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Experts Discuss Intestinal Health without Antibiotics

8 December 2011, at 9:23am

BELGIUM - An expert group met in Ghent recently to discuss intestinal health management and the prevention of necrotic enteritis in an antibiotic-free environment.

An independent panel of experts has unified to form the Intestinal Health Scientific Interest Group (IHSIG).

This group has already held several meetings on the topic of necrotic enteritis and dysbiosis. Chairmen of the IHSIG meetings are Professor H.M. Hafez (Free University Berlin, Germany) and Professor Filip Van Immerseel (Ghent University, Belgium).

These IHSIG meetings serve as a forum where experts can discuss current challenges of intestinal health management. This will lead to a better understanding of intestinal disorders and/or infections, and support both the scientific knowledge and its market awareness.

At the start of the first IHSIG meeting, Professor Hafez and Professor Van Immerseel commented on the objectives of the group, which include improving knowledge on intestinal health and closing the gap between fundamental research and practical experience in the field. The focus of the group is on poultry intestinal health management including Clostridium perfringens-associated diseases and dysbiosis problems.

Professor Hafez stated: "Taking the widespread importance of these diseases into account, it is crucial that we unify European experts to work together to better understand diseases caused by Clostridium perfringens. Preventive measures to control Clostridium spp. and maintain a balanced intestinal environment are becoming more important in today's environment."

Professor Van Immerseel added: "Although necrotic enteritis is well studied, many research programmes are still ongoing to get a better understanding of the disease. One of the activities of the IHSIG group is to establish common guidelines. For example, the IHSIG group has been discussing the utilization of uniform guidelines on how to score an affected gut."

IHSIG is working on forthcoming actions and will continue to meet frequently to work on the topic of intestinal health management and further prevention of necrotic enteritis using alternative solutions to antibiotics.

Members of IHSIG include:

  • Professor H.M. Hafez (Free University Berlin, Germany) – chairman
  • Professor Filip Van Immerseel (Ghent University, Belgium) – chairman
  • Dr Maria Francesch (IRTA, Spain)
  • Dr Luca Bano (Istituto Zooprofilattico, Italy)
  • Professor Magne Kaldhusdal (National Veterinary Institute, Norway)
  • Richard Rietema, DVM (Pluimveepraktijk Noord-Oost; The Netherlands)
  • Maarten De Gussem, DVM (Vetworks BVBA, Belgium)
  • Professor Roberto Marcello La Ragione (Veterinary Laboratories Agency, UK)
  • Dr Christine Burel (ANSES Ploufragan, France)

Recognising the need for more University research and collaboration on intestinal health, Kemin initiated the formation of the panel and continues to support IHSIG by facilitating practical arrangements. The company does not, however, participate as a member or influence the activities of IHSIG as it is an independent panel.

Further Reading

- Find out more information on necrotic enteritis by clicking here.