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
Awards Year: 2013
Solitcitation Year: 2013
Solitcitation Topic Code: N13A-T013
Solitcitation Number: 2013.A
Small Business Information
Accacia International Inc
One Tech Plaza, 2113 Wells Branch Parkway, Suite 6900, Austin, TX, -
Duns: 084994735
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Chitra Wendakoon
 Research Scientist
 (512) 782-8218
 chitra@accaciabio.com
Business Contact
 Eula Sequeira
Title: President
Phone: (512) 782-8218
Email: eula@accaciabio.com
Research Institution
 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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