MonoGutHealth is an Innovative Training Network (ITN) funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action. The main objective of MonoGutHealth is to train young researchers in international interdisciplinary research using innovative methodologies that focus on novel nutritional approaches in pigs and chickens, prior to birth and/or in the early neonatal/post-weaning period, to optimise the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) development and microbial colonisation resulting in more resilient pigs and chickens.

The training will expose the early stage researchers (ESR) to various state-of-the-art methodologies, give them an opportunity to get well-monitored first experience in research in teams led by enthusiastic researchers at the cutting edge of animal science technologies.


11 early stage researchers will carry out comprehensive and industry-relevant, interdisciplinary research that, by tackling the proposed research questions from different angles, will deliver new knowledge, innovative technologies and tools to produce resilient pigs and chickens, which are the two most economically important livestock species worldwide.

Specifically, ESR projects will explore the efficiency of innovative feeding strategies prior to birth and/or during the early neonatal periods to improve the development of the gastrointestinal tract and its microbiome and thereby enhancing resilience to pathogen challenges.

The innovative ESR projects...

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will train each ESR in state-of-the-art molecular, histological, biochemical and/or microbiological techniques for analyses.
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will generate new knowledge on the phenotypic and metabolic background of poor performing piglets and broilers and identify and evaluate perinatal nutritional strategies to improve their survival, growth and development.
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will generate new knowledge to understand the important changes in the early life development of the GIT and the gut- associated microbiome of low performing piglets and underweight broilers prior to and following perinatal nutritional strategies.
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will test the efficacy of the specific nutritional strategies determined withing the project under unfavourable conditions using established infection/challenge models in pigs and poultry.

Learn about ESRs in more details

MonoGutHealth approach

The novelty of the MonoGutHealth approach is that it exposes ESRs to new knowledge on the importance of early-life colonization and establishment of the microbiome in the GIT for later development and health.

The consortium is convinced that this provides a yet largely unexploited opportunity to substitute for the prophylactic use of antibiotics, Zn and Cu currently used to treat livestock health issues, which can reduce the build-up of antimicrobial resistance and improve the sustainability of livestock production.
MonoGutHealth will offer the ESRs insights into alternative approaches, rather than traditional ones (e.g. genetics and manipulation of postnatal environment), which can be exploited to improve animal health and growth in a sustainable manner.

At the end of their projects, early stage researchers (ESRs) will not only have a profound knowledge in their own research field (through their project, as usually acquired in a conventional PhD project) but already at the early stage of their careers they will have benefited from the interdisciplinarity of the multisectoral network by

To this end, a new ‘breed’ of researchers equipped with a novel skillsets, knowledge and experience will be able to seamlessly cross the traditional discipline boundaries and implement the most appropriate tools required to comprehensively answer pressing current and future challenges of the pig and poultry production.