Our focus has been on the induced production of antimicrobial substances in an insect following oral pathogenic infection. In particular Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs). The evolutionary conserved Innate Immune system of insects is primarily an induced response as opposed to the constitutive expression of AMPs for the control of microbial (virus, bacteria, fungi and parasite) infection.
Pets are a very important part of many families' lives. The health of their pets is of high concern to their owners. They wish to give their pets the best food that will promote vitality, good health and the continued companionship that the wellbeing of their pet brings. The owners seek high quality, natural and nutritious food for which they will pay a premium. IMBT technology can offer this food.
Insects are a natural feed component of poultry and pigs in the wild. Current EU legislation does not permit the use of insects as feed for these animals. IMBT has demonstrated that its technology significantly reduces Campylobacter infection in a Chick model. IMBT will continue its optimisation of its technology in anticipation of new legislation that would permit insects as feed for these and other farmed animals.
Our focus has been on the production and provision of all of the immune components in an insect following an oral pathogenic challenge, in particular, Antimicrobial Peptides (AMPs). Though each component may not it itself be antimicrobial, it may assist in providing the total effective response to eliminate an infection. The Innate Immune System response of insects is primarily an ‘induced’ response to a pathogen. This response is quick to act and is up-regulated within minutes of an infection. The immune effector molecules are not produced all the time ‘constitutively’, as this has significant energy and resource costs and would restrict growth and development rates.
IMBT has the potential to radically reduce or eliminate the use of antibiotics for Aquaculture and farmed animals. Further research is required to establish the optimisation process of Immunity Generation across a range of insects and livestock and disease scenarios.
RADICALLY REDUCE ANTIBIOTIC USE IN AQUACULTURE AND FARMING
It is now understood that the use of antibiotics for farmed animals is neither sustainable nor desirable. International legislation has been introduced to prevent the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics as growth promoters. New sustainable health provision interventions are being demanded by consumers who seek to be provided with good healthy food without drug type additives. This demand is being recognised by animal feed companies that seek to provide viable, sustainable solutions.
The Immunity generation approach can be used on different insects. For commercial production, it will be necessary to use a food biomass that is plant derived, to meet the requirements of EU legislation. The biomass can be terrestrial or marine sourced. Immunity generation occurs in both terrestrial and marine environments. There are currently two preferred insect species for insects as feed. Tenebrio Mollitor or mealworm is the preferred insect produced by the Company Ynsect. The Soldier fly, Hermetia illucens has been chosen by most of the other insect producing companies for the regeneration of plant waste into an insect protein feed.
IMMUNITY GENERATION COMMERCIALISATION
Shrimps and prawns, like insects, only have an innate immune system, vaccines do not work for them. Antibiotics that had been used are now losing their efficacy and alternatives are now required. Antibiotics are not effective against viruses. IMBT technology produced AMPs and support molecules are active against bacteria and viruses, and could provide a sustainable, safe solution to this health concern. Farmed salmon living in high densities can be subject to opportunistic infections that can decimate production. IMBT technology could provide a natural, immune-enhanced insect feed to enhance fish health and prevent losses due to these pathogenic infections.