Molecular Targets Open for Regulation by the gut flora New Avenues for improved Diet to Optimize European health (TORNADO)

Lead Research Organisation: Institute of Food Research
Department Name: Contracts


Europe is facing major diet related health problems. Attitudes to eating habits have to be changed and the benefits of alternative treatment regimes substantiated. This can only be achieved by providing guidelines regulating health claims based on scientific data. Thus, there is a unique opportunity to use gut flora in potential treatment regimes and as a preventive target for major diet related health problems. TORNADO consortium of which IFR is a partner, proposes a systemic and comprehensive mechanistic approach to deliver scientific data that can be compiled as guidelines for European authorities. TORNADO will determine the influence of diet on the gut flora and highlight the impact of gut flora on the immune system/other organ systems. TORNADO aims to investigate molecular targets that are subject to regulation by gut flora and diet that sustain health. This will be done by an increasing level of specificity, from (1) investigations of dietary habits and health in population cohorts, through (2) intervention studies in humans and animals. TORNADO will deliver data that can be used to recommend biomarkers for evaluating effects of diet or microbes. TORNADO’s program will accelerate future design of personalized functional food for specific target groups.
Description Our findings give greater understanding of the role of gut bacteria in health and disease. The findings have been used to inform the academics via science publication and we have disseminated the output to general public via internet web pages and press releases. One of the discoveries made was related to identification of bacteriophages and their endolysin that specifically target the gut pathogen called Clostridium perfringens that causes human food poisoning but is a major cause of necrotic enteritis in poultry birds that results in billion dollar economic loss to the poultry industry worldwide. We have patented this endolysin and are in the process of developing SMART Probiotics that can be given to poultry farms which should reduce the levels of the pathogen in the GI tract of the poultry birds. If this technology works it will have significant impact both for human health as well as animal welfare.
First Year Of Impact 2014
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Healthcare,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology,Pharmaceuticals and Medical Biotechnology
Impact Types Societal,Economic