Antibiotics as Growth promoters –is a bane or a boon?

 

To answer this question it is important to develop an understanding about, what is the function of an antibiotic and how it does exactly promote growth in the animals. Also, how natural alternatives can effectively prove to be a better substitute.

Antibiotics are antimicrobial drugs that are used to inhibit the growth of pathogenic microorganisms that often cause a variety of diseases in animals; hence they are used as therapeutic drugs.

However, there has been the use of antibiotics in the poultry industry, in order to improve meat production through increased feed conversion, growth rate promotion, and disease prevention. The postulated mechanisms for growth promotion using antibiotics are as follows-

  1. Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGP) inhibit endemic subclinical infection
  2. Reduce growth depressing metabolites like ammonia or bile degrading products produced by microbes
  3. Reduce microbial use of nutrients
  4. Enhance uptake and use of nutrients because the intestinal wall of AGP fed animal is thinner

However, prolonged use of antibiotics results in resistant microbial strains that pose a greater threat not only to the animals but also humans at large when these strains enter the food chain. Hence the use of antibiotics should be highly restricted.

An effective solution to the addressed issue would be the use of natural derivatives that can exhibit similar growth-promoting effects in the animal without posing a threat to the food chain.

Herbofloxin is a Natural Growth Promoter, composed of several natural origin derivatives which work in conjunction to produce effects similar to AGP.    

These plant-derived compounds mainly exert their beneficial effects as follows:

  1. Disrupt cell membrane of microbes
  2. Interfere with virulence properties of the microbes by increasing the hydrophobicity, which influences surface characteristics of microbial cells and makes them susceptible to the immune system
  3. Stimulates growth and proliferation of beneficial bacteria (e.g., lactobacilli and bifidobacteria) in the gut
  4. Act as immunostimulants
  5. Protects intestine from microbial attack
  6. Enhances the production and/or activity of the digestive enzymes
  7. Stimulate the proliferation and growth of absorptive cells (villus and crypt) in the gastrointestinal tract and increases nutrient absorption

Thus the cumulative result of these actions shows growth-promoting effects on the gut of the animal that mimics the effect of AGP. Hence Natural Growth Promoters like Herbofloxin prove to be effective AGP replacers.

Micro Emulsions in Poultry

Micro Emulsions in Poultry

Micro emulsions in Poultry are dispersions 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 interfacial 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 antibiotics named 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?

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

Inflammatory 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 localized or site-specific whereas non-specific responses are more generalized involving phagocytic cells and innate antibody. A generalized 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 the case of respiratory and gut-associated infections is affected the most in the generalized inflammatory tidal wave. Many researchers have associated tethered mucin thinning and reduced ciliary activity as a primary reason for active infection in birds. Onc opportunistic commensals evade, they spread fast. Most cell-mediated responses that 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 behavior which would mimic generalized inflammatory responses.
Immunization reactions are common in poultry where generalized 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 immunization 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.

MAINTAINING POULTRY GUT MICRO-FLORA

The microorganism community in the gut is generally referred to as friendly bacteria, gut flora, gut microbiota, or gut micro-flora. The poultry gut is a diverse community of bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and viruses. There are multiple interactions in the GI tract between the host (bird) cells, the intestinal environment, bacterial cells, and feed components. Hence, the gut micro-flora is extremely important in maintaining the health of the bird. 
The micro-flora in the gut prevents the growth of pathogenic bacteria like Salmonella, Campylobacter, and Clostridium Commensals (or friendly) micro-flora either inhibit the growth or make the environment unsuitable for less favorable bacteria.
The increased presence of bad bacteria is called dysbacteriosis. These bad bacteria affect nutrient absorption in the gut of birds which, in turn, affects bird’s health and performance. To tackle this issue, we have introduced Herbofloxin which is of natural origin and it maintains the health of the gut. It has phytoconstituents of antibacterial nature that target the gut pathogens including important zoonotic bacteria.
Herbofloxin maintains the acidic pH in the gut, which promotes the growth of commensals and resist pathogen attachment to the gut. The result is an immune-modulator effect which improves tolerance to pathogenic bacteria and improves gastrointestinal microclimate so as to improve the digestibility and uptake of nutrients. All these results almost nullify the
the requirement of antibiotics making it an effective Natural antibiotic growth promoter or an effective alternative to synthetic antibiotics.

Gut inflammatory status in poultry

The 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 microbiota.  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 to 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 promoter’s effect on bacteria can affect the natural microflora of the intestine.
  • Environmental factors: Many clostridial spores or coccidia can persist despite harsh environmental conditions that may gain infectivity later under favorable conditions.
  • Feed factors: Correct formulation of the diets play a critical role. Some of the ingredients such as enzymes 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 the gut.

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