely understood. This COST action will establish the first European network focused on this topic joining a broad range of specialists in all relevant research areas and industries, with the final aim to define genetic and environmental factors affecting the gastrointestinal microbiota and its complex interaction with gut maturation as a limiting factor to maintain a good health status of pigs throughout the life.
Duration: 31.10.2014 - 30.10.2018

Plant extracts and essential oils as feed additives in animal nutrition: effects on meat quality and intestinal physiology.
Rastlinné extrakty a rastlinné silice ako kŕmne aditíva vo výžive zvierat: vplyv na kvalitu mäsa a fyziológiu čreva.
Program: Bilateral - other
Project leader: MVDr. Plachá Iveta PhD
Annotation:The number of papers published concerning the use of essential oils and especially those containing phenolic compounds, has increased dramatically in recent years. Recently, antioxidant effects of thyme oil and thymol were reported. However, these activities depends on the systematic availability of these compounds in the target organs. Thus investigation of absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion would provide a significant link between in vitro effects and in vivo efficacy. They may also be important in context of the safety of herbal medicinal products. Pharmacokinetics of most natural compounds such as thymol have not yet been investigated satisfactorily. Evaluations of the metabolic fate of phenol and alkyl-phenols concluded that these compounds are rapidly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, mainly conjugated with sulfate and glucuronic acid and excreted in the urine. If the capacity for conjugation is overwhelmed at high doses, alternative metabolic routes may be used including hydroxylation of the phenol ring (to quinol) and oxidation of the side-chains leading to the production of reactive metabolites. More studies are needed for understanding the mode of action of phytogenic feed additives. It is necessary keep in mind the selection of sufficient concentration of essential oil used as feed additive for animals and to define available levels for improving their health status.
Duration: 1.1.2016 - 31.12.2017

The total number of projects: 2