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Metabolomics and Veterinary and Animal Health

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As an important part of biology, metabolomics has had a profound impact on many areas of biology. Metabolomics technology platforms are playing an increasingly important role in the fields of health and disease, nutritional sciences, agriculture, plants, microbiology, medicine, resources and environment. The study of animal diseases and animal pharmacology is a major component of veterinary medicine. Metabolomic technologies play an important role in the diagnosis of animal diseases and in ensuring high quality veterinary drugs.

Untargeted metabolomics profilingFig 1. Untargeted metabolomics profiling (Zeki, et al., 2020)

Application of metabolomics in veterinary drug development

Metabolomics is used throughout the process of early discovery to clinical development of new drugs. The monitoring of metabolite changes can be used to observe the physiological status of animal models without harm and to dynamically evaluate drug-organism interactions. At present, metabolomics has been applied to drug screening, drug efficacy and toxicity evaluation, drug mechanism of action, etc.

While a healthy organism is in dynamic equilibrium, the development and progression of disease is accompanied by an imbalance in this homeostasis. Successful drugs must normalize the defective parts of the metabolic network without interfering with other metabolic pathways necessary to maintain health. The discovery and development of new drugs is about adjusting metabolic pathways through the metabolic network to restore them from a disease state to a normal state without disturbing the balance of other metabolisms and reducing and eliminating adverse effects or toxicity. The above holistic concept of metabolomics is also applicable in the development of veterinary drugs. It has great application in the study of mechanism of action of veterinary drugs, pharmacokinetics, drug metabolism, pharmacodynamics of animal disease models and clinical trials.

Metabolomics is applied to the quality inspection of animal drugs to analyze the effect analysis of different drugs on the treatment of animal cases. For example, metronidazole is mainly used for the treatment of trichomoniasis in chickens, etc. The application of metabolomics technology can be used to analyze the content of metronidazole residues in the metabolites of chickens by mass spectrometry, and to compare the number of virus cells in the metabolome for comprehensive analysis, thus reaching the role of quality inspection of animal drugs.

Application of metabolomics in disease diagnosis

Changes in internal and external environmental factors may produce pathogenic factors, which may lead to disruption of body homeostasis and consequently pathological processes, and corresponding changes in the metabolites of the body. Metabolomic analysis of the metabolite response can be used to understand the root cause of disease development and to propose more optimal disease solutions. The analysis of metabolic networks allows the identification of disease-related biomarkers that can contribute to the clinical diagnosis of diseases. The application of metabolomics in disease research is mainly reflected in the discovery of lesion markers, animal disease model research, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of diseases, etc.

With the development of scale and intensification of farming, malignant infectious diseases have been effectively controlled. However, the incidence of diseases caused by a combination of factors is increasing, and the etiology is difficult to solve. These include dairy cattle hoof fever, osteochondrosis, and nutritional metabolic diseases. Metabolomics, in combination with other histological techniques, can be used to explore the etiology of diseases at the molecular level and make disease treatment more targeted.


  1. Zeki, Ö. C., Eylem, C. C., Reçber, T., Kır, S., & Nemutlu, E. (2020). Integration of GC-MS and LC-MS for untargeted metabolomics profiling. Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 113509.

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For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.


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