Population level biomarkers of gut health in commercial flocks
Robust and practical biomarkers to assess gut health and important gut pathogens in chicken flocks could be used to ensure widespread and rational implementation and evaluation of disease prevention strategies and a reduction in the therapeutic use of antibiotics. To achieve this, this project will assess the usefulness of population (chicken flock) level monitoring of necrotic enteritis and coccidiosis based on the use of biomarker testing of dust samples. The research will provide a clear determination of the potential of dust and faeces analysis to predict flock health status. Findings from this work will have important implications for managing flock health by providing applied tools for assessing disease status, particularly subclinical disease where few or no practical tools currently exist.
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