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-1172
Agency Tracking Number: N13A-013-0201
Amount: $79,999.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Awards Year: 2013
Solicitation Year: 2013
Solicitation Topic Code: N13A-T013
Solicitation Number: 2013.A
Small Business Information
Agave BioSystems, Inc.
P.O. Box 100, Ithaca, NY, -
DUNS: 022552900
HUBZone Owned: Y
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 John Ramsey
 Staff Scientist
 (607) 272-0002
Business Contact
 Matt Salazar
Title: President
Phone: (607) 272-0002
Research Institution
 Mote Marine Laboratory
 Kimberly Ritchie
 Marine Microbiology Program
1600 Ken Thompson Parkway
Sarasota, FL, 34236-
 (941) 388-4441
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
Agave BioSystems, with their academic partners at the Mote Marine Laboratory, proposes to develop probiotic pharmaceuticals from indigenous commensal microbes to enhance gastrointestinal health in the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). The dolphin gastrointestinal microbiome will be characterized by 16S rRNA deep sequencing, and culturable commensals will be isolated by plating dolphin gastric and fecal samples on a range of media. Cultured microbes will be tested for their ability to inhibit pathogen growth using a panel of known dolphin infectious agents, while qPCR assays will be developed to confirm the presence of the selected probiotic candidates in a sample dolphin population. A process for encapsulation of probiotic candidates will be developed to extend shelf life and confer resistance to degradation in gastric and bile environments. A Phase II plan will be developed to demonstrate the safety of the probiotic and evaluate its efficacy in the treatment of gastrointestinal disease in dolphins. Candidate probiotics will be characterized for colonization and adhesion and for their ability to modulate the host inflammatory response. Agave BioSystems will work with the US Navy Marine Mammal Program in the Phase II to demonstrate the performance of the probiotic at colonizing the dolphin intestine and promoting gastrointestinal health.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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