Volume 53, Number 4, July-August 2004HEALTHYPIGUT Workshop 1 - Digestive physiology, microbiology and immunology basis for gut function and dysfunction in pigs
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ForewordJean-Paul Lallès, Project coordinator
This concern has led INRA, France, to coordinate an EU project called HEALTHYPIGUT on this theme (2001-2004). This project
brings together nine research laboratories and a research & development institute from five countries (France, Germany, Italy,
the Netherlands and UK) involved in the disciplines of gut physiology, microbiology and immunology in pigs. The main objective
of the project is to indicate the physiology, microbiology and immunology basis for gut disorders favouring post-weaning disorders.
These studies will contribute to defining gut health indicators relevant to a more objective evaluation of the efficacy of
alternative solutions to in-feed antibiotics in preserving gut health in weaned piglets. The first HEALTHIPIGUT workshop was
aimed at presenting and discussing recent progress made in the understanding of such changes in gut function and dysfunction.
At the occasion of the publication of the main reports and communications presented at this workshop, it is my pleasure to
thank all the contributors, participants and local organisers of this event. I also acknowledge, on behalf of the HEALTHYPIGUT
partners, the European Union for financially supporting this project (No. QLK3-CT-2000-00522).
Considerable efforts have been devoted to the understanding of infectious diseases, including the biology of pathogens, host resistance and therapy in animals and humans. By contrast, very little is known of the prevention of diseases through dietary and rearing management because problems have been overcome over the last decades by adding sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics and elevated levels of zinc and copper in feed. This prophylaxis is highly effective in newly weaned piglets that are particularly prone to enteric infection. However, a total ban on in-feed antibiotics is planned in the European Union for 2006. This raises the problem of the preventive control of gut disturbances and diarrhoea during so-called critical rearing periods such as weaning in piglets.
© INRA, EDP Sciences 2004