Innovative Antimicrobial Research
Summary of the impact
Optimizing animal health: Treatment of bovine digital dermatitis and related topical infections
Digital dermatitis, a condition that presents as wart-type lesions on the heel of affected animals, adversely affects animal welfare, production and farm profitability. It occurs extensively in cattle, with 70-95% of dairy herds showing symptoms and herd prevalence rates averaging between 20-30% in Europe and the USA.
Research led at Queen’s by Professor David Jones, in collaboration with Provita Eurotech Ltd. (https://www.provita.co.uk/), has helped to address the economic challenge associated with digital dermatitis as well as generating a commercial impact for the company. Provita Eurotech Ltd is an N Ireland based SME working in the animal healthcare sector, a market worth USD50,000,000,000.
Professor Jones and his team have developed and refined a series of antimicrobial products including Hoofsure™ (an antimicrobial hoof-bath for cattle), Hoofsure Endurance™ (an antimicrobial foot bath for cattle with a more rapid antimicrobial activity and prolonged retention of antimicrobial agent on the hoof), Konquest™ (a bioadhesive paste that provides prolonged retention at and controlled delivery of antimicrobial and keratinolytic agents to the wart lesion) and Combat™ (an antimicrobial, polymeric film forming bandage designed to provide rapid disinfection and subsequent sealing of a wound to prevent reinfection). The antimicrobial properties of the products are facilitated through a synergistic interaction between organic acids and oils from natural sources. These innovative products avoid many of the concerns of traditional treatments and present new opportunities for the improved treatment of digital dermatitis and related conditions.
These products have been marketed across 3 continents (Europe, North America and Asia) and have led to Provita Eurotech Ltd becoming one of the world leading manufacturers of branded, sustainable products for this extremely challenging and prevalent animal health condition. As of October 2020, the footbath product has been used on over 41 million cow passes.