Preventing Infection in the Gut of developing Piglets – and thus Antimicrobial Resistance – by disentAngling the interface of DIet, the host and the Gastrointestinal Microbiome

PIG-PARADIGM is an international, cross-institutional and interdisciplinary AMR (antimicrobial resistance) project.

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is becoming one of the greatest global health threats, and the overuse and misuse of antimicrobials are accelerating the spread of AMR.  

In the pig production industry, a major part of antibiotic usage is related to treatment of enteric infections. Now with DKK 150 million (€20.1 million) of funding from the Novo Nordisk Foundation, PIG-PARADIGM has brought together scientists from Denmark, the Netherlands, and the United States, aiming to improve intestinal robustness and resilience in developing piglets by advancing fundamental knowledge of the pig gut microbiome and its interaction with nutrition and the host.  

New knowledge on how to strengthen piglets’ natural defense will form the basis for the development of industrial solutions in commercial pig production. These strategies will curtail the dependence on antibiotics, thereby contributing to the global effort to mitigate antimicrobial resistance. The reduction in antibiotic usage not only aligns with responsible farming practices but also enhances the image of animal agriculture. 

Our Mission

The mission of PIG-PARADIGM is to deliver fundamental science required to form solutions to reduce the overall need for antimicrobial treatments, and to mitigate the spread of AMR by researching the following questions: 

  • What defines healthy and robust intestinal function in pigs? 

  • What determines the host and microbial mechanisms leading to post weaning diarrhea (PWD) and subsequent antibiotic use? 

  • How can the intestinal microbiome and nutrition be modulated to prevent the need for antibiotic use by promoting resilience to early life stress and intestinal infections? 

  • How AMR can be minimized through increased intestinal resilience? 


The Impacts

PIG-PARADIGM works towards to bringing long-lasting impacts across multiple dimensions: 

  • Reducing the antibiotic use in livestock production, with a specific focus on pigs   

  • Mitigating the spread of antimicrobial resistance within livestock production   

  • Promoting One Health in animal science and veterinary education 

  • Elevating awareness regarding the challenge of antimicrobial resistance   

  • Advocating and promoting international cooperation to curtail antibiotic usage in livestock production 

"This project thereby contributes significantly to the Novo Nordisk Foundation's strategy aimed at reducing overall antimicrobiol resistance worldwide. " 

-  Mads Krogsgaard Thomsen

CEO, Novo Nordisk Foundation 

Project Sponsor and Research Institutions