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Current projects




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  1. EryPoP- a Research Project on Erysipelas in Laying Hens

    Eva Wattrang, Anna Aspan, Tina Sørensen Dalgaard, Elisabeth Bagge, Helena Eriksson, Robert Söderlund, Désirée Jansson, Mario Chiari & Mohammad Naghizadeh

    Erysipelas–an emerging disease in animal friendly production systems for poultry and pigs
    Project summary
    Following the change in housing systems for laying hens in Europe, erysipelas (caused by infection with the bacterium Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae) has become an emerging disease in several countries with outbreaks of high mortality in layer flocks in indoor aviaries and free-range/organic production. Erysipelas is a well-known acute disease in pigs and a suspected cause of arthritis and considerable economic losses in organic pigs. Erysipelas is difficult to prevent in the growing sector of animal friendly production systems for pigs and poultry. Moreover, E. rhusiopathiae-infections constitute an occupational hazard for humans (zoonosis).

    Although a well-known disease, vital basic knowledge particularly on the infection in chickens, is lacking. Hence, in this project (EryPoP) the epidemiology, infection dynamics and immunity development in poultry and pigs will be addressed in the field and by experimental infections through a multi-disciplinary and transnational approach and cooperation.
    The project has five main subtasks:
    to define transmission routes of E. rhusiopathiae by use of molecular epidemiology;
    to identify risk factors for outbreaks;
    to define the role of wild boars as potential reservoirs and sources of infection;
    to establish an assay to detect antibodies to E. rhusiopathiae in chickens; and
    to study the pathogenesis and immune responses to E. rhusiopathiae infections in chickens.
    Samples and metadata for analysis will be collected from poultry, domestic pigs and wild boars in Sweden and Italy. Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae isolates will be analysed by Next-Generation-Sequencing technologies and bioinformatics. Using available sequences and those provided within the project and proteomics, E. rhusiopathiae antigens will be identified and used for a novel ELISA test to detect chicken E. rhusiopathiae antibodies. This assay will be a valuable tool within the project as well as a future diagnostic tool in the field.
    A model for experimental infections in chickens will be established and used in studies of chicken immune responses to E. rhusiopathiae in naïve and vaccinated birds. These studies will provide information that will be vital in development of diagnostic methods and improvement of future prophylactic measures such as vaccines. Taken together, EryPoP will provide novel information that will enable scientifically based guidelines on prophylactic measures to prevent future erysipelas outbreaks and secure animal welfare in the growing animal friendly poultry and pig production.
    EryPoP started on March 1, 2016 and will run for three years. The project is funded by the Animal Health and Welfare ERA-Net (ANIHWA).
    Work in EryPoP is carried out in five different work packages.Description


  2. Brug af cellekultur-teknikker til at minimere behovet for forsøgsdyr i udvikling og fremstilling af vacciner til opdrætsfisk

    Niels Lorenzen, Helle Kristiansen & Helle Frank Skall

    Både for mennesker og husdyr er det bedre at forebygge smitsomme sygdomme end at skulle behandle, efter at der er opstået sygdom. Dette gælder også i fiskeopdræt, hvor øget brug af vacciner gennem de sidste 30 år, har ført til en markant nedgang i brugen af antibiotika. Udvikling af vacciner til fisk og kvalitetstjek af fremstillede vaccine er i stor udstrækning baseret på vaccinations- og smitteforsøg med forsøgsdyr.
    Dette projekt sigter mod at udvikle protokoller og metoder til brug af cellekulturer i de indledende undersøgelser af, hvordan vaccinekomponenter optages i og påvirker levende celler, herunder også toksisk effekt. Såvel analyse af genregulering som mikroskopiske undersøgelser vil indgå i arbejdet, som vil blive tilknyttet andre igangværende forskningsprojekter, hvor vaccinationsforsøg med fisk indgår. Projektet vil derfor i sig selv ikke gøre brug af yderligere forsøgsdyr.
    Resultatet forventes at kunne medvirke til delvist at erstatte brug af forsøgsdyr med cellekulturer i indledende trin i udvikling og fremstilling af vacciner til fisk. Dette vil bidrage til en reduktion (reduction) i behovet for forsøgsdyr i vaccineforskning og –industri, og også forfine (refinement) dyreforsøgene ved at nedbringe belastningsgraden i og med at komponenter med toksiske bivirkninger kan sorteres fra inden afprøvning i dyr.Description


  3. Feed the pigs and train the enzymes prior to weaning

    Mette Skou Hedemann, Helle Nygaard Lærke, Nuria Canibe & Søren Krogh Jensen

    The purpose of FORFRA is to develop a new feeding concept for piglets that ensures weaning with optimal growth without development of diarrhea and without use of zinc oxide at medical levels and antibiotics. The feed will consist of optimized heat treated cereals, processed soy protein, and milk protein. The degradation profile of the cereal products and soybean meal will be determined in vitro and products with fast liberation of nutrients will be selected for the diets. These products are advantageous in piglets where high passage rate in the small intestine combined with low secretion of digestive enzymes limit digestion and absorption. This will furthermore allow for optimal protein supply that supports maximal growth. The diets will be fed to piglets from two days of age, which is hypothesized to stimulate the development and secretion of digestive enzymes. Feeding the same diets until two weeks post-weaning ensures that a high feed intake is maintained. Overall, the optimized diet and feeding concept in combination will translate into high digestibility of nutrients that will result in optimal growth and prevent development of post weaning diarrhea.
    The project is financed by GUDP.Description


  4. Rethinking of Antimicrobial Decision-systems in the Management of Animal Production

    Mette Vaarst, Hanne Kongsted, Mogens Agerbo Krogh, Line Kollerup, Merete Studnitz, Katy Overstreet & Jan Tind Sørensen

    ROADMAP is a 4-year EU-funded project that will foster transitions towards prudent antimicrobial use (AMU) in animal production in a large variety of contexts, by favouring a rethinking of antimicrobial decision-systems all along the food supply chain.Description


  5. Ablacto+: Biotechnological fight against post-weaning diarrhea

    Sandra Wingaard Thrane, Mads Laustsen, Nuria Canibe, Susanne Brix Pedersen, Carsten Hjort & Nicolai Weber

    Post-weaning diarrhea (PWD) in piglets is an extensive problem, causing weight loss and piglet death, resulting in financial loss for farmers and reduced welfare for the animals. The current treatment for PWD includes the use of zinc oxide and antibiotics. Zinc oxide is banned from year 2022, as it pollutes the environment, and the use of antibiotics is increasingly restricted due to antibiotic resistance including MRSA development. This leaves farmers with no alternatives for treatment of PWD. Bactolife's first product, Ablacto+, is a product for prevention of PWD in piglets and is currently under development.

    After having established proof of concept for Ablacto+, the scope of this project is to perform research and development of Ablacto+ to take it from concept to a defined product. Included are activities relating to production development, formulation, toxicology, treatment regimen, and large-scale testing of the product in an industrial setting. Ablacto+ will be based on a novel technology platform, and will be developed to be an easyto- use, cost-effective, sustainable prevention for PWD, ensuring the financial security of farmers.

    The product is a zootechnical feed additive which is based on nanobodies; these are binding proteins that are selected to specifically inhibit bacterial toxins and virulence factors, making the pathogen unable to establish an infection nor elicit symptoms, thereby preventing disease without disturbing the healthy microbiota in the gut.Description


  6. Feeding and phenotype of the climate-efficient dairy cow

    Peter Lund, Martin Riis Weisbjerg, Ole Hojberg, Anne Louise Frydendahl Hellwing, Maria Holst Kjeldsen, Troels Kristensen, Samantha Joan Noel & Christian Friis Børsting

    We will validate existing additives and, in collaboration with the industry, start the development of new safe additives, which in the long term can ensure a significant reduction in methane without compromising the animal's health and milk quality.

    In the project we will establish the phenotype for the effective dairy cow so that this can be included in the future breeding goals. The use of new mitigation-tools depends entirely on the possibility of implementation on the individual farm. We will develop tools to document the real production of enteric methane on a cattle farm.Description


  7. Pigs without antibiotics: A pig model of colitis-complex diarrhea with focus on colonic microbial fermentation

    Tina Skau Nielsen, Ole Hojberg & Charlotte Lauridsen

    Diarrhea in weaned pigs is one of the major causes of antimicrobial use in pig production. When pigs are 7-12 weeks of age, heavier and therefore takes larger doses of antibiotics to treat than right after weaning, a second phase of diarrhea typically occurs; the colonic colitis-complex diarrhea (CCD). In order to reduce the need for antibiotics, a new and deeper understanding of the colonic microbial fermentation pattern in the pathogenesis of CCD is needed and how this fermentation can be modulated by dietary means to prevent or alleviate CCD.

    In this project we will characterize the microbial composition and fermentation pattern in feces from commercial pigs with and without CCD and use this knowledge to establish a new CCD experimental disease model in pigs. Finally, we will test the model and investigate if inclusion of high-amylose maize starch (HAMS) high in resistant starch and butyrylated HAMS can prevent or reduce CCD.



  8. Prolonged lactation: Optimal strategy for lactational length at cow and herd level

    Søren Østergaard, Peter T. Thomsen, Lars Bilde Gildbjerg, Martin Bjerring & Vivi Mørkøre Thorup

    The project focusses on identification of cows with optimal possibility to complete a prolonged lactation successfully.
    The project is funded by The Danish Dairy Levy Foundation.Description


  9. SIgAVAC –Beskyttelse mod Coli-induceret fravænningsdiarré ved vaccinefremkaldt SIgA respons

    Gregers Jungersen, Dennis Christensen, Ida Rosenkrands, Charlotte Lauridsen, Lola Tolstrup, Charlotte Sonne Christensen, Frank Follmann & Peter Lawætz Andersen

    Bevilliget af Miljø- og Fødevareministeriet, GUDPDescription


  10. Sustainable plant protection transition: A global health approach

    Martin Tang Sørensen, Ole Hojberg, Lis Wollesen de Jonge, Trine Norgaard & Vivi Schlünssen

    In SPRINT, the purpose is to develop, test and deliver a model (a tool for risk assessment) that can provide accurate information on the effects of plant protection products on ecosystems, plants, animals and humans. The focus will be on robustness, productivity and health.
    The model will be based on data from experiments as well as from conventional and organic farms spread across the EU.
    The project is financed by EU means.Description


  11. Innovative solutions for global animal health in an era of infectious diseases and antimicrobial resistance

    Tina Sørensen Dalgaard & Cheol-Heui Yun

    The purpose of the network project is to establish research collaboration between the main applicant and the main Korean partner within the area of innovative solutions for animal health.

    Moreover, the project also aims to explore how this collaboration can be extended to include private and other academic partners in South Korea with the aim of attracting shared research funding.

    Finally, the network will act as platform for discussions on broader aspects of institutional collaboration in animal science between Aarhus University and Seoul National University

    Funding body: Styrelsen for Forskning og UddannelseDescription


  12. Resilience for Dairy - R4D

    Søren Østergaard & Margit Bak Jensen

    Horizon 2020 project

    The overall objective of R4D is to develop and to strengthen a self-sustainable EU ThematicNetwork on “resilient and robust dairy farms” designed to stimulate knowledge exchanges and cross-fertilisation among a wide range of actors and stakeholders of thedairy industry. The aim of R4Dis to widely disseminate relevant ready-to-use best practices based on innovations, facilitating knowledge exchange from farmers to farmers.Description


  13. UV kombilys i staldmiljø - virkning og effekt (UVIBA)

    Nuria Canibe, Ricarda Margarete Engberg, Søren Krogh Jensen, Jaap Boes, Torben Olesen, Ole Juul Svendsen, Michael Linde Jakobsen & John Elmerdahl Olsen

    Formålet med UVIBA er at reducere brugen af antibiotika og øge grises
    velfærd gennem anvendelse af kombilys, Direct Intelligent Light (DIL),
    som udvikles og afprøves i projektet.

    Det forventes, at inaktiveringen med DIL reducerer det mikrobielle smittetryk og dermed sygdomsforekomsten i svinestalden, hvilket mindsker brugen af antibiotika og udviklingen af mikrobiel resistens.

    Projekt bevilliget af GUDPDescription


  14. Cattle Feed in Take - CFIT

    Martin Riis Weisbjerg, Søren Østergaard, Troels Kristensen, Jan Lassen, Peter Løvendahl, Jørgen Rind Thomasen, Lars Arne Hjort Nielsen, Anders Fogh & Samantha Joan Noel

    This project will generate new data for individual cow feed intake. This will be a game changer in dairy cattleproduction going from optimization of management on herd level to optimization for the individual cow.

    Projektet er finansieret af InnovationsfondenDescription


  15. Intelligent farming and health control in landbased recirculating aquaculture systems INTELLIRAS

    Mogens Agerbo Krogh & Vivi Mørkøre Thorup

    Production of fish in land-based aquaculture contributes significantly to the production of animal protein in the human food-supply chain in the Nordic countries. Recirculation aquaculture systems (RAS) is an environmentally sustainable solution that is
    becoming increasingly relevant for land-based aquaculture. However, production and health management are considerable
    challenges which limit production performance.

    In this project we will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and statistical models to aid the transition from
    a human experience-based management of RAS production to a knowledge-based automatic one. Feed management, feeding and feed
    waste is a major challenge to production. In marine aquaculture, video systems are widely used to observe the fish. This has not yet
    been implemented in RAS systems. Within this project we will apply deep learning tools on recordings of thousands of video sequences
    of fish, teaching computer systems how the fish react and use this in feed management and health monitoring. We aim at developing a
    closed loop control feeding system to optimize growth and limit feed waste and at the same time explore the possibilities of an early
    detection system for health monitoring.Description


  16. PIGWEB

    Jan Værum Nørgaard, Mette S Herskin, Samantha Joan Noel, Lene Juul Pedersen & Leslie Foldager

    An infrastructure for experimental research for sustainable pig production
    Funded by EU Horizon 2020 Description


  17. Novel triple action feed additive approach to reduce enteric methane emission from cattle by blocking the enzymatic process, draining the hydrogen substrate and suppressing methanogenic archaea (NO-METHANE)

    Mette Olaf Nielsen, Samantha Joan Noel & Peter Lund

    The project will develop and document (in vitro and in vivo tests) a novel, safe triple action feed additive for cattle, which reduces enteric methane emission without negative impacts on productivity.

    Finansieret af Innovationsfonden.Description


  18. The effect of a blend of essential oils on performance, feed conversion rate, methane emission and rumen microbiome in lactating dairy cows under Danish conditions

    Christian Friis Børsting, Anne Louise Frydendahl Hellwing, Peter Lund & Samantha Joan Noel

    The project will examine the effect in dairy cows of a blend of essential oils on the production and metabolism with specific focus on reducing methane emission. If the product has a positive effect it has the benefit that it can be used in organic milk production.
    The project is funded by Agolin SA and Aarhus University.Description


  19. Identification and elucidation of bioactivity of new compounds excreted into milk as the result of introduction of novel feeds and/or anti-methanogenic feed additives in diets for cattle

    Mette Olaf Nielsen, Marie Rønn, Natalja Nørskov, Stig Purup, Peter Lund, Christine Brøkner, Peter Langborg Wejse & Henrik Jørgen Andersen

    It is the aim of the PhD project to develop and validate (in this PhD: on 3-4 new feed additives) a methodological approach for identification and safety assessment of unknown compounds that potentially could be excreted into milk (or accumulated in meat) when novel feed additives are being introduced to markedly reduce enteric methane emission to be able to comply with climate goals defined by the EU, the Danish government, as well as the dairy/beef industry.
    Methane reduction efficiency and safety assessed of 3-4 new anti-methanogenic feed additives, which are presently being researched at AU as part of IFD projects: compound X and Nordic hemisphere macroalgae. 1) Validated targeted methods will be refined to accurately quantify compound X and possible break-down products in biological samples (e.g. blood, milk and meat). 2) Untargeted metabolomics approaches will be used to identify hitherto unknown compounds excreted into milk, when macroalgae or compound X based feed additives are included in cow diets.
    The project is funded by AU-Arla PhD Fellowhsip, GSTS and IFD.Description


  20. Udvikling af model for kvægbesætningens udledning af enterisk metan under forskellige management strategier

    Søren Østergaard, Anne Braad Kudahl, Martin Riis Weisbjerg, Jan Tind Sørensen, Vivi Mørkøre Thorup, Peter Lund, Lisbeth Mogensen, Morten Kargo & Long Chen

    En fortsat stor dansk mælkeproduktion kan være model for andre lande, hvis Danmark kan finde klimaløsninger, som dels er anvendelige i praksis, dels er effektive, både når man ser på bedriftens samlede klimagas udledning og på det økonomiske perspektiv. Den enkelte malkekvægbesætnings produktions-og managementsystem er et centralt og nødvendigt delsystem i, at kunne forstå og kvantificere den samlede danske klimabelastning for produktion af mælk og kød. Projektets hovedaktivitet er at udvikle en ny besætningsmodel til simulering af tekniske og økonomiske konsekvenser af managementtiltag til reduktion af klimaaftryk i malkekvægsbesætninger.

    Projekt finansieret af GUDPDescription


  21. Composition of "CleanMilk" from in vitro grown milk cells

    Lotte Bach Larsen, Nina Aagaard Poulsen, Ulrik Kræmer Sundekilde & Stig Purup

    The overall target of the CleanMilk initiative is to provide a scientific basis for potential future use of in vitrogrown bovine mammary cells for production of milk constituents. This will examine ifsuch systems in the long perspective can contribute to reduce climate gases and thereby contribute to fulfill Danish climate goals for 2030 and 2050.

    The project is financed by the Danish Dairy Research FoundationDescription


  22. Understanding microbiomes of the ruminant holobiont (HoloRuminant)

    Peter Lund & Samantha Joan Noel

    Horizon 2020 ProjectDescription


  23. What do we drink in 2030? In-vitro milk based on cultured cells

    Stig Purup

    Milk from dairy cows provides essential nutrients as part of the diet, and people have a central needfor this food. However, dairy cows account for appr. 75% of Danish agricultures emission of thegreenhouse gas, methane. One biological approach for reducing greenhouse gas emission is toproduce milk in a sustainable way - by in vitro biotechnology instead of dairy cows.

    The project is financed by the Novo Nordisk FoundationDescription


  24. Dairy proteins and future alternatives

    Lotte Bach Larsen, O Benjamin, Z Hayouka, Nina Aagaard Poulsen, Anne Vuholm Sunds, Søren Drud-Heydary Nielsen, Stig Purup, Yuan Yue, Y. Niv, N Argov-Argaman, R Helman, I Braslavsky, Oren Tirosh, Rebecca Reifenstein, R Gutman, D Avni, L Rubinovich, K Kles, I Yadid, L Afriat-Jurnov & S Meir

    International Network ProgrammeDescription


  25. Exploring Danish-Chinese collaboration for sustainable cellular milk production

    Stig Purup, Yuan Yue, Zahra Sattari, Lotte Bach Larsen, Nina Aagaard Poulsen, Hui-Zeng Sun, Hengbo Shi & Jian-Xin Liu

    International Network ProgrammeDescription


  26. Reduceret metanproduktion med optimeret mælkeproduktion: Udnyttelse af samspillet mellem foderadditiver, den enkelte kos genetik og vommens mikrober

    Martin Riis Weisbjerg, Peter Lund, Anna A. Schönherz, Goutam Sahana, Samantha Joan Noel, Søren Østergaard & Lars Arne Hjort Nielsen

    Projektets overordnede formål er at anvise strategier til reduktion af metanemissionen, således at vi kan fast-holde en betydelig mælkeproduktion i Danmark og samtidigt bane vejen for en samlet reduktion på 50% i enterisk metan.

    Projektet er støttet af MælkeafgiftsfondenDescription