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Anglo-Indian Project Aims for Better Understand of Poultry Gut Pathogens

05 March 2014

UK & INDIA - A research consortium led by Royal Veterinary College of the UK's Dr Damer Blake has recently been awarded £630,000 by BBSRC and the Indian Department of Biotechnology for a study entitled 'Controlling enteric pathogens of poultry: Host/microbiota interactions, risk assessment and effective management interventions'.

Together with partners from the Roslin Research Institute, Anand Agricultural University and Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, the researchers aim to explore the value of indigenous Indian poultry to future poultry breed improvement and answer a series of four key questions:

  1. What is the epidemiology of specific gastrointestinal pathogens, and co-infections, across UK and Indian poultry production systems?
  2. Does host genotype exert an influence on
    • the prevalence, evolution and transmission of specified microbes and
    • the composition of flock-level enteric microbiota?
  3. What is the level of genetic variation within specific microbial populations in Indian and UK poultry production?
  4. What on-farm factors affect the risk of enteric colonisation and carriage of specified microbes and how can changes in poultry husbandry and management practices mitigate this risk?

The proposal brings together UK and Indian experts in poultry genetics, metagenomics, animal health, epidemiology, pathology and pathogen biology.

A multidisciplinary approach combining next-generation sequencing, high density SNP-based QTL mapping, bacteriology, parasitology, molecular epidemiology and mathematical modelling will be used to quantify and predict disease risks at farm and national levels and to inform the development of intervention and management strategies, including future breeding and husbandry planning.

poultry farm India RVC
Indian poultry farm

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