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.

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.

Antibiotics!!! Do we need them?

Antibiotics - Do the livestock need them

Ever wondered why antibiotics are good, bad or evil? Well if you need an orientation session with the use and misuse of antibiotics, this is your space to read.

We all know definitions are important, so here we go. For a technically sound person the word ‘Antibiotics’ are agents which work against microorganisms. To put it into lay man perspective, these are substances/compounds which kill or slow down the growth of harmful bacteria, fungi or similar bugs that thrive on other living or dead things.  By the end of that “Layman term” explanation we would have understood that there isn’t a layman term for antibiotics and you don’t have to Einstein or for that matter Sheldon your way (Courtesy big bang theory) to understand the science behind antibiotics.

To make things clearer lets classify them into four practical categories (Oh I would love to classify them into seven different ways so that you need to classify the classification types to complicate matters, but this not what we intend to graduate in).

  • Chemically – Molecular structures (Beta lactams, Quinones, Aminoglycosides……)
  • Target microorganisms (Antibacterial, Anti-fungal, Anti protozoal… )
  • Mechanism of action(Cell wall, enzyme, DNA….)
  • Evolutionary ( 1st generation, 2nd gen, New world )

Use of Antibiotics in the feed industry

Firstly not all antibiotics those are used as feed additives for animals and used in humans for treatment. The importance of this fact is rivaling many issues on banning of antibiotics as feed additives.  We will touch base with this statement again when we deal with the statement of antibiotic resistance. In the livestock industry antibiotics are used primarily for three reasons

  1. Treatment of bacterial, fungal and other infectious diseases.
  2. Prevention of infections , as a precautionary in feed compulsion.
  • Growth promotion,to improve final body weight of birds raised for meat.

Many antibiotics used in treatment of livestock used for meat purpose are the same antibiotics used in humans. These include a major share of quinolones. Although the figures below in the table reflect otherwise one should also consider that these antibiotics given under the treatment regime are given for a small 4 or 5 day schedule and often used in very small quantities. If proper withdrawal periods are used these antibiotics are excreted from the body of the animal well before slaughter. The table below shows us the volume compartmentalisation of antibiotic use.

Use by volume Humans Animal
Pencilins 44 % 6 %
Cephalasporins 15% 1%
Sulfa 14% 3%
Quinolones 9% less than 1%
Macrolides 5% 4%
Tetracyclines 4% 41%
Ionophores 0% 30%

In the next blog we learn more about antibiotic resistance and how it impacts us …