Next Article in Journal
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Pathogens in 2014
Next Article in Special Issue
The Use of Lactic Acid Bacteria as a Probiotic in Swine Diets
Previous Article in Journal / Special Issue
Effect of Bile Salt Hydrolase Inhibitors on a Bile Salt Hydrolase from Lactobacillus acidophilus
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
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
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)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [247 KB, uploaded 5 January 2015]


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).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

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

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Pathogens EISSN 2076-0817 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top