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Silvia Giorgi graduated in Animal Husbandry Sciences and Technologies at the University of Milan in July 2017 with the final mark of 110/110 cum laude. He discussed a thesis entitled: "Use a product rich in polyphenols, green tea and pomegranate extracts, as a possible alternative to antidiarrheal used in weaning piglets" (Supervisor: Prof. Valentino Bontempo). Her research mainly concerns with animal nutrition, the study of new feeds and nutritional strategies to improve animal health, with a particular focus on gut health, in the most critical stages of life. She is deeply interested to find out possible non-invasive methods that could be use to find biomarkers of inflammatory response, without causing any pain or stress to the animals.

Valentino Bontempo is full Professor of Animal Nutrition at the Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety. He is actually Scientific Director of Animal Production Center of Lodi and Director of the postgraduaded School in Animal Nutrition. His research activity is mainly devoted to Animal Nutrition. Main topics have been related to the role of nutrition on animal health. In the last years, effects of functional food on immune response and gut health have been investigated. He contributed to the evaluation of the efficacy and tolerance of feed additives for dossiers preparation aimed to EC registration. 


Title: Non invasive markers of inflammation and immune response of monogastrics feed diets without antibiotic during critical phases

The highest productive outputs required for animal production are generally the result of increased feed intake, better digestion and absorption of nutrients. Hereby, it is of high importance to realize improved intestinal health and resistance to systemic challenges. In the past the extensive use of antibiotics as growth promoters (AGP) has largely limited the intestinal dysfunctions leading to an increase of animals production. Since 2006 European Community (EC) banned the use of AGP in order to counteract the phenomenon of antibiotic resistance. However, the use of antibiotic to prevent disease (prophylaxis) and to treat diseases (therapy) is still allowed. Many European countries adopt plan to reduce the use of antimicrobial agents, and other non European Countries are expected to reduce/eliminate the use of antibiotic. EC discourages the use of antibiotic both for the effects on human health and the request of the consumers for animal products antibiotic free. As alternative to AGP, a number of feed have been proposed in order to stimulate productive performance and improve their well-being and gut health, especially during periods of stress such as weaning or dietary change. Among the possible alternatives, particular interest arises in natural substances and extracts rich in polyphenols. Polyphenols are a heterogeneous group of substances that have demonstrated a number of positive health properties, both general and intestinal, but for which further and more detailed studies on their mechanisms of action are needed. Therefore, one of the objectives of this project is to develop and evaluate the effectiveness of nutritional strategies, through the use of natural extracts with high content of polyphenols on growth performance and gut health of piglets and broilers in the most delicate phases of their life. The trials will be carried out through non-invasive methods in order to avoid any pain to the animals. The development and determination of non-invasive methods that do not cause stress or pain to animals to evaluate their health status and the effectiveness of the treatments to which they are subjected therefore has a dual purpose: addressing ever-increasing legislative demands and demonstrating in a practical and fast way the effectiveness of certain treatments. At present, non-invasive methods have been deepened especially in humans. However, in animal production, they are not commonly employed. Therefore, another objective of this project is to use and validate these methods for animal experimentation, exploring all possible uses.


1. Chickens and Pig

2. Piglets in weaning