By using this website, you consent to our use of cookies. For more information on cookies see our privacy policy page.

Text Size: a a
HomeA-Z IndexSubscribe/RSS Contact Us Twitter logo small white bird


Funded Projects

Contact Us

Research Call

DAFM Reference


DAFM Award

DAFM National Call 2011 11FP406 UCD €95,195

Project Title:

Seaweed extracts to reduce Campylobacter in chickens

Project Coordinator:

Prof Torres Sweeney

Project Abstract

Campylobacter is an acute, notifiable, zoonotic bacterial disease prevalent in chicken production systems across the world. A recent retail survey has identified that the overall prevalence of Campylobacter spp. in Irish produced raw chicken was 84.3% (Madden et al., 2010). Following the 2006 ban on infeed antibiotics, there is a distinct need for poultry producers to introduce interventions to reduce the prevalence of Campylobacter on farm. A novel bioactive derived from seaweed has recently been developed in UCD and ownership assigned to an Irish indigenous company ( This bioactive consists of a laminarin/fucoidan combination, which biologically, is a fibre that acts as a prebiotic. It suppresses the proliferation of gram-negative bacteria such as E.coli spp and Salmonella spp. in pig. We have subsequently identified a purified laminarin extract, which has a more powerful immune enhancing action in the gut than the laminarin/fucoidan combination. Like pigs, poultry have a monogastric system, hence, the objective of this study is to determine if nutritional supplementation with either the laminarin/fucoidan combination or the purified laminarin extract can suppress Campylobacter colonisation in the chicken gastrointestinal tract. Two experimental models will be explored. The first model is where the chick is exposed to the bioactive from day of hatch and is challenged with Campylobacter on day 3 post-hatch. The second model is where the laying hen is fed the bioactive for two weeks and the associated 3 day-old chicks are challenged with Campylobacter. This project will determine if a seaweed-derived bioactive can influence Campylobacter colonisation of the chick and whether a direct route or a maternal route of application would be the most successful method of application.

Final Report:

Final Report 11FP406 (pdf 349Kb)