Animal health and welfare is becoming increasingly important across companion, performance and production animals. Production efficiencies, performance and overall demeanour are highly indicative of an animal’s state of health; making them ideal markers to identify disease and deficiencies. Animal health is affected by infinite factors including environment, nutrition, and husbandry. Many factors can be monitored, controlled and manipulated by owners to improve longevity, performance and overall health of the animal. Enhancing the ability to have deeper insight into animal health using novel techniques is highly beneficial at improving overall animal health.
The animal microbiome is an extremely advanced, sensitive and diverse population of micro-organisms that lives within the gastrointestinal tract of animals. The population is comprised of multiple kingdoms including bacteria, archea, and fungi. These micro-organisms work synergistically with the host and one another and are involved in fermentation and energy production. Due to the vast species’ diversity, a minor shift can cause detrimental metabolic illness and disease. These fluctuations are often related to the nutrition of the animal, therefore understanding microbiome population diversity can prove extremely crucial, and indicate simple nutritional changes to improve animal health.
Microbiome analysis using 16s rRNA sequencing is one of the most effective ways of investigating microbiome data from faecal samples. However, interpreting and analysing this data requires significant amounts of time and effort to achieve accurate and reliable results. But, by this time, the damage caused by the microbiome shift may be irreversible and have harmful effects. Thus, automating the interpretation and analysis of microbiome genomes will:
- Expand our knowledge of nutrition adjustments on animal performance and health.
- Increase speed of microbiome genome results.
- Improve overall animal health
In response, Agxio have created GALEN, a microbiome sequencing analytics engine propelled by an automated, rules-based analysis of any combination of biomarkers against pre-determined target ranges. It can then identify potential disease factors and indicate preventative or corrective nutritional measures to re-balance your animal’s microbiome. The results can then be extracted and formulated into a user-friendly report for easy recovery and distribution.