Until recently, the use of antibiotics as infectious diseases prophylaxis and as growth factors has been a worldwide common practice in poultry farming. However, antibiotics as prophylactic agents and growth promoting formulations inevitably lead to diverse negative changes in the eukaryotic organism and it its microbiota. The severity of these negative effects is still to be assessed.
With adoption of new rules, which tightly regulate the use of antibiotics in poultry, manufacturers began to replace antibiotics with natural alternatives.
The use of probiotics as a factor that improves the muscle tissue growth, feed conversion, as well as infectious diseases prevention, is favored by the consumers and gains attention of the industry. However, there is a clear underestimation of the problems that arise in this connection. Probiotics are not always originating from the commensal microbiota of the targeted eukaryotic organism, and delivered in quantities, far above the cell number required to achieve the desired health promoting effect. This may adversely affect the health of the host and its microbiota. Probiotics are commonly formulated and used in high doses simply because their commercial formulations are not always sufficiently resistant to the stressors of the gastrointestinal tract.
Therefore, there was an urgent need to establish a center of excellence in research, technology and education to tackle these challenges.
During the September 2018 meeting between Professor Besarion Meskhi, Rector of the DSTU, and Professor Michael Chikindas (Rutgers State University, New Jersey), the establishment of a DSTU-based world-class laboratory under the leadership of a leading world-renowned scientists, including compatriots living abroad, was discussed, with an idea of the Center aimed at the development of novel probiotics for livestock and aquaculture, in order to improve the health and quality of farm animals.
As a result of this meeting, it was decided to create the DSTU-based center (laboratory) for science, technology and education, aimed at development of probiotics and other natural formulations for agricultural livestock and aquaculture, with objective of improvement of the quality and health of farmed animals.
On December 6, 2019, the order by the Rector of the DSTU was released announcing the foundation of the Research Laboratory «Agrobiotechnology Center» with the goal of development of the key strategic approaches, aimed at development and implementation of new technologies for the production of effective probiotic-based veterinary formulations, optimized for the targeted animals and specific applications.