Opening and Welcome Speech: Dr. Jan Vanbrabant


Chairman of Executive Board

Speaker: Dr. Allen Bryce

Photo - Allen Bryce


Maintaining the effectiveness of antimicrobial agents is crucial: they are important tools for treatment of disease in humans, and for welfare and productivity in livestock farming. They have extended the average human lifespan by about 20 years in many parts of the world. Without effective antibiotics, many relatively harmless infections would again become life-threatening, and many common medical procures could be dangerous.

The development of antimicrobial resistance is driven by the use of antimicrobial agents, in humans as well as in animals. Resistant strains that develop in animals can be transmitted to humans, and transmission can also occur in the opposite direction.

The challenge of limiting the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in livestock must be addressed by all involved parties – especially livestock producers and owners, and veterinarians. Antibiotics are a public resource; the development of antimicrobial resistance represents a classic example of the ‘tragedy of the commons’ where overuse of a commodity by individuals each acting in their own self-interest can result in damage to the interests of the entire community.

Generally, the solution to the tragedy of the commons is to regulate the use of the commodity. Regulation may be externally imposed or enacted by the users themselves. In practice, industry self-regulation is the most powerful tool, as it is in the livestock industry’s interests to maintain the effectiveness of antimicrobials. However, industry self-regulation must be reinforced by effective government regulation to encourage universal compliance.

If industry is not able to show that it can manage antimicrobial use to limit the development of resistance, and the risks to human health and the environment, then consumers will respond by reducing their purchases of livestock products, and governments will respond by increasing restrictions on use of antimicrobial agents.

The interests of livestock producers are best served by implementing strategies to ensure that antimicrobial resistance is minimised; that effective antimicrobials continue to be available for use in livestock where they are needed; that use of antimicrobial agents in livestock does not impact on human health outcomes; and that maintain public confidence in the safety of livestock products. The concept of ‘stewardship’ encompasses these strategies, which aim to preserve the efficacy of antimicrobials because they are a resource of great value for future generations for treatment of human disease and for efficient, humane production of animal protein.

Practices that constitute good antimicrobial stewardship include:

  • reducing unnecessary use of antimicrobials – treat the fewest animals possible, eliminate antimicrobial use for growth promotion, reduce preventive use in healthy animals, ensure accurate diagnosis before treatment and review treatment if it is not initially effective
  • refining antimicrobial use – “the right diagnosis, the right drug, at the right time, at the right dose, the right route , and for the right length of time”:
    • optimise the choice of antimicrobial agent
    • avoid using agents of importance to human health
    • optimise manufacturing quality, dosing, route of administration and duration, and
    • regulate the availability of antimicrobials to limit inappropriate use
  • replacing antimicrobials with alternatives:
    • improved management – biosecurity, hygiene, environment, nutrition, non-antibiotic treatments, and
    • vaccination and vaccine development to reduce and prevent infections
  • surveillance: collecting data on use of antimicrobials and development of AMR to analyse for trends, refine best-practice guidelines, and monitor compliance with best practice and with regulations.

Each nation, industry and user of antimicrobial agents should have a plan in place to reduce and refine its use of antimicrobial agents and to replace antimicrobial treatments with other disease control strategies. Plans must be monitored and adjusted as needed. Because AMR threatens human health as well as livestock health and productivity, national and regional plans should be developed through a ‘One Health’ approach – involving medical professionals working alongside animal industry and veterinary authorities.

Only with action from all parties involved – industry, regulators, veterinarians – can the tragedy of the commons be averted and the benefits of maintaining the public resource – effective antimicrobial treatments for human disease and for animal production – be realised.


9:45am to 10:15am

Speaker: Dr. Dr. Nataliya Roth

Photo - Nataliya Roth


The increase in antibiotic resistance is a global concern for human and animal health. Resistant microorganisms can spread between food-producing animals and humans. Data from large poultry producing regions like the United States, China, Brazil and the European Union show that we need a harmonized approach in the monitoring of antibiotics per animal species and the evaluation of resistances using the same methodology.

The type and extent of antibiotic use differs from country to country based on the country’s economy, level of development, animal husbandry, and the animal species. The method of administration and the volume of antibiotic used vary depending on the stage of production and the risk of disease. Although, quantitative data of antibiotic use for animal species is known only for the US, Japan and some European countries, the list of antibiotics that are approved by regulatory agencies may provide an indication of the use of antibiotics in animal production for many countries. Highest priority critically important antibiotics for human medicine according to WHO, like fluoroquinolones, third-generation cephalosporins, macrolides, and polymyxins, are approved for use in large poultry-producing regions, with the exception of fluoroquinolones in the US and cephalosporins in the EU. This fact, combined with the knowledge that the use of antibiotics increases the selection pressure for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, clearly demonstrates the need for action to reduce antibiotic use.

Antibiotic growth promoters were banned in the EU in 2006, in the US in 2017, but are currently allowed in Brazil and China. Antibiotic usage for disease prevention is permitted in all large poultry-producing countries. Reflecting the awareness of the antibiotic resistant problem and the need for research on the triggers that cause resistance development and spreading, some countries established strategies for surveillance and monitoring programs that concern antibiotic resistance and its determinants. Because of the harmonized sampling and detection of antibiotic resistance at the national levels, the results are shown in the form of figures, allowing the comparison of resistance developments over time. Data from those countries show us that tighter control on the use of antibiotics and reduced use of antibiotics in animal production leads to lower resistance rates in animals.

However, banning of antibiotics has not totally eliminated the occurrence of resistant populations. The global overview of data recording the antibiotic use for animal production, combined with resistance data, provides us with the hope and the motivation to reduce the use of antibiotics and therefore ensure that these valuable substances will remain active against bacteria diseases in the future.

Speaker: Dr. Heo Jung Min (Jerry)

Photo - Heo Jung Min (Jerry)


One possible strategy to overcome dysfunctions of gastrointestinal tract due to ban of antimicrobial compounds would be feeding a diet supplemented with exogenous dietary enzymes, and modulation of dietary source in broiler chickens. The intention of this presentation is to share information of exogenous attention to broiler chickens, and also its interactions with gut health.

Currently, the most effective strategy to maintain healthy animals remains the use of prophylactic and (or) therapeutic levels of antimicrobial compounds like zinc oxide (ZnO), copper sulphate (CuSO4) and antibiotics in the feed. However there are concerns associated with the use of antibiotics as “growth promotants”. For example, an epidemiological examination found that vancomycin resistant Enterococcus faecium in humans increased following the use of avoparcin in diets for meat animals, from which vancomycin resistant E. faecium were also isolated. This, and social pressure, led the European Union (EU) to ban the use of antibiotics as growth promotants on January 1, 2006. Furthermore the use of certain minerals such as zinc (Zn) and copper (Cu) is unlikely to be sustainable since their excretion is a possible threat to the surrounding environment. Consequently, there is a need to develop means of controlling the healthy gut without using antimicrobial compounds.

In this regard establishing optimal dietary formulations without antimicrobial compounds has attracted much interest as a means of dealing with the problem of maladaptation of the gastrointestinal tract in chickens and pigs. A potentially large number of dietary tools and strategies to reduce gut disturbance are available for evaluation and use. Among others, these include the use of organic acids, prebiotics, probiotics, low-protein diets, manipulating dietary fibre, spray-dried plasma, egg products, essential oils, enzymes, fermented liquid feed, restricted feeding, botanicals and alternate cereals. The scope of this presentation, however, is focused on the impact of gut health, exogenous attention and its interactions with broiler chickens based on their metabolic and physiological responses.

12:00pm to 1:00pm

The BIOMIN Research And Innovation Network (B.R.A.I.N.) award was first established in 2006 at the World Nutrition Forum. We are proud to announce a newly-established Young B.R.A.I.N. award to coincide with this year’s Asia Nutrition Forum (ANF) to be held in Seoul, South Korea on 17th October 2019. This award seeks to support a young and highly motivated scientist, to nurture continuing innovation and research, involving innovative feed additive application and solutions.

At BIOMIN, we harness the power of science to support animal health and performance. By applying state-of-the-art and proprietary technology, we deliver natural, sustainable and profitable solutions to the livestock industry. For over 35 years, we have pioneered innovative solutions for mycotoxin risk management and gut performance.

To further support the BIOMIN philosophy, the Young B.R.A.I.N. award will be awarded to the successful applicant from an Asia Pacific based university*, who is a post-graduate student, enrolled in further studies in veterinary science, animal health or nutrition or related fields with emphasis on mycotoxins, organic acids, probiotics or phytogenics. 

The winner's research paper should include and demonstrate disruptive innovations to solve animal health and/or nutrition related issues in the livestock industry and will be invited to present a 15 minute paper outlining their research and its application to animal nutrition and/or animal health industry.

Speaker: Dr. Veronika Nagl

Photo - Veronika Nagl


Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites of fungi, causing numerous adverse health effects in humans, animals, and plants. Best-known representatives of this group include aflatoxin B1, ochratoxin A, fumonisin B1, deoxynivalenol, zearalenone, ergot alkaloids or T-2 toxin. According to a widely used figure, 25% of cereal commodities are contaminated with mycotoxins. As shown by more recent survey data, this number seems to be outdated. A major reason for that is the tremendous pace in the development of modern analytical equipment, first and foremost liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. These techniques do not only allow detection of mycotoxins with excellent sensitivity, but also enable the discovery of novel mycotoxins.

In this regard, two groups of mycotoxins have moved into the spotlight of scientific and regulatory attention: masked mycotoxins and emerging mycotoxins.

Masked mycotoxins are formed in plants as part of their defense mechanism against fungal invasion. Through enzymatic conjugation to more polar compounds (such us sugars or sulfate groups), the chemical structure of mycotoxins is modified. Therefore, those toxins often escape routine analysis, earning them the name “masked mycotoxins”. So far, more than 30 different masked mycotoxins have been identified, most prominently deoxynivalenol-glucoside, zearalenone-glucoside and zearalenone-sulfate. However, only a handful of studies are available that evaluate whether the occurrence of masked mycotoxins in feed poses a risk for animal health.

The same is true for emerging mycotoxins. This heterogenous group of fungal metabolites is not clearly defined, but often referred to as “mycotoxins, which are neither routinely determined, nor legislatively regulated; however, the evidence of their incidence is rapidly increasing” (Vaclavikova et al., 2013), and includes ennniatins, culmorin, beauvericin, and many others. Scarce data on the toxicological relevance of emerging mycotoxins indicate major differences in the mode of action and species-specific susceptibility.

The presentation gives an overview on current techniques for the detection of masked and emerging mycotoxins and highlights recent findings on their toxicokinetics and toxicodynamics. In addition, it discusses how far research is away from answering the ultimate question: are emerging and masked mycotoxins of concern for animal health?

2:00pm to 2:30pm

2:30pm to 3:00pm

Speaker: Dr. Dana Stanley

Photo - Dana Stanley


Prophylactic use of antibiotics in poultry diets has the potential to accelerate the spread of antibiotic resistance. As a result a range of countries have opted to completely ban the use of antibiotics in animal feed. The animal production industries are looking for alternative ways to effectively control pathogens while providing the performance benefits previously secured by antibiotics in feed. Probiotics and natural products, such as oregano and other antimicrobial plant-based products, or combinations of the two, are currently leading the race for the most efficient antibiotic alternatives. However, due to the limited research in this field and poor information flow to farmers, it is not uncommon to see farms using a combination of a probiotic and an antimicrobial product that is lethal to that particular probiotic. The CQ University Institute for Future Farming Systems is a leader in overcoming these challenges for managing poultry gut health, investigating a range of chicken treatment models to strengthen the gut and increase natural resistance to pathogens. This includes the “designer microbiota” approach to permanently colonizing the gut of chickens with the good bacteria, turning the chicken gut into an ongoing probiotic factory and preventing leaky gut issues.

Speaker: Dr. Bertrand Grenier

Photo - Bertrand Grenier


Feed phytogenics, also referred to as botanicals or phytobiotics, are plant-based feed additives utilized in animal nutrition. They are derived from herbs, spices, and extracts (such as essential oils), and play a crucial role as natural growth promoters in livestock.

The feed phytogenics market was estimated at USD 631.4 million in 2018 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 8.8%, to reach USD 962.5 million by 2023 (source: MarketsandMarkets). The major drivers of this industry are an increasing demand for livestock products, implementation of new technology such as encapsulation in feed phytogenics, and increasing focus on untapped markets such as Brazil, Thailand, Vietnam, China, and India. In those countries, as well as in developing nations, a rise in awareness about animal health and animal feed quality, is leading to restrictions on the excessive use of antibiotic growth promoters, and following key feed markets, such as Europe, the US, and South Korea.

However, education regarding the application of phytogenics (advantages, dosage level, mode of action, standardization of phytogenic ingredients, technical know-how) for different livestock is not widespread, resulting in a low adoption rates. To mitigate these challenges, manufacturers should provide robust published research to back their claims.

The emergence and use of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology, responsible of the “omics revolution” can significantly advance the studies on the mechanisms underlying phytogenic compounds’ functions and, therefore, guide the effective use of the compounds. Among NGS, RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) allows a snapshot of the whole transcriptome, namely the expression of all the genes (≈25,000 genes). The field of animal science investigating the direct effects of feed constituents on gene expression is called nutrigenomics. Due to large amount of data and specific expertise, the nutrigenomics studies with RNA-Seq are very limited in farm animals.

Following the implementation of bioinformatics tools, we conducted two broiler experiments and one pig experiment in which we sampled intestinal tissues to look at the effect of our phytogenics on all the genes via RNA-Seq. In the first broiler trial, we showed that our phytogenics formulation was sharing a common mode of action with an antibiotic growth promoter (i.e. avilamycin). This effect on genes associated with some specific immunological pathways might explain the substantial reduced inflammation observed in the second broiler trial. Indeed, in an intestinal inflammation model (i.e. coccidiosis challenge), birds fed the phytogenics were less susceptible compared to the birds on basal feed. In the pig trial, it seems that a similar mechanism was involved with the down-regulation of several genes related to cytokine signaling, a specific pathway of the inflammatory processes. This confirms some previous in vitro findings from our group in pig intestinal cell lines.

Reproducibility of these results are currently evaluated in further animal trials, but unveiling the molecular mechanisms of feed phytogenics is helping us to understand the improvement of gut functions.

4:30pm to 5:15pm

Wrap-Up & Closing Speech: Mr. Marc Guinnement

MGI - New Photo

Managing Director
BIOMIN Asia Pacific


18 Oct 2019 - Social Tours


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