- Describe the factors affecting the microbial composition in the intestine.
- Explain the impact of bacterial metabolism in the gut in health and disease.
- Describe how the gut microbiota of poultry can be modulated to promote health.
- Describe what pre- and pro-biotics are, and their uses in commercial poultry production.
- Explain what ‘dysbiosis’ means, and how it arises.
Filip Van Immerseel received a Master in Bio-engineering Sciences at the Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) in 1999, and a Master in Laboratory Animal Sciences at Ghent University in 2004. He received a PhD in Veterinary Medical Sciences at Ghent University in 2004, studying intestinal immune cell infiltration after Salmonella infection of chickens, and environmental triggers in the gut that influence Salmonella invasion. After a post-doc period, he was appointed as Research Professor by Ghent University in 2008. Currently he is Professor at the Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Ghent University in Belgium and is head of a research group that studies host-bacterium interactions. The research group of Filip Van Immerseel currently focuses on different topics, being 1) Mechanisms of gut and oviduct colonization and egg contamination by Salmonella Enteritidis; 2) Pathogenesis of diseases caused by Clostridium perfringens in cattle, poultry and pigs; 3) Anti-inflammatory potential of butyrate-producing strains to counterbalance chronic inflammatory intestinal diseases in animals and humans; 4) Dysbiosis in production animals and effects of dietary factors to steer the gut microbiota composition. The general approach is always to study host-pathogen or host-bacterium interactions and to collect scientific data on mechanisms of a) the pathogenesis of diseases or b) the protective effects of bacterial strains and bacterial metabolites on gut homeostasis. These data can then be used for rational development of control measures to control pathogen colonization or intestinal disease. Filip Van Immerseel currently has more than 125 scientific papers in international peer-reviewed journals, has written book chapters and edited books on Salmonella and Clostridium perfringens and is a well-known speaker at international events. He is editor of the journal Avian Pathology and involved in many international collaborative research networks.