Micro Emulsions in Poultry

Micro Emulsions in PoultryMicro emulsions in Poultry are dispersion’s of oil and water with an emulsifier. They are clear, thermodynamically stable, isotropic liquid mixtures. They are super solvents which improves stability and thermodynamic activity of formulation. Micro emulsions are beneficial to be used because it increases efficacy of the formulation allowing dose reduction. The average particle size of micro emulsion is 0.1 micrometer which helps in increasing the inter facial area thereby allowing active ingredient to get released easily. In poultry, micro emulsions are designed to include natural essential oils cell wall which in turn binds to mycotoxins to protect animals against mycotoxosis.

Vinayak Ingredients have introduced micro emulsion which is an alternative to antibioticsnamed as Herbofloxin. It is of natural origin prepared from essential oil of syzygium, citronella, thymus, eucalyptus. Herbofloxin has a particle size less than 0.1 micrometer which makes it easily soluble in water. It maintains poultry gut’s pH-6.5 to 6.7 which is slightly acidic. As it is a micro emulsion it has better dispersion in water, stable at 45 degree Celsius temperature and has a longer shelf life. All these factors makes it safe to be consumed by poultry without having any side effects which are otherwise usually caused by using antibiotics. Herbofloxin is natural replacer for antibiotic growth promoters.

Mechanism of action: Herbofloxin being a micro emulsion when mixed with water forms nano emulsion due to which particle size decreases further making it easier to penetrate the bacterial cell wall and disrupt it. Disruption of cell wall leads to killing of bad bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, Clostridium and Salmonella. Thus it acts like a bacteriostatic. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory by improving mucin coverage which is a first line of defence in poultry.

Herbofloxin as a micro emulsion replaces antibiotics such as tetracycline’s, fluoroquinolones, amino glycosides and selectively modulates poultry gut to promote the beneficial microflora.

Do you know the good, the bad and the ugly of inflammation in poultry?

Do you know the good, the bad and the ugly of inflammation in poultryInflammatory responses in birds are because of an immune response. These immune responses can be non-specific (innate) immunity and specific (adaptive) immunity.  Thus, the inflammatory responses can be cell specific as in case of cell mediated immune responses which include T or B lymphocyte responses. These are localised or site specific whereas non-specific responses are more generalized involving phagocytic cells and innate antibody.  A generalised mass inflammatory response has an overwhelming effect on today’s commercial poultry. The chain reaction of events caused by an antigen always involves the innate immunity reaction prior to the involvement of cell mediated immunity. As we learnt in in vaccination basics, vaccines improve specific antibody titers to prevent infection of target microbes. But does this stop inflammatory responses arising from the innate side of the bird? Do these inflammatory responses affect poultry?

Immunity in its most non-specific forms has more demerits than otherwise. The preventive blanket of mucin and ciliary responses as in case of respiratory and gut associated infections is affected the most in the generalised inflammatory tidal wave. Many researchers have associated tethered mucin thinning and reduced ciliary activity as a primary reason for an active infection in birds. Once opportunistic commensals evade, they spread fast. Most cell mediated responses which may are associated with these commensals would respond very late to such an onslaught. The most pronounced effects of these infections would be in high stress conditions especially in heat stress.Heat stress and high ammonia concentrations or similar stresses would require rapid panting behaviour which would mimic generalised inflammatory responses.

Immunisation reactions are common in poultry where the generalised immunity might be one of the reasons for morbidity. The birds are at this stage in their young but antibody deficient forms. As it is, Vaccination is a boon in the poultry industry but frequent respiratory outbreaks could point a direction towards controlling the span of their inflammatory reign. We have seen protection from certain diseases provided by warmth generated from poultry body, and have seen several mortalities from heat stress, similarly balancing this double edged sword should be left to nature. It is most reassuring to see the improving specifics in immunisation but at the same time it is scary to see the broadening antigen carrying potential of the microbes. All considered, surely inflammation would play a vital part in the future of poultry rearing.

Poultry Gut Microbiome

Poultry Gut MicrobiomeThe microbiome of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of poultry is very diverse yet relatively stable in a dynamic state. The poultry (e.g. duck, chicken and turkey) GI tract consists of cloaca, colon, cecum, small intestines (duodenum, jejunum and ileum), gizzard, proventriculus, crop and esophagus. The GI tract of the poultry is much shorter than that of mammalian animals. But it contains highest bacterial abundance and diversity. The bacteria found in the intestine mostly include Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus, Bacteroids, Eubacterium, Peptostreptococcus, Propionibacterium as predominant organisms. Other group of micro organisms such as anaerobic, gram-negative cocci, facultative anaerobic cocci and streptococci are also found in the GI tract. In this article we briefly discuss the factors affecting the poultry gut micro biome and its importance for poultry nutrition.

Microbiome and Host

Many intestinal bacteria hydrolyze carbohydrates to simple sugars which are further fermented to short chain fatty acids (SCFA) (viz., butyrate, propionate and acetate) by other intestinal bacteria. The SCFA are utilized as a source of energy and carbon. Gut bacteria also contribute to host nitrogen metabolism. These bacteria metabolize uric acid to NH3, which is utilized by the host to synthesize a few amino acids such as glutamine. Gut micro biome of poultry may also serve as a source of vitamin to its host. Mucins secreted by goblet cells of the gut are important source of carbon, nitrogen and energy for some commensal and pathogenic bacteria. Gut micro biome also has impact on intestinal morphology of poultry. One such effect is evident when birds raised on a conventional diet show shorter intestinal villi and shallow crypts with low load of bacteria. However, dietary supplementation of probiotic organisms increases villus height: crypt depth ratio in ileum of broilers.

Microbiome and Immunity

The first line of defense mechanism in the inner surface of avian gut is the gel-like mucus layer formed from mucin glycoprotein produced by the goblet cells. The mucus layer prevents the intestinal pathogens from penetrating into intestinal epithelium. The disruption of the mucus layer is probably due to the severe necrosis of the intestinal mucosa which results in vast shedding of goblet cells. Production of beta-defensin is another important strategy present on the intestinal epithelial surface. Βeta-defensin are produced by avian macrophage, heterophils and epithelial cells that kills various intestinal pathogens by disrupting cell membrane permeability. In birds, the cell mediated immunity (T and B cells) can be found in dispersed areas (lamina propria and epithelium) and in more organized lymphoid tissues (Payer’s patches and bursa of fabricius).

Microbiome and Diet

Diet has great potential to modulate the host digestion and nutrient absorption. Wheat, barley or rye-based diets have more impact on the gut micro biome. These diets contain high levels of water-soluble, indigestible, non-starch polysaccharide that favor necrotic enteritis. Excessive non-starch polysaccharide leads to rise in digesta viscosity, decreased digesta passage rate and a decline in nutrient digestibility. Another potential diet ingredient, soyabean is used as a source of protein to promote the growth lactobacilli population and reduce the number of coliforms in cecum of poultry. Some of the gut micro organisms are also influenced by dietary fat source. Dietary enzymes such as xylanase and beta-glucanase, increase intestinal lactic acid bacteria

(LAB) and decrease the population of adverse and pathogenic bacteria such as E. coli. Dietary supplementation with xylanase and beta-glucanase protects against necrotic enteritis as the enzyme breakdown the non starch polysaccharide in the diet and reduce the digesta viscosity. Plant derived trans-cinnamaldehyde and eugenol are effective in reducing S. enteritis colonization in 20-d old broiler chickens. Others such as blend of essential oils, containing thymol, carvacrol, eugenol, curcumin and piperin reduce the colonization and proliferation of such pathogens. Antibiotic growth promoter (AGP) is another feed additive used to improve feed efficiency, increase animal growth and maintain animal health. The inclusion of AGP in poultry diet reduces the incidence of disease and promotes better performance of the birds by inhibiting the growth of enteric pathogens. However, due to rising antibiotic resistance among the pathogens, the use of AGP has been prohibited. The proliferation of the bacteria present in the gut can be increased by the ingestion of prebiotics. Prebiotics are polysaccharides such as galatosaccharide (GOS) and fructosaccharide (FOS). GOS favors the growth of Bifidobacteria in the GI tract of broiler chicken.

Competition for nutrient and attachment site

The GI tract of newly hatched chick is sterile, but is immediately colonized by surrounding organisms. Over the period of time, normal colonization and succession of gut micro biome takes place in healthy adult poultry’s intestine. The GI tract serves as an ideal habitat for micro organisms however, due to limited space and resources; there is competition among organisms for nutrient resources. Some bacteria produce bacteriostatic or bactericidal substances to kill its competitors. The LAB ferment carbohydrates to organic acids and inhibits the growth of certain pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella by reducing the pH of the gut. Certain bacteria such as Enterococcus sp., Pediococcus sps., Bacillus subtilis also produce antimicrobial agent called bacteriocins to selectively inhibit the growth of other bacteria. However, pathogens are adapted to new environment very fast mediated by a process such as conjugation, transformation and transduction. Providing probiotics (live microbial feed supplement) benefits the host through the following mechanisms: (1) inhibiting the growth of pathogenic bacteria from colonizing and proliferating in the gut through competition for nutrient and attachment site (2) production of bacteriostatic and bactericidal substances against pathogens (3) enhancing gut barrier function and (4) enhancing host immunity.

Poultry litter microorganisms influence gut microbiome

Chickens are in constant contact with the micro organisms from the surrounding environment. The poultry litter usually harbors a complex microbial community. Reuse of poultry litter commonly practiced by poultry farmers to reduce produce cost, influences chicken guts micro biome. The reused litter may also harbor disease-causing micro organisms from the previous flock and thus serves as a source of pathogens to the subsequent flock.

Conclusion

The gut represents an essential microbial ecosystem that lives in symbiosis with the host. The development of GI micro biome plays a crucial role in the nutrition, health and growth of the chicken. Thus further research on the intestinal micro biome of the poultry can potentially provide us more knowledge to improve management of poultry diseases, antibiotic resistance and better control of colonization and spread of human pathogens.

Gut Inflammatory Status in Poultry

Gut Inflammatory Status in PoultryThe gastrointestinal tract is the most exposed surface in the body and many diseases are largely related to the gut health status of the broiler. It is an important organ system as poor gut health results in poor nutrient assimilation. Some bacteria play an important role in helping broilers digest feed. Feed constituents affect the viscosity of the gastric content which helps in the development of small intestine micro-biota.  Any significant fluctuation in number or type of commensal leads to diarrhea which may cause severe damage to the intestine ultimately leading to poor performance and diseased birds. Dysbiosis that outnumbers good bacteria for which bad bacteria are then able exert their undesirable effects on the gut lining. Thus, to maintain good health and welfare farmers should focus on the integrity of the intestinal system.

Many causes lead to the loss of intestinal integrity such as:

  • Immuno-suppression: This can be caused due to viral diseases, vaccination or some disease challenges.
  • Antimicrobial activity: The use of antimicrobial growth promoters affect on bacteria can affect the natural micro flora of the intestine.
  • Environmental factors: Many clostridial spores or coccidia can persist despite harsh environmental conditions may gain infectivity later under favourable conditions.
  • Feed factors: Correct formulation of the diets plays critical role. Some of the ingredients such as enzyme incorrectly mixed or applied can have devastating consequences to intestinal integrity.
  • Water: Adequate supply of clean potable water is a norm. Any deviation in water quality has a direct effect on gut.

Disturbance in the intestinal integrity may affect health status and overall performance of birds in poultry production. Strategies such as prevention programs towards infectious disease and using alternatives to antibiotic are advisable replacing the existing chemical antibiotic to maintain intestinal homeostasis.

Antibiotics in feed for poultry-do we need them?

Antibiotics in feed for poultryThere is constant race for better meat yielding animals. As the grain costs increase on an annual basis, the drag co-efficient for the poultry industry has hit a new high. The need for cheap and not necessarily good quality raw materials is more than it ever was. As the nutritional basis for animal feed switches from cost effective to effective cost, there is need for the farmer to be more stringent in choosing the right feed formulation to meet rising demand for meat and eggs. While some choose to be eccentric and follow the all organic approach, more than 70 % of the farms choose to be otherwise. As the health of the bird becomes secondary especially in a short 28 day period, the drive for production is main reason for the advent of antibiotic use in animal feed in the 20th century with the intention to reduce mortality and improve weight gain. As antibiotics gained popularity, the heritage of newly discovered antibiotics passed quickly from human to animal use.

The approach towards poultry and other livestock used for food production has to be of a preventive medicine. The use of antibiotics for this purpose blurred the line between treatment and prevention. Let’s take some time to understand this briefly,  for human medicine, population medicine is individualistic, especially in case of microbial disease, whereas in case of poultry there is a close association between the birds in the house where it is always a sub population we intend to treat or prevent disease in. Using preventive medicine tools directs here to understand the trends and predict outcomes. We always try to go one better by improving bio security and management practices, so that we affix our outcomes of clean bird production.  Once we start using substances that kill micro-flora we are already invading the population by measures labelled as preventive, but actually treating a problem, so be it at a micro-scale. This so called preventive use of antibiotics in feed treats every birds differently, where in human medicine we consider parenteral as the route of choice for maximum efficacy, feeding birds orally forms one barrier, apart from not discussing how much one bird will consume and how often. Now we come to a question very recently asked by the pro –antibiotics lobby, how antibiotics used for the animal use and human use being different, have a chance to produce antibiotic resistance that is significant for human medicine. To put my point clearly below is a table published in one report that demarks different categories of antibiotics with respect to their in animal or in human use.

This report says as reported by FDA, but actually is an adaptation from the report and the table is not present in the original FDA version.

Even if we consider that the categories are different for human and animal use, how one ensures that antibiotics working on certain targets as cell wall or cell division are going to discriminate the categories. We are not even sure that how low dose of certain one category of antibiotics affects the cross development of antibiotic resistance.

So, where do we go from here, do we use antibiotics or not? Let’s now focus on what can be done.

We can list how we can collectively reduce antibiotics,

  1. Treat Invitro

This implies to enhancing the biosecurity measures in all inputs for the birds. Using safe, natural alternatives in these zones which include the water source, litter, House and feed. Using disinfectants of natural origin in these zones kill the microbes where they are most vulnerable that is outside the bird body.

  1. Focus on nutrition

Use bio-availability scales to improve the nutrition supply to the birds. Healthy birds survive on the accord on their own immunity and natural barriers. Remember the host also in the infection trilogy of pathogen, host and environment interaction.

  1. Clean processed birds for sale

The importance of slaughter house disinfection should not be lost. This is the last step that the producer can really control its quality of carcass. Using non-residual agents for cleansing of carcass.

  1. Gut is where all the action is

Improving gut flora results in better good micro flora dominance in the intestine. Additives that improve all supporting structures which enhance the micro climate for gut will improve gut associated lymphoid tissue and results in improved immunity and absorption. Gut health enhancement also reduces chances of pathogens passing into the blood and other vital organs. Reducing the endogenous losses from gut will also enhance amino acid turn-over in poultry.

Efforts should be made to cull such trends when they originate and the poultry industry should keep an open mind towards use of alternatives to antibiotics, as it would take some withdrawal time to wean off these dependencies.

Herbofloxin-Natural Antibiotic Growth Promoter

Herbofloxin-Natural Antibiotic Growth Promoter

Herbofloxin is our answer to the long standing problem of antibiotic inclusions in feed and water of livestock. It is a unique micro emulsified formulation of phytoactive ingredients working as antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal solutions for monogastric organisms.

Herbofloxin eliminates chemicals such as, water sanitizers, pH regulators, feed disinfectants and antibiotics from Livestock production. It improves gut immune barriers to resist colonization by pathological microflora. Herbofloxin is a complete solution for providing a barrier against infective agents and safeguards the entry of zoonotic organisms in the food chain. Herbofloxin reduces gut colonization by E.coli, Salmonella and Campylobacter and thus reducing the zoonosis of the same in the meat. It is a growth promoter resulting in healthy weight gain.