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Antimicrobial peptides: expanding the horizons for animal production performance optimization

Abstract

Antimicrobial resistance is a worldwide threat and demands urgent actions in different re-search areas for development of strategies to proper combat it. Some studies suggest that, until 2050, uncontrolled diseases caused by microorganism can lead 10 million people to death, which will overcome the deaths caused by cancer at the same period. In this way, antimicrobi-al peptides (AMP) are small natural proteins present in all live organisms, belonging to the in-nate immune system. These molecules are very versatile, exhibiting a broad-spectrum of bio-logical activities to combat viruses, fungi and mainly bacteria. In particular, the peptide Ctx(Ile21)-Ha has been extensively studied by our research group and has been shown to be a promising molecule alternative for a new and natural zootechnical additive for replacement of conventional antibiotics used in animal production. Therefore, the objective of this project is expand the application fields of the Ctx(Ile21)-Ha antimicrobial peptide, in order to confirm the potential of this molecule and its analogues as feed additives in animal production. For this, more potent Ctx(Ile21)-Ha peptide analogues will be proposed for raise the biological ac-tivities' effectiveness against the most pathogenic bacteria in animal production (mainly Sal-monella sp. and Escherichia coli). The selected peptides will be microencapsulated and tested in monogastric animals and ruminal liquid from beef cattle animals, for improvement of the performance and production parameters. In parallel, an evaluation of the egg quality promoted by the peptide will be carried out and, for dairy cows application of the Ctx(Ile21)-Ha AMP or analogues against mastitis infection will be conducted. Finally, more potent Ctx(Ile21)-Ha AMP analogues will be applied in food preservation for increase the shelf life of perishable fruits. (AU)

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