Changing Trends in Antibiotic Use in the Poultry Industry

Changing Trends in Antibiotic Use in the Poultry IndustryA major feature of poultry production nowadays is the reduction of in use of antibiotics as growth promoters, and this is majorly due to concerns over bacterial resistance.

Antibiotics used in a widespread manner as a feed additive can lead to development of Bacterial resistance as the residual antibiotics in the tissues of poultry can be consumed by humans. The bacteria resistant to antimicrobials may also get transferred from one individual to another individual leading to reduced performance of antimicrobials in humans.  This prompted the WHO in 1997 and the Economic and Social Committee of the European Union in 1998 to conclude that the use of antimicrobials in poultry could be a possible risk for the general health and well being of humans.

Many organisations are focusing their research on the development of alternative strategies to maintain the gut health of poultry and enhance performance of poultry by using various other substances, commonly known as natural growth promoters (NGPs). These Natural Growth Promoters have been identified as effective alternatives to antibiotics. A good popularity has been gained by Phytobiotics as NGPs especially, due to their beneficial effect on gut health, performance of birds and positive effects on the immunity of the bird.

Phytobiotics can be defined as plant derived products added to feed in order to improve performance. They originate from leaves, roots, tubers or fruits of herbs, spices and other plants. Phytobiotics are basically of plant origin, and popular extracts that are gaining interest among researchers and poultry producers are thyme, oregano, turmeric and garlic.

Keeping in mind the changing trends in the market, Vinayak Ingredients launched a natural growth promoter by the brand name Herbofloxin. Herbofloxin maintains the health of the gut and as an alternative to antibiotics. It has phyto-constituents of antibacterial nature that target the gut pathogens including important zoonotic bacteria. As a result, Herbofloxin promotes the growth of commensals.

Herbofloxin provides immune-modulator effect which improves tolerance to pathogenic bacteria and improves gastrointestinal micro-climate so as to improve the digestibility and uptake of nutrients. All these results almost nullify the requirement of antibiotics making it as an effective natural antimicrobial growth promoter.

Gut Inflammatory Status in Poultry

Gut Inflammatory Status in Poultry - Vinayak IngredientsThe 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.