AB AGRI has signed a partnership with Bristol-based biotech start-up Ferryx to develop a novel live bacterial feed additive as a product for poultry production.

Ferryx FX856 is a live bacteria developed by University of Bristol spin-out Ferryx.

See also: 3 tips for managing gut health in poultry

The firm says the additive is proven to “survive and thrive” in the gut of an animal which is stressed, an area where many currently available probiotics fail.

AB Agri’s trial of FX856 aims to investigate its efficacy in poultry after it has demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects and has been shown to mitigate the impact of stress on the GI system in other species.

If successful, the product is expected to reduce the incidence and severity of poor gut health episodes, improve animals’ health and welfare, as well as efficiency and productivity.

‘Exciting project’

Jennifer Bailey, chief executive at Ferryx, said: “We are pleased to be partnering with AB Agri on this hugely exciting project.

“The company has a great reputation for leading global bio-tech innovation advances which have animal health and welfare at their core.

“They are the ideal partners for the first large-scale trial of our novel, stress-responsive bacterial product.”

Immune function

Mike Bedford, R&D director at AB Vista, AB Agri’s feed additive business added, “Increasingly within animal nutrition, attention is being given not only to the nutrition provided directly to the animal, but to that of the gut microbiota due to the crucial role it plays in gut health and immune function.

“We have been developing our knowledge in this area for quite some time, and we see this partnership as enhancing that knowledge base to bring to the global animal nutrition industry”.