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Pathogens 2015, 4(1), 1-19; doi:10.3390/pathogens4010001

Alternatives to Antibiotics in Animal Agriculture: An Ecoimmunological View

Department of Anatomy and Physiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS 66506, USA
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Guolong Zhang
Received: 25 October 2014 / Accepted: 24 December 2014 / Published: 29 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternatives to Antibiotics: Current Strategies and Future Prospects)
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Abstract

Ecological immunology (or ecoimmunology) is a new discipline in animal health and immunology that extends immunologists’ views into a natural context where animals and humans have co-evolved. Antibiotic resistance and tolerance (ART) in bacteria are manifested in antibiosis-surviving subsets of resisters and persisters. ART has emerged though natural evolutionary consequences enriched by human nosocomial and agricultural practices, in particular, wide use of antibiotics that overwhelms other ecological and immunological interactions. Most previous reviews of antibiotic resistance focus on resisters but overlook persisters, although both are fundamental to bacteria survival through antibiosis. Here, we discuss resisters and persisters together to contrast the distinct ecological responses of persisters during antibiotic stress and propose different regimens to eradicate persisters. Our intention is not only to provide an ecoimmunological interpretation, but also to use an ecoimmunological system to categorize available alternatives and promote the discovery of prospective approaches to relieve ART problems within the general scope of improving animal health. Thus, we will categorize available alternatives to antibiotics and envision applications of ecoimmunological tenets to promote related studies in animal production. View Full-Text
Keywords: alternatives to antibiotics; antibiosis; antibiotic resistance and tolerance; bacterial resisters and persisters; ecoimmunology alternatives to antibiotics; antibiosis; antibiotic resistance and tolerance; bacterial resisters and persisters; ecoimmunology
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Sang, Y.; Blecha, F. Alternatives to Antibiotics in Animal Agriculture: An Ecoimmunological View. Pathogens 2015, 4, 1-19.

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