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News 400 views update:Nov 17, 2009

NL: Initiative explore antibiotics alternatives

Immuno Valley, a consortium of knowledge institutions and private businesses in the Netherlands, has instituted the ALTANT (ALTernatives for ANTibiotics) research program.

On 6 November, the 4 initiators of ALTANT presented their research projects and their initial findings.

The use of very large amounts of antibiotics in the agricultural sector increases the chance of untreatable disease outbreaks as well as a growing number of zoonotic diseases. Therefore it is vital that alternative strategies are found to combat infectious bacteriological diseases.

In the ALTANT research program, scientists will study four different alternatives for the use of antibiotics, including phytotherapy, phage therapy, infection-inhibiting peptides and new types of vaccines. As soon as these alternatives prove their effectiveness in treating animal diseases, the business partners will begin product development.

One Health

Immuno Valley brings together research, scientists and the business community based on the ‘One Health’ principle: the understanding that human medicine and veterinary medicine are inseparably linked. Bringing together the expertise from both disciplines will allow us to better prevent and combat epidemics, zoonoses and new infectious diseases.

Immuno Valley is a cooperative effort between the veterinary and human medical faculties at Utrecht University, the University of Amsterdam, the VU Amsterdam, the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment’s Centre for Infectious Disease Control, the Central Veterinary Institute, the Gezondheidsdienst voor Dieren (GD) and market parties such as GSK, Pfizer, Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health and a number of relevant small- and medium-sized businesses.

Natalie Berkhout

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