The German Research Foundation (DFG) has recently approved new interdisciplinary research into the development of an antibiotic-free diet for pigs.
The grants were made public late last year and were approved as of January 1, 2010.
Project CRC 852, called "Nutrition and Intestinal Microbiota – Host Interaction in the Pig", will be carried out at several universities and will take an interdisciplinary approach in addressing the effect of nutrition on intestinal function and animal health.
Researchers at the Free University in Berlin aim to treat swine diseases that have health-policy and economic relevance more effectively or even prevent them. In particular, they seek to achieve greater efficiency in animal husbandry without the use of antibiotics.
This research will open up numerous possibilities for animal nutrition, health, and food safety. The potential transferability of the results to humans is a long-term part of the research programme. Host university will be the Free University in Berlin; other participating universities are Charité University Hospital, Berlin; Humboldt University in Berlin; Technical University of Berlin.
A number of institutions will participate as well, like the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Berlin; German Institute of Human Nutrition, Potsdam-Rehbrücke.
In total, the DFG approved the establishment of 17 new Collaborative Research Centres as of 1 January 2010. The new centres will initially be funded for four years with a total of €132 million.