1. Animal Husbandry

Proteon Pharmaceuticals’ New Approach to Support Healthy Growth of Chicken & Livestock

KJ Staff
KJ Staff

The growing demand for meat & eggs and a resultant turn towards intensive poultry production in past few decades has given rise to several health and environmental concerns that pose a challenge to the poultry industry. Bacterial disease leads to huge economic losses while resulting in environmental waste & threat to human health. The solution here lies in innovation to promote safe as well as sustainable animal farming.

It is estimated that Salmonella and Campylobacter infections that are uncontrolled in poultry together account for 9 in 10 reported cases of bacteria-related food poisonings worldwide. On the other hand, extreme use of veterinary drugs, feed additives & anti-microbials that are presently used to treat animals and prevent diseases can have major long term implications on environment and human health. 

India, one of the largest producers of poultry & eggs also faced concerns over safety of its chicken stock and eggs. #IndiaForHealthyChicken is a powerful initiative that promotes the need for cultivating healthy birds for the larger good of people and environment.  

In order to tackle the challenges emanating from present farming practices, a Poland-based innovative biotechnology company - Proteon Pharmaceuticals has pioneered a revolutionary new approach to support healthy growth of chicken as well as other livestock. The new approach offers a sustainable tool for bacterial disease prevention. It also supports healthier poultry birds with enhanced performance.

The Founder CEO of Proteon Pharmaceuticals, Professor Jarosław Dastych, is a leading scientist, author of over 40 international publications & a co-author of 4 biotechnology-related patents. Prof Dastych was in Mumbai on 10th July 2019 to discuss his revolutionary approach to breeding healthy poultry birds and the widespread benefits it will have on human and environmental health.

The revolutionary new approach to bacterial control uses naturally occurring microorganisms ‘bacteriophages’ to remove pathogenic bacteria without causing any harm to the microbiome or gut flora of the birds. By promoting health growth of birds, this considerably reduces the need for use of antibiotics. 

Professor Jarosław Dastych explained that “Bacteriophages a.k.a phages are microorganisms that are a natural element of our environment. Phages are everywhere, i.e. on human hands, skin, in the animal gut and in the soil. They are the oldest and most numerous organisms on Earth – and have been protecting humans and animals from bacteria for the last 3.5 billion years. Because lytic phages eliminate only their selected bacteria (they are unable to interact with animal or human cells), they are completely safe to birds or humans and they eliminate the bacteria without any damage to the microbiome, whose diversity is crucial for efficient feed conversion and immunity”.

Proteon’s innovation has been possible, all thanks to the development of an advanced phage-technology platform. The platform utilizes precision biology, genomics, bioinformatics & molecular biology to identify, test and choose appropriate bacteriophages. Using AI, the technology then selects phages that can be developed for industrial production which is then delivered to the industrial farming environment in the form of feed additives. 

Dr Bhushan Bhavsar, Managing Director - Vetphage Pharmaceuticals Pvt. Ltd said, “The word bacteriophage actually means ‘bacteria eater’. These phages spoil their host cells through a natural process without interacting with human or animal cells. Neither do they pollute the soil or the waters, nor do they leave residue in the meat. This makes them environmentally sustainable & healthy as well. As they do not damage the microbiome, they help support growing naturally more healthy animals that require fewer artificial and/or damaging solutions to prevent bacterial contamination”.

Vetphage Pharmaceuticals is a subsidiary Company of Proteon Pharmaceuticals SA. Vetphage handles all operations for the APAC region. As its MD, Dr Bhavsar is leading the movement #IndiaForHealthyChicken from the front.

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