E:21: This Med is for the Birds
Mary Parker

E:21: This Med is for the Birds

A discussion on how to protect our flocks from pathogens without resorting to antibiotics.

It has been almost two years since Nastassja Ortega-Heinly, Director of Laboratory Operations at Charles River's avian site in Connecticut, joined us on Sounds of Science for our second ever episode. Since then the program discussed in that episode – developing natural antibodies for chickens to protect them from some diseases without antibiotics – has taken off, and she gives us an update on its progress in this latest episode.

Ortega-Heinly also earned her PhD in pathology just last year, using her practical industry knowledge for her dissertation. In this episode she discusses her research into parvo vaccines for chickens, continuing her efforts to protect her flock without resorting to antibiotics.

We also discuss the One Health initiative, which grew out of efforts by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) to be ready for new global health crises. Joined by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other entities, One Health practitioners are committed to interdisciplinary approaches to combating zoonotic diseases and antimicrobial resistance by taking a holistic view of disease treatment.

Researchers like Ortega-Heinly understand that controlling future disease outbreaks starts with reducing the use of antibiotics in both people and animals – and that by protecting her chickens from disease, she is protecting our species as well. Tune in to learn more about her work, and to find out which comes first – the chicken, or the antibody-loaded egg?