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Phylox® Performance Equals Salinomycin or Nicarbazin to Combat a Coccidia Challenge

Phylox

To an industry looking for anticoccidial alternatives, Amlan International offers Phylox® (available in select international markets), a blend of natural ingredients, Phylox was developed to control coccidiosis without resorting to ionophores or chemicals. Dr. San Ching, a Technical Research Manager at Amlan International was instrumental in the development of Phylox. He had this to say about the development of Amlan’s new product to fight coccidiosis

We designed, Varium®, which provides excellent results reducing the damage from necrotic enteritis caused by toxins produced by Clostridium perfringens. However, our customers also needed a solution for coccidiosis, which is highly related to necrotic enteritis. Therefore, we developed, Phylox, which works to decrease the effects of the parasitic disease. When we started working on a coccidiosis solution, we soon realized that there was a resistance issue in many of the current alternatives, both for antibiotic ionophores and chemicals. Thus, for Phylox we used natural ingredients that would attack coccidia and the coccidiosis problem in more than one way and avoid the development of resistance. We know that the oocysts’ lifecycle is complicated, but most of it occurs in the gut. We selected ingredients that limit the development of the Eimeria oocysts in multiple ways. Additionally, we wanted to invent a product that can work seamlessly with the vaccines.”

Phylox has been shown to be successful in numerous research trials. In 2022, Amlan gave two presentations: A Novel Approach to Coccidiosis Control and A Research-Backed Alternative to Anticoccidial Drugs at the Scientific Forum of IPPE. These presentations represented seven experiments and show Phylox improved growth and immune function in broilers challenged with coccidia. Two additional experiments have been added as a final step in research and development, further proving the value of Phylox for birds facing a coccidia challenge.

In each of the two studies, the coccidia challenge was at day 14 when birds were given an oral dose of 100,000 oocysts of E. acervulina, 50,000 oocysts of E. maxima, and 75,000 oocysts of E. tenella.  The coccidia lifecycle is interesting and complex. Many coccidia species are host specific and do not cross from one host species to another. Several strains of coccidia affect chickens. These strains rise and fall in prominence, in part due to their ability to develop resistance to the chemical or antibiotic that is being used to control them. The three species used in these studies attach to different areas of the gastro-intestinal tract. E. acervuline causes lesions and damage to the upper third of the intestine – the duodenum and upper ileum, E. maxima causes lesions in the middle third of the intestine, and E. tenella cause lesions in the ceca.

 

In the first study, no coccidiosis vaccines or other coccidiosis medications were given. The treatments in the study consisted of both challenged and unchallenged birds with Phylox in the feed and challenged and unchallenged birds without Phylox in the feed. When a coccidia challenge wasn’t given, birds fed Phylox had the same gain and feed conversion as the control birds both for day 14 – 28 and the overall, day 0 – 28, experimental period (Figures 1 &2). This result proves that feeding Phylox doesn’t have a negative affect when a coccidia challenge isn’t present, which is a problem with some other coccidiosis preventatives.

 

Figure 1. Weight gain of birds without and with a coccidia challenge with and without Phylox in the feed.

 

Phylox improved performance in birds challenged with coccidia. Feeding Phylox improved feed conversion in the challenged birds. This was seen in both in the challenge period, day 14 – 28, and for the overall experimental period from day 0 – 28.

 

Figure 2. Feed conversion of birds without and with a coccidia challenge with and without Phylox.

 

Figure 3. Phylox has multiple ways to help prevent coccidiosis.

 

The improvement in feed conversion is because Phylox contains various active ingredients giving it multiple modes of action (Figure 3). This allows Phylox to protect the intestine during a coccidia challenge. First, it interferes with the cell membrane of the coccidia protozoa. Phylox binds to the sterols of the cell membrane, compromising the integrity of the sporozoite cell wall, the cell then dies by apoptosis. Phylox also interrupts the Eimeria lifecycle by preventing oocyst sporulation. By interrupting this step, the oocysts don’t develop from the immature noninfective form to the mature infective form. This disruption protects the intestinal cells from coccidial infection. Other ingredients included in Phylox provide energy to the endothelial cells that line the intestine. The protected intestine is better able to absorb necessary nutrients resulting in improved feed conversion. In addition to improved feed conversion, this protective ability is also shown by the decrease in lesion scores of the challenged birds fed Phylox. The lesion scores formed by each of the coccidia species used in the challenged decreased when birds were fed Phylox when intestines were examined on day 20 (Figure 4).

 

Figure 4. Lesion scores of birds without and with a coccidia challenge with and without Phylox in the feed.

 

 

In an experiment with a similar coccidiosis challenge model, Phylox was compared to using salinomycin or nicarbazin. These feed additives have commonly been used to decrease the effects of coccidiosis.

 

 

Figure 5. Weight gain of coccidia challenged broilers fed salinomycin, nicarbazin, or Phylox.

 

Feeding Phylox resulted in weight gain and feed conversion equal to the salinomycin or nicarbazin treatments (Figure 5 & 6). This is the same result that was seen in the research presented by Dr. Ching at the 2022 IPPE Scientific Forum A Research-Backed Alternative to Anticoccidial Drugs. This result was observed both in the days following the challenge (day 14 – 28), and for the overall experimental period (day 0 – 28). All treatments had better feed conversion than the untreated birds.

 

 

Figure 6. Feed conversion of coccidia challenged broilers fed salinomycin, nicarbazin, or Phylox.

 

Phylox reduced lesion scores for each species of coccidia and as an average of all species compared to the untreated challenge when intestines were examined on day 20. The reduction was equal to that of the ionophore and the chemical coccidiosis treatments. Feeding Phylox also decreased fecal coccidia oocysts counts equal to the decrease seen by feeding salinomycin or nicarbazin. Oocysts were counted in excreta collected from day 19 – 22.

 

 

Figure 7. Lesion score or oocyst counts of coccidia challenged broilers fed salinomycin, nicarbazin, or Phylox.

 

Because Phylox contains various active ingredients it can fill in the gaps that are missing from other coccidiosis control methods. It can be used in No-Antibiotic-Ever programs with no withdrawal requirement. It is effective against multiple Eimeria strains without promoting the emergence of drug-resistant coccidia. And it can be fed with anticoccidial vaccines, preventing disease breakthrough while immunity is being developed by the bird.

Natural Phylox is not only equal to traditional ways of controlling coccidiosis but is equal in economic performance. Phylox can be used to combat coccidiosis in no-antibiotics-ever or traditional production.

Dr. Ching’s presentation of this research at IPPE in the poster session.

Talk to your Amlan representative on how to use Phylox in your production system.

Advanced Technologies to Mitigate Disease in Poultry Production

As more poultry producers incorporate antibiotic-free (ABF) practices into their operations, the need for innovative disease mitigation technologies has also increased. Amlan International is meeting this demand by developing next-generation products, using mineral-based technology, that optimize bird intestinal health and add value for the producer.

 

In this post we examine four technological advances that could help drive progress in managing disease, bacteria and toxins in flocks while meeting consumer demands for high-quality animal protein. We discuss the advanced mineral technology that is the foundation of Amlan’s natural feed additives as well as a unique diagnostic service offered by Amlan. We also highlight technology on the market from other (unaffiliated) companies that our team thought might be useful for ABF producers to consider when looking for new ways to manage disease in their flock.

 

  1. Optimize intestinal health with advanced mineral technology

In a crowded feed additive market, advanced mineral technology is the Amlan difference. As the animal health business of Oil-Dri® Corporation of America, Amlan’s scientifically proven products are backed by

Oil-Dri’s 80 years of experience in mineral science. The single-source raw material that is the core of Amlan’s products is calcium montmorillonite with high-capacity opal-CT lepispheres. Proprietary thermal processing — that does not use harmful chemicals — is tailored for each product to create unique functionalities.

 

Calibrin®-Z (available in select international markets) is a broad-spectrum biotoxin binder that protects poultry and livestock from biotoxins that reduce performance and cause morbidity or mortality. All-natural Calibrin-Z binds polar (e.g., aflatoxin) and nonpolar (e.g., zearalenone) mycotoxins, as well as bacterial toxins like those produced by C. perfringens, E. coli and C. difficile. Binding these biotoxins enhances intestinal health to improve feed efficiency and overall animal performance.

 

  1. Minimize production loss with timely mycotoxin diagnostic results

When determining whether feed is contaminated with mycotoxins, a fast and accurate analysis is critical for preventing the negative health and production effects mycotoxins can cause. Amlan has partnered with Envirologix, the world’s most trusted name for quantitative testing kits at the point of grain delivery, to bring producers . This program provides on-site quantitative mycotoxin detection results within 10 minutes. The test identifies mycotoxin contamination levels in the feed, and Amlan’s dose calculator can be used to determine the optimal dose of  to apply in the animal’s ration to mitigate the toxin threat.

 

  1. Automation technology increases animal welfare and detects disease

Robot automation in poultry barns is a growing segment of the poultry industry. Robotic technology uses sensors and 2D and 3D cameras to perform repetitive and time-consuming tasks such as disinfecting barns, picking up floor eggs, vaccinating and managing litter.

 

Increasingly important in modern poultry operations, robotics can also help mitigate production risks and ensure animal welfare goals are met. Thermal imaging can be used to detect animal body temperatures, early disease indicators, record bird activity/welfare and report mortalities while performing their assigned tasks. Monitoring technology can also help producers observe environmental metrics in facilities such as temperature, humidity and carbon dioxide and ammonia levels. A recent development in this area is using sensors to determine when a poultry house smell is no longer “normal.” This technology could help identify a biosecurity or disease risk to a flock.

 

  1. Blockchain technology facilitates food traceability

Modern consumers are increasingly demanding to know more about how and where their food is raised. Blockchain technology, often in combination with other digital tech, helps track and trace animals and food products throughout the supply chain by linking small packages of data to provide a digital audit of meat production and food safety. At the farm level, these data points could include point of origin, veterinary and feed source records and transportation dates.

 

As poultry move through the food production system, blockchain technology records significant data points to ensure food supplies meet the traceability requirements that consumers demand. In the processing sector, for example, blockchain can link production information with the final product’s labeling and packaging information to ensure compliance with brand commitments. Blockchain offers incredible promise for connecting poultry growers with new market opportunities.

 

These emerging trends are important to monitor so producers can determine how best their operations can evolve and remain competitive. Investing in the right technologies will be the key to moving poultry producers to greater production, improved efficiencies,  enhanced market opportunities and increased profitability. At Amlan, we are developing and bringing to market advanced feed additive technologies that optimize the intestinal health and production efficiency of producers’ flocks while preserving the economic viability of poultry production. To learn more, click .

 

 

 

Fifteen Years of Driving Profits Naturally: The History of Amlan International

Dan Jaffee profile with Amlan International logo.

Oil-Dri® Corporation of America has been active in the animal health market since the 1980’s with products designed to help feed flowability and pellet binding. But in 2007, Oil-Dri took a leap — a well-informed, scientifically-backed leap — further into the animal health market with the registration of the Amlan International brand and the official launch of their animal health business. Fifteen years later, Amlan International is a successful global brand that helps poultry and livestock producers optimize intestinal health and add value to their operation. So why did Oil-Dri, a company founded on a garage floor oil adsorbent, decide to invest in animal gut health solutions? And what does the future look like for Amlan?

Creating Value for Animal Health Producers

Consumer demands and concern over antimicrobial-resistant pathogens have created a global push toward antibiotic-free and natural animal protein production. But this change in production has also created the need for natural solutions to help manage the health and productivity of flocks and herds. As Dan Jaffee, President and CEO of Oil-Dri and President and General Manager of Amlan, explains, Oil-Dri saw the opportunity to create value for animal protein producers by leveraging an Oil-Dri-owned mineral to develop novel, natural feed additive solutions under the Amlan brand.

“We realized there was a market need, and Oil-Dri had an incredible natural solution to the problem. Our clay naturally does amazing things; but then when we combine our clay with our multi-million-dollar research investments, in our core lab and our new microbiology lab, we’ve been able to do some incredible things. And we’re really just at the beginning.”

—Dan Jaffee, President and CEO of Oil-Dri, President and General Manager of Amlan

As the animal health business of Oil-Dri, we take full advantage of the benefits that vertical integration brings, including control over the quality of our mineral and ensuring consistency of supply for our customers. We also leverage the 80 years of Oil-Dri mineral science expertise, and we share the values and business ethics of Oil-Dri.

A Broad Range of Natural, Value-Adding Products

Amlan started with just two products, sold internationally outside of North America — biotoxin binding Calibrin®-Z and aflatoxin-binding Calibrin-A. Both products are made from our single-source calcium montmorillonite that undergoes proprietary thermal processing tailored for each product. It’s our mineral’s natural properties and our proprietary processing technique that make our mineral-based products stand out from other clay additives in the market.

Investing heavily in research and development has allowed us to expand our international product range by combining natural ingredients with our mineral to develop synergistic intestinal health solutions for production animals. This included the 2015 launch of Varium® for poultry and NeoPrime® for swine, which help reduce the level of pathogenic challenge in the intestine, strengthen and energize the intestinal barrier and stimulate intestinal immunity. The technology behind Varium and NeoPrime is patented in Brazil, Indonesia, Korea, the European Union, the United States and China, with other countries pending.

Most recently we expanded our international product portfolio with the launch of Phylox® Feed, a natural alternative to anticoccidial drugs and vaccines and NeutraPath®, a natural pathogen-control product (available in select markets). In 2021, Amlan also launched a broad portfolio of products specifically for North American producers. And we’re not done — we have more innovative products in our research pipeline that will continue our efforts to optimize animal intestinal health and provide value for producers.

Your Animal Intestinal Health Partner

Innovative products are a great start for a new business, but we see customers as partners, not numbers on invoices, so we also needed knowledgeable technical service specialists and a strong sales team to support our mission of creating value for our customers. Our team helps customers achieve their production goals by integrating rations with the best Amlan solutions for each situation. As Dan Jaffee mentions in the video below, this includes trialing products first to show customers the true value Amlan can bring to their operations.

Growing Our Future and Yours

Our goal for the future is to continue investing in innovation to continue developing natural solutions to industry challenges that can help producers drive profits naturally. You can hear Dan’s thoughts on the future of Amlan in the video below. Everyone at Amlan shares Dan’s excitement about the intestinal health solutions we are bringing to the animal production industry and the value our products offer for producers. To learn more about Amlan, our innovations and our team, visit our Who We Are page.

 

Varium® Rivals Zinc Bacitracin in Maintaining Broiler Intestinal Health

Varium® logo with broilers in the background.

In some countries, the use of zinc bacitracin as an antibiotic growth promoter (AGP) in poultry is restricted due to concern over the increase in multi-drug-resistant bacteria that do not respond to traditional antibiotic treatments. Restrictions in the use of AGPs in animal feeds like zinc bacitracin has spurred the development of natural AGP alternatives that keep birds healthy and growing efficiently.

Natural Performance Promotion

Varium® is a patented natural mineral-based feed additive that promotes efficiency and productivity in poultry. Unlike antibiotics that kill bacteria, the patented technology in Varium includes a synergistic formulation of ingredients that binds pathogenic bacteria and their toxins, provides an energy source for the growth of healthy and strong enterocytes and gently stimulates immunity cells. With multiple modes of action, Varium adds value for producers by replacing the need for multiple feed additives; it can provide the same benefits in one product thereby simplifying diet formulations and reducing costs.

Comparing Varium with Zinc Bacitracin

To demonstrate its effectiveness, Varium was directly compared to zinc bacitracin in a broiler study conducted by a university in Pakistan. In the trial, 180 Ross 308 chicks (10 chicks per pen, 6 pens per treatment) were randomly allocated to one of three treatment groups: control (0.01% zinc bacitracin), Varium 0.1 (0.1%) or Varium 0.15 (0.15%). The broilers were raised under normal production conditions, with the trial ending on day 35. Newcastle disease vaccine was administered to all birds on day 6 (intraocular and subcutaneous) and a booster (oral) was administered on day 21. Newcastle disease titers were measured on days 20 and 35 from 18 birds per treatment. Three birds per pen (18 total per treatment), randomly selected on day 35, and had small intestine morphology and bacterial counts in the small intestine and digesta measured.

Varium Protects Intestinal Health

The study showed that Varium was able to protect intestinal morphology better than zinc bacitracin. In Varium-fed broilers, a significant dose-response effect was observed for intestinal (jejunum) villus height and villi index (villus height to crypt depth) on day 35, with all Varium treatments significantly higher than the zinc bacitracin control (Figure 1). A similar dose response was observed with intestinal (jejunum) crypt depth; all Varium treatments were significantly lower than the control, and Varium 0.15 was significantly lower than Varium 0.1 (Figure 1).

Villus Height, Villi Index, Crypt Depth of broilers information.
Figure 1: Villus height, villi index and crypt depth of broilers fed either 0.01% zinc bacitracin (control) or Varium at 0.1 or 0.15%. Varium demonstrated a dose-response effect that indicated better ability to protect intestinal morphology than zinc bacitracin.

 

Varium was also able to protect the birds from necrotic enteritis to the same extent as zinc bacitracin. Necrotic enteritis was not found among any of the sampled birds on day 35. Lesion scores (0 to 4 scale) for the entire length of the small intestine were not different between treatments; however, Varium 0.1 had a better effect on intestinal elasticity than the other treatments.

Beneficial Bacteria Increase with Varium

Varium was able to promote colonization of beneficial bacteria while decreasing the population of pathogenic bacteria. Varium 0.1 had significantly more beneficial Lactobacilli than zinc bacitracin and Varium 0.15 had significantly more than all treatments (Figure 2). All Varium treatments decreased the population of Salmonella in the small intestine and digesta compared to zinc bacitracin (Figure 3).

Lactobacilli colonization of the small intestine and digesta information.
Figure 2: Lactobacilli colonization of the small intestine and digesta was improved when the broiler diet was supplemented with Varium.
Salmonella colonization of the small intestine and digesta information.
Figure 3: Salmonella colonization of the small intestine and digesta was significantly reduced when the broiler diet was supplemented with Varium.

A Better Immune Response

Varium also improved the immune response to vaccination. On day 20 and 35, Newcastle disease antibody titer (hemagglutination inhibition test) was significantly higher in all Varium treatments compared to zinc bacitracin. Previous research (contact Amlan for more details, info@amlan.com) has shown that feeding Varium during disease challenge can restore the expression of immune cells that are responsible for stimulation of an antigen-specific immune response and also increase phagocytic activity compared to the control group. This increased immune response, as well as the removal of bacterial toxins that can cause immunosuppression, are thought to be the reasons behind the increase in Newcastle disease antibody titers observed in the present study.

This study confirmed that Varium can be as effective as zinc bacitracin in promoting intestinal health. The doses of Varium at 0.1 and 0.15% performed equal to or better than zinc bacitracin for the parameters tested. For more information on how Varium can improve health, production efficiency and value, visit the Varium product page.

Pathogen Control Options for Antibiotic-Free Poultry Production

NeutraPath® Logo and Poultry Farm Info Graphic | Amlan International

Antibiotic-free (ABF) poultry production has its benefits — it increases market opportunities for producers and, perhaps more importantly, it helps reduce the emergence of antimicrobial resistant pathogens. But ABF production also brings with it a new set of challenges. One of the biggest is how to control the pathogens that reduce flock health and production efficiency, now that subtherapeutic levels of antibiotics can’t be used.

Stopping pathogens from entering the poultry house in the first place goes a long way in controlling disease outbreaks. But most pathogenic agents associated with common enteric poultry diseases are ubiquitous in the environment, meaning their management focuses more on control than eradication. In this post we discuss the importance of biosecurity and environmental management in controlling pathogens in ABF production systems. We also present data on NeutraPath®, a natural feed additive available in select international markets that has multiple modes of action against enteric pathogens.

Prevent Diseases Spreading

People are the biggest risk factor for introducing pathogens into a flock. For this reason, limiting visitors and wearing personal protective equipment in the barn are typically standard practices in poultry facilities. People traveling to the farm should also disinfect their shoes and vehicle floorboards when arriving and leaving the facility. Keeping rodents and insects out of the barn and preventing wild birds from contaminating open water sources are other key control points for effective biosecurity.

Create an Uninviting Environment for Pathogens

Water in the poultry barn can easily become a vector for microbial contamination. The nutrient-rich water lines and the warm environment of the poultry house are ideal growing conditions for bacteria and other pathogens. Therefore, water lines should be flushed regularly and cleaned between flocks, and water storage tanks routinely cleaned to prevent microbial growth.

Managing moisture and ammonia levels in poultry litter is also critical for reducing disease challenges and keeping birds healthy. This includes supplying adequate ventilation and regularly checking for water line leaks. Dry litter lessens the risk of disease, reduces morbidity and condemnations, and helps ammonia stay at acceptable levels. Windrowing the litter between flocks can help reduce the pathogen load because it heats the litter and allows the surrounding floor to dry out. Wet droppings due to poor intestinal health also increase moisture and ammonia in litter, which is another reason why supporting optimal intestinal health in birds is vital to production success.

NeutraPath®: A Natural Pathogen Control Product

As well as making the environmental conditions less favorable for pathogen growth, targeting the pathogens themselves is a key part of preventing enteric disease outbreaks in poultry. Traditionally, this was achieved by administering subtherapeutic levels of antibiotics, but natural, non-antibiotic products are now available for use in antibiotic-free production systems.

NeutraPath uses multiple modes of action to increase livability and improve feed conversion in antibiotic-free poultry. Using a proprietary and coactive blend of essential oils, fatty acids and Amlan’s proprietary mineral technology, NeutraPath reduces pathogenic bacterial load and colonization, and improves intestinal health and structural integrity, all of which contribute to improved performance and increased production yields.

The ability of NeutraPath to control pathogens has been proven in multiple studies, including in research published in Poultry Science. In the Poultry Science study, NeutraPath exhibited a potent antimicrobial effect against Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strain PHL2020 and reduced its intestinal colonization. In another study, NeutraPath reduced ileal Clostridium perfringens populations compared to the challenged control (Figure 1). Feed conversion ratio and weight gain results ensued that were similar between NeutraPath and an in-feed antibiotic (BMD) and were significantly better than the challenged control (Figure 2).

NeutraPath® Reduced Necrotic Enteritis in Broilers Infographic | Amlan International
Figure 1: Ileal C. perfringens populations. 224 total birds. Source: Southern Poultry Research, Inc. Athens, GA.

NeutraPath® Day 0-28 Feed Conversion Ratio Infographic | Amlan International

NeutraPath® Day 0-28 Weight Gain Infographic | Amlan International
Figures 2 – 3: Feed conversion ratio and weight gain of necrotic enteritis-challenged broilers. 224 total birds. Source: Southern Poultry Research, Inc. Athens, GA.

 

NeutraPath doesn’t just perform under pathogen-challenged conditions, however. In a side-by-side commercial broiler house study for an integrated broiler producer in the southern United States (54,000 birds per house), NeutraPath performed better across all parameters measured, including a 0.56 percent increase in livability (Table 1).

NeutraPath® Improved Commercial Broiler Performance Infographic | Amlan International
Table 1: Comparative results of NeutraPath vs. control in a commercial broiler study.

Creating unfavorable environmental conditions for pathogens can help reduce enteric disease outbreaks in poultry. To further control pathogens, NeutraPath can be incorporated into rations to strengthen intestinal health and reduce the intestinal pathogen load. For more information on NeutraPath or to set up your own NeutraPath trial, contact info@amlan.com.

NeutraPath®: Natural Pathogen Control Using Feed Ingredient Synergy

NeutraPath Biology with Swine

The control of pathogens and disease is a recurring challenge for livestock and poultry producers, whether they use conventional or antibiotic-free production systems. Amlan is tackling the challenge of disease prevention with the development of a natural feed additive that combines multiple feed ingredients that help reduce bacterial pathogens and their toxins. NeutraPath®, a natural feed additive for all species, reduces the pathogenic bacterial load and colonization, while also improving intestinal health and structural integrity, all of which contribute to improved bird performance and production economics.

NeutraPath (available in select international markets) features a unique blend of essential oils, fatty acids and Amlan’s proprietary mineral technology. The product’s potent antibacterial formula was engineered to neutralize bacterial toxins, destabilize bacterial cell membranes and disrupt cell-to-cell communication between pathogenic bacteria, all while also improving intestinal health.

NeutraPath has been shown in various studies to have antibacterial properties against a variety of gram-negative and gram-positive bacterial pathogens. By reducing pathogenic bacterial intestinal colonization, NeutraPath improved feed conversion and intestinal health and reduced bacterial diarrhea, necrotic enteritis lesions, and mortality. Here we present a summary of some of the NeutraPath research, including data published in peer reviewed journals or presented at international scientific meetings. Contact info@amlan.com for more details of these studies.

Dual Effects: Disarming Pathogens and Reducing Their Prevalence
The antibacterial activity of NeutraPath against a variety of production-limiting pathogen species was demonstrated in both poultry and swine studies. In various broiler studies, birds challenged with either Salmonella enterica serovar Heidelberg, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium or Clostridium perfringens had decreased prevalence and bacterial load of the pathogen in the ceca, cecal tonsils, cecal contents or cloacal swabs compared with the challenged control. There was also a fourfold reduction of alpha-toxin levels in the cecal contents of broilers challenged with C. perfringens compared with the challenged control (Figure 1).

Alpha-toxin levels info graphic.
Figure 1: Alpha-toxin levels in the cecal contents of broilers challenged with C. perfringens. Source: Southern Poultry Research, Inc., Athens, GA. 128 total birds.

In swine orally inoculated with F18+ enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), feeding NeutraPath reduced the frequency of diarrhea, indicating a greater resistance to disease (He et al., 2022). Changes in the fecal microbiome and ileal mucosa microbiota composition suggested NeutraPath also helps maintain a desirable balance in the intestinal microbial ecosystem.

Collectively, these studies indicate that NeutraPath can selectively modulate gut microbiota homeostasis via exerting potent antibacterial effects against enteric pathogenic bacteria while preserving or promoting beneficial bacteria.

Healthier Swine and Poultry
The antibacterial effects of NeutraPath promote positive health benefits for poultry and swine. In broilers challenged with C. perfringens-induced necrotic enteritis in combination with Eimeria maxima infection, NeutraPath improved livability and necrotic enteritis-related lesion scores compared with challenged control birds (Figure 2). Additionally, using antibiotics instead of NeutraPath produced similar mortality rates and lesion scores as NeutraPath.

Mortality rates info graphic.
Lesion scores info graphic.
Figures 2 and 3: Necrotic enteritis-caused mortality rates and lesion scores in broilers. 240 total birds. Source: Southern Poultry Research, Inc. Athens, GA.

The data from the broiler studies indicate that NeutraPath can be used to help manage C. perfringens-induced necrotic enteritis in broilers. As mentioned earlier, NeutraPath was also shown to decrease the incidence of severe diarrhea in weaned pigs challenged with Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC).

Enhanced Production Performance
NeutraPath was also able to improve production parameters in poultry and swine. In a summary of four similarly designed broiler studies that experimentally induced necrotic enteritis, NeutraPath showed better performance than the challenged control group and performed similarly to antibiotic-treated birds (Table 1). The results of these studies show that NeutraPath was comparable to an antibiotic in improving performance of broilers challenged with necrotic enteritis.

Necrotic Enteritis-challenged broiler performance info graphic.
Table 1: Comparison of necrotic enteritis-challenged broiler performance. Source: Southern Poultry Research Inc., Athens, GA. Birds were challenged with C. perfringens at 2 weeks of age and grown to day 28.

In the swine ETEC challenge study, compared to the control, pigs fed NeutraPath demonstrated improved growth during the last two weeks of the study with improvements in feed efficiency during days 14 to 21 post-inoculation. These studies demonstrate that NeutraPath can enhance growth performance in broilers and swine challenged with production limiting pathogens.

In these studies, the synergism of NeutraPath ingredients worked well to reduce pathogenic bacterial colonization, improve health parameters and enhance production performance in swine and poultry. For more information on NeutraPath or to set up your own NeutraPath trial, contact info@amlan.com.

Exploring Coccidiosis Control Options, Including a New Natural Alternative

Phylox feed biology poultry house

The negative impact that coccidiosis has on bird health and production economics make it a constant challenge for poultry producers. Total eradication of Eimeria species from the poultry house is unlikely, so producers focus instead on suppressing coccidia to prevent subclinical disease performance loss, or worse, a clinical outbreak.

There are multiple options available for managing coccidiosis in poultry, including vaccination, and anticoccidials (synthetic chemicals and ionophores), although producers desire to move away from pharmaceutical solutions or harsh chemical additives, and concerns regarding resistance persist. A new natural alternative to anticoccidial drugs and vaccines — that provides equivalent performance — is Phylox® Feed. In this post, we provide an overview of each coccidiosis control method and share data on the comparable efficacy of Phylox.

Vaccines Stimulate Immunity Against Select Eimeria Strains

Administered to day-old chicks, vaccines targeted to specific Eimeria species stimulate the bird’s immune system and provide some immunity before they are exposed to wild-type Eimeria. Vaccination also aims to reduce the severity of coccidiosis symptoms if infections occur. However, live virulent vaccines — and to a lesser extent live attenuated ones — can still cause damage to the intestine that can affect performance that has to be overcome with sufficient grow out time and compensatory gain.   It is also important to note that birds are also not protected against all Eimeria strains, just those included in the vaccine dose itself.

Anticoccidial Chemicals Work Well, But May Promote Drug-Resistant Strains

There are multiple anticoccidial drugs available that are made from synthetic chemicals, all of which have different modes of action. Commonly used prophylactically to prevent outbreaks, these chemicals disrupt the Eimeria life cycle by working as either a coccidiostat or a coccidiocide. While they are effective, extended use of most anticoccidial chemicals can promote the emergence of drug-resistant Eimeria strains. Different programs can be used to help slow or stop resistance, such as bio-shuttle or rotation programs. Use of anticoccidial chemicals may also require a withdrawal period prior to slaughter.

Ionophores Are Effective — If Their Use Is Permitted

Ionophores are produced by the fermentation of microorganisms, and unlike anticoccidial chemicals, the mode of action of all ionophores is similar. They form a complex with ions (e.g., calcium, sodium, potassium) and transport this complex across the Eimeria cell membrane. This alters the electrochemical gradient and the cell dies. Ionophores are not effective against all coccidia life cycle stages. They can be used long-term and ionophore/synthetic chemical combination anticoccidials are available in some markets.

Ionophores also have some antibacterial activity, which has led to their classification as antibiotics in some regions. This has meant restriction of ionophore use in antibiotic-free production systems in those areas.

A Natural Feed Additive That Addresses the Shortcomings of Other Anticoccidials

Natural feed additives are available for producers looking for pharmaceutical-free anticoccidial solutions that can be used in a “no-antibiotics-ever” (NAE) production system. Amlan International recently launched Phylox Feed (available in select international markets), a natural alternative to anticoccidial drugs and vaccines. Phylox can be effective in a rotation strategy when resistance is a concern and can also be used with Amlan’s mineral-based products to help maintain gut health and improve efficiency.

Phylox is a synergistic blend of antiprotozoal phytochemicals that have multiple modes of action against the Eimeria life cycle. These actions include disrupting the Eimeria cell membrane and preventing oocyst sporulation and replication. Phylox also energizes host intestinal cells to create a strong intestinal barrier to resist disease and lightly primes the immune system by enhancing antigen presentation.

Phylox Exhibits Comparable Efficacy to Other Control Methods

In multiple third-party trials, including in broilers raised in floor pens, Eimeria-challenged broilers fed Phylox had equivalent or numerically improved performance compared to broilers administered industry-standard anticoccidials. This included vaccination, a bio-shuttle program, as well as when anticoccidial chemicals and ionophores were tested. 

Southern Poultry Research (Athens, GA) compared the relative efficacy of Phylox with a chemical coccidiostat (nicarbazin) and an ionophore (salinomycin) in broilers challenged with Eimeria species. Phylox showed equivalent feed conversion and coccidia lesion scores compared to the commercially available coccidiostats.

Feed Conversion Rate Info Graphic | Amlan International
Coccidial Lesion Scores Info Graphic | Amlan International

Similarly, in a study at the University of Arkansas, broilers raised in floor pens and fed Phylox had improved key performance indicators compared to the challenged control. Phylox also showed a numeric performance improvement in body weight compared to all tested industry anticoccidial standards, including vaccination and bio-shuttle with salinomycin, and statistically heavier body weight when compared to the treatment receiving an anticoccidial vaccine alone.

Additionally, Phylox did not interfere with vaccine efficacy when fed concomitantly, as Phylox provided equivalent results for all measured variables when it replaced salinomycin in a bio-shuttle program for broilers.  The performance of Phylox when fed on top of vaccination, and also in replacement for Salinomycin in a bio-shuttle program were important findings in this study as they demonstrated that Phylox is effective in preventing coccidial reinfection in poultry either through a reduction in oocyst shedding, or via the degradation of ingested oocysts in the gastrointestinal track before they are able to cause a significant incidence of the disease.

Average Body Weight Gain Info Graphic | Amlan International
Mortality-adjusted Feed Conversion Info Graphic | Amlan International

Phylox Feed fills the gaps that are missing from other coccidiosis control methods: it can be used in NAE programs, has no withdrawal requirement, won’t promote the emergence of drug-resistant coccidia and isn’t targeted to only specific Eimeria strains. Phylox can also have value in broiler breeder and/or table egg pullet replacement programs to prevent significant disease breakthroughs during the development of bird natural immunity.  For more information on how to incorporate Phylox into your coccidiosis control program, contact info@amlan.com.

Poultry Science Study Shows NeutraPath® Targets Salmonella Isolate Using Multiple Methods

NeutraPath® logo with packaged poultry in background.

Source: Xue H, Wang D, Hargis BM, Tellez-Isaias G. Research Note: Virulence gene downregulation and reduced intestinal colonization of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium PHL2020 isolate in broilers by a natural antimicrobial (NeutraPath™). Poultry Science. 2022 Mar 7:101822. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psj.2022.101822.

Reducing intestinal Salmonella colonization in poultry is a key strategy in controlling Salmonella contamination of poultry products and, in turn, lowering the incidence of salmonellosis in people. Subtherapeutic levels of antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) can help control enteric pathogens like Salmonella, but restrictions in AGP use have created the need for antibiotic-free methods of reducing enteric pathogens in poultry.

A natural mineral-based feed additive that has previously shown action against Salmonella prevalence is NeutraPath® — a select blend of essential oils, fatty acids and a thermally processed enterosorbent mineral. A recent Poultry Science study investigated the antimicrobial effects of NeutraPath against Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strain PHL2020 (ST-PHL2020) and the effects of NeutraPath on ST-PHL2020 virulence gene expression.

The study showed that NeutraPath exhibited a potent antimicrobial effect against ST-PHL2020 and reduced its intestinal colonization. NeutraPath also modulated ST-PHL2020 virulence network development by downregulating mRNA expression of key virulence genes and blocking expression of downstream effectors involved in Salmonella invasion. Together, the results show that NeutraPath has the potential to reduce ST-PHL2020 intestinal colonization in broilers and downregulate key ST-PHL2020 virulence genes.

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Sustainability, Health and Antibiotic Reduction

Revista Poultry World Gráfico de texto Jaffee

Source: Fabian Brockötter, Poultry World, March 29, 2022

During the 2022 IPPE, Fabian Brockötter, Editor in Chief at Poultry World, spoke with three industry decision-makers about what dynamics are influencing decisions in the U.S. Dan Jaffee, President and CEO of Oil-Dri® Corporation of America and President and General Manager of Amlan International, spoke with Fabian about the increasing trend of antibiotic-free production and the need for natural non-antibiotic solutions.

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Poultry Producers’ Important Role in Reducing the Global Salmonellosis Challenge

Microscopic salmonella with Varium logo text graphic.

Salmonella is one of the most prevalent foodborne zoonotic pathogens worldwide. However, by using strategies that reduce the contamination of poultry products at the farm and processing plant levels, poultry producers and processors can play an important role in reducing the incidence of salmonellosis and the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella strains.

Poultry-Related Salmonellosis

Salmonellosis is a common human foodborne illness and one of four key global causes of diarrheal diseases in people according to the World Health Organization. Poultry-related salmonellosis is typically caused by Salmonella spp. passing from poultry to people through contaminated eggs and meat. Poultry are often asymptomatic carriers, and their intestinal tracts serve as pathogen reservoirs, potentially leading to contamination of food products.

Salmonella Transmission

To enter the human food chain, Salmonella must first colonize the bird’s intestinal tract. After colonization, Salmonella can spread via horizontal transmission (bird to bird), contaminating the environment and the carcass during slaughter. Salmonella colonization of the cecum can also result in vertical transmission (parent to progeny) through contamination of the yolk, albumen and eggshell membranes.

Reducing Salmonella Contamination

Salmonella can contaminate meat products during processing, causing contaminated poultry carcasses to serve as a source of infection in consumers. Innovative technology provides processors with methods to reduce contamination at the poultry plant; however, control of Salmonella at the farm level is also an important step in reducing the risk of salmonellosis in people.

Antimicrobial-Resistant Salmonella Strains

Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens, which include strains of Salmonella, are a major concern for public health care worldwide. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that over a three-year period, an average of 16% of all nontyphoidal Salmonella were resistant to at least one essential antibiotic.

The concern over antimicrobial resistance (in all pathogens, not just Salmonella) has led to a global effort to reduce the use of in-feed antibiotics in poultry production in an effort to slow the emergence of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens. This presents a challenge for poultry producers since they are still being urged to control Salmonella in the poultry barn to reduce contamination of meat during processing.

Reduce Salmonella with a Non-Pharmaceutical Solution

A natural  feed additive that producers can use to help limit Salmonella in poultry is Varium® — a patented mineral-based product sold in Amlan’s international markets. Varium enhances multiple aspects of the intestinal environment, creating production results consistent with those observed with antibiotic growth promoter use. The patented technology in Varium includes a synergistic formulation of three ingredients with distinct modes of action: Varium reduces levels of pathogenic bacteria and their toxins in the intestinal lumen, acts as an enterocyte energy source, and stimulates the intestinal immune system to help birds naturally defend against pathogens.

Varium has been shown to agglutinate (adsorb) Salmonella spp., which can help prevent colonization of the intestinal wall and subsequent proliferation (Figure 1).

First Salmonella Close-Up Stage 8 Info Graphic | Amlan International
Second Salmonella Close-Up Stage 8 Info Graphic | Amlan International
Figure 1: Agglutination (adsorption) of Salmonella spp. by Varium. The scanning electron microscopy images were taken at 4 μ (top) and 20 μ (bottom). Images courtesy of the University of Georgia, Athens, GA.

Supporting the in vitro agglutination results, Varium also reduced Salmonella colonization in vivo in a 28-day broiler trial conducted at Imunova Análises Biológicas (Curitiba, Brazil). In this study, broilers challenged with Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis and supplemented with Varium had a 5-log reduction in cecal Salmonella levels on day 14, compared to the challenged control, and reduced overall Salmonella levels (Figure 2).

Salmonella and Public Health Concerns info graphic.
Figure 2. Compared to the challenged control, treatment with Varium rapidly reduced the bacterial load in the cecum as indicated by the Salmonella most probable number (MPN). Different letters indicate a significant difference between groups on day 14, and a main treatment effect of P = 0.0526 was also observed.

Salmonellosis and antimicrobial-resistant Salmonella strains are important global public health concerns. However, with the assistance of natural mineral-based feed additives like Varium, poultry producers can help reduce the Salmonella risks for consumers at the farming stage. To learn more about Varium, click here.

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