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Probiotics for Maintaining Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Health and the Readiness of the U.S. Navy"s Marine Mammal Systems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N00014-13-P-1182
Agency Tracking Number: N13A-013-0374
Amount: $79,994.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N13A-T013
Solicitation Number: 2013.A
Solicitation Year: 2013
Award Year: 2013
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2013-07-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2014-04-30
Small Business Information
One Tech Plaza 2113 Wells Branch Parkway, Suite 6900
Austin, TX -
United States
DUNS: 084994735
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Chitra Wendakoon
 Research Scientist
 (512) 782-8218
Business Contact
 Eula Sequeira
Title: President
Phone: (512) 782-8218
Research Institution
 Texas A and M University
 Douglas E Becker
400 Harvey Mitchell Parkway S Suite 300
College Station, TX 77845-4375
United States

 (979) 845-2672
 Nonprofit College or University

Marine mammals like bottlenose dolphins are maintained by US Navy's Marine Mammal Program to protect harbors and detect underwater mines. The maintenance and betterment of health of these dolphins in captivity is a priority in order to improve the fitness and readiness of these animals for defense missions. Accacia International proposes to develop probiotic pharmaceuticals to treat and prevent gastrointestinal diseases in dolphins. Preliminary results related to the indigenous commensal microbes, including potential probiotic strains obtained from our University research partner has enabled Accacia to get a headstart on the project. We will isolate candidate probiotic bacteria from the indigenous commensal bacteria present in dolphin fecal and oral samples and determine their antimicrobial activity against gastrointestinal (GI) pathogens. The immunomodulatory effects of the selected probiotic strain on cytokines like TNF and TGF-B will also be evaluated. The selected probiotics will be microencapsulated and freeze-dried to facilitate dosage and delivery. The viability of the microencapsulated probiotic bacteria during delivery and after release in simulated digestive tract conditions will be tested to ensure efficacy of the probiotic. In addition to US Navy, marine theme parks employing dolphins for recreational purposes will also benefit from the superior-quality probiotics developed by Accacia International.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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