Probiotics offer protection for wildlife

04 January, 2024

Probiotics, which are designed to support the presence of beneficial bacteria in the human gut, are a familiar sight on supermarket shelves as consumers seek to improve their health. Emerging research indicates that probiotics may also hold promise as a novel intervention for protecting at-risk wildlife populations.

While probiotics have been used for decades in agriculture and aquaculture, it is only recently that scientists have considered their potential uses for conservation, explains Neus Garcias-Bonet, a marine biologist in Raquel Peixoto’s lab. She notes that probiotics could help buy time for addressing major challenges like climate change, disease outbreaks and pollution. “With the world’s biodiversity declining at an alarming rate, developing innovative approaches to save wildlife is an urgent priority,” she says.

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