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
n/a
Amount:
$79,994.00
Award Year:
2013
Program:
STTR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
N00014-13-P-1182
Award Id:
n/a
Agency Tracking Number:
N13A-013-0374
Solicitation Year:
2013
Solicitation Topic Code:
N13A-T013
Solicitation Number:
2013.A
Small Business Information
One Tech Plaza, 2113 Wells Branch Parkway, Suite 6900, Austin, TX, -
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
Y
Duns:
084994735
Principal Investigator:
Chitra Wendakoon
Research Scientist
(512) 782-8218
chitra@accaciabio.com
Business Contact:
Eula Sequeira
President
(512) 782-8218
eula@accaciabio.com
Research Institute:
Texas A and M University
Douglas E Becker
400 Harvey Mitchell Parkway S
Suite 300
College Station, TX, 77845-4375
(979) 845-2672
Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
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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