Surveying Salmonella antigens for use in a bacteriophage-based vaccine enabling homologous and heterologous protection and colonization-inhibition effect in poultry

Project summary

Agriculture contributes greatly to the GDP as well as providing employment to many Kenyan citizens. Among the various agricultural sectors, poultry farming is increasingly being undertaken by the small scale-farmers to improve food security as well as the household incomes. However, infectious bacterial diseases associated with poultry farming and egg production pose high risks to the both poultry industry and human health. To control these diseases, farmers have relied heavily on antibiotics to prevent disease rather than reserving them for disease treatment. The constant use of antibiotics, unregulated access to and irrational use of antibiotics is causing a selective pressure for resistant bacteria. The aim of this fellowship is to provide farmers with a viable alternative to antimicrobial agents. In this project, an antigen survey will be conducted and used to produce a multivalent vaccine to control Salmonella infection of poultry and mitigate the use of antibiotics in poultry production systems. The resultant product from this technology is envisaged to have a more robust effect in controlling salmonellosis in poultry. In the long term this product is expected to have an effect on the Kenyan agricultural economy through increased productivity, cut down post-harvest losses, reduced burden of disease especially from drug-resistant bacterial strains in the poultry industry.