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Calibrin®-Z Improves Broiler Performance Over Other Mycotoxin-Targeting Products

To prevent mycotoxicosis, poultry diets are often supplemented with feed additives marketed to reduce the toxic effects of dietary mycotoxins. These feed additives are based on a range of key ingredients, including mineral adsorbents (like our biotoxin binder Calibrin®-Z), yeast cell wall preparations, enzyme-based products and algae-based additives. Researchers at Instituto de Soluções Analíticas Microbiológicas e Tecnológicas (SAMITEC, Santa Maria, Brazil) conducted a comparison of these feed additives to determine the best option for maintaining performance when broilers are challenged with mycotoxin-contaminated feed.

Mycotoxin-Challenge Study Compares Commercial Feed Additive Efficacy

In a 21-day feeding challenge, researchers at SAMITEC evaluated the toxic effects of concurrent aflatoxin and fumonisin exposure in broilers. They also compared the effectiveness of various mycotoxin-targeting products, including Calibrin-Z, in reducing those toxic effects. Calibrin-Z undergoes specifically tailored, proprietary thermal processing that promotes the binding of a broad spectrum of biotoxins, including polar and nonpolar mycotoxins. To further help combat enteric disease, Calibrin-Z also binds bacterial exotoxins and endotoxins, such as those produced by Clostridium perfringens and Escherichia coli.

A total of 540 one-day-old male Cobb 500 broiler chicks were randomly assigned to one of six treatments (Table 1). Each treatment had nine replicates of 10 chicks per pen. The mycotoxin-challenged diet, which was fed to all treatment groups except the unchallenged control, contained aflatoxin B1, B2, G1 and G2 produced by Aspergillus parasiticus, and fumonisin B1 and B2 produced by Fusarium moniliforme. Aflatoxin B1 accounted for 93.8% of the aflatoxin added and fumonisin B1 made up 95.8% of the fumonisin.

Table 1. Mycotoxin-Challenge Study Dietary Treatments by Group

Mycotoxin-Challenge study dietary treatments by group chart.

Calibrin-Z Improves Feed Intake of Mycotoxin-Challenged Broilers

As expected, dietary exposure to aflatoxin and fumonisin reduced feed intake, with broilers consuming the mycotoxin-challenged control diet averaging 14% lower feed intake than the unchallenged control group (P ≤ 0.05, Figure 1). However, Calibrin-Z was able to recover some of this reduced feed intake and averaged 11% greater feed intake than the mycotoxin-challenged control group (P ≤ 0.05). Additionally, Calibrin-Z and the enzyme-based group had similar feed intake and were both greater than the yeast cell wall-based group (P ≤ 0.05). The algae-based group was numerically in between, and not significantly different, to the other product groups.

Feed intake chart in grams.
Figure 1. Feeding Calibrin®-Z in broiler diets contaminated with aflatoxin and fumonisin improved feed intake. Different letters indicate a significant difference between groups (P ≤ 0.05).

Mycotoxin-Challenged Broiler Weight Gain Improved By Calibrin-Z

Exposure to mycotoxin-contaminated feed also reduced broiler weight gain (Figure 2). After 21 days, broilers in the unchallenged control, Calibrin-Z and enzyme-based groups had greater body weight gain compared to the mycotoxin-challenged control group (P ≤ 0.05). Those three groups also had greater weight gain compared to the yeast cell wall- and algae-based groups which were not different to the mycotoxin-challenged control group.

Body weight gain chart for day 0-21.
Figure 2. Feeding Calibrin-Z in broiler diets contaminated with aflatoxin and fumonisin improved body weight gain. Different letters indicate a significant difference between groups (P ≤ 0.05).

Calibrin-Z Shows FCR Improvement Over Other Feed Additives

Broilers in the Calibrin-Z group had a feed conversion ratio (FCR) comparable to the unchallenged control group (P > 0.05) and a significantly better FCR than the yeast cell wall-based and algae-based groups (P ≤ 0.05, see Figure 3).

Feed conversion ratio chart for day 0-21.
Figure 3. Feeding Calibrin-Z in broiler mycotoxin-contaminated diets resulted in a feed conversion ratio similar to the unchallenged control group. Different letters indicate a significant difference between groups (P ≤ 0.05).

Calibrin-Z Proves Its Mycotoxin-Binding Efficacy

In this study, adding Calibrin-Z to mycotoxin-contaminated broiler diets led to greater body weight gain and a superior FCR compared to broilers fed diets containing yeast cell wall- or algae-based products. While there is no statistical difference between Calibrin-Z and enzyme-based products, there is a strong numerical difference between the two, with Calibrin-Z leading in both body weight gain and FCR. Broilers in the Calibrin-Z group had greater body weight gain and improved feed intake compared to broilers in the mycotoxin-challenged control group, and an FCR equivalent to the unchallenged control group.

Calibrin-Z has proved, once again, to be an effective mycotoxin binder that improves the performance of broilers fed mycotoxin-contaminated diets. In addition, Calibrin-Z had performance results that were equal to, or better than, other mycotoxin mitigation products in the market. For more information on this study, or to trial Calibrin-Z yourself, contact us.

Calibrin®-Z Excels in Broiler Study Comparing Mycotoxin-Targeting Feed Additives

Calibrin®-Z logo and poultry farm infographic.

Mycotoxin-contaminated feed is a constant challenge for poultry producers, made worse if environmental conditions favor the rapid growth of mycotoxin-producing fungi in the field or during storage. And if multiple mycotoxins have contaminated the feed, it can create a synergistic, or additive, effect, amplifying each mycotoxin’s negative outcome on poultry production.

Calibrin®-Z Binds Multiple Mycotoxins and More

Mitigating the effects of mycotoxin-contaminated feed is essential, because whether the effects on poultry are mild (due to long-term low-level exposure) or severe (from a high-level challenge), a decrease in performance (and profits) is usually inevitable. To diminish the effects of mycotoxicosis, poultry diets often include feed additives that target mycotoxins. Examples of these feed additives include Calibrin®-Z (our mineral-based biotoxin binder), yeast cell wall preparations, enzyme-based products and algae-based additives.

Unlike other mineral-based products, Calibrin-Z undergoes specifically tailored, proprietary thermal processing that promotes the binding of a broad spectrum of biotoxins, including polar and nonpolar mycotoxins. Calibrin-Z also binds bacterial exotoxins and endotoxins, such as those produced by Clostridium perfringens and Escherichia coli, to help combat enteric disease.

University of Missouri Study Compares Feed Additive Performance

To evaluate the performance of products marketed to mitigate mycotoxin-contaminated feed, researchers at the University of Missouri (Columbia, MO) evaluated the ability of commercial feed additives to reduce the combined toxic effects of concurrent aflatoxin B1 and fumonisin B1 exposure in poultry. In the 21-day feeding trial, 144 broiler chicks were randomly assigned to six treatment groups with 24 birds in each group (Table 1). Statistical significance for treatment comparisons was set at P < 0.10.

Table 1. Dietary Treatments by Group

Calibrin®-Z Aflatoxin B1, Fumonisin B1 and feed additive chart.

Similar Body Weight Gain for Calibrin-Z and Unchallenged Control Birds

The results showed that as expected, mycotoxin-contaminated feed significantly reduced broiler weight gain (Figure 1). However, Calibrin-Z was able to mitigate this performance loss. Birds fed the mycotoxin-challenged diet and Calibrin‑Z recorded statistically similar body weight gain as the non-challenged control birds (P = 0.35). This performance recovery was not seen to the same extent in challenged birds receiving the algae-, enzyme- or yeast cell wall‑based products, as birds from these groups gained significantly less weight than the non-challenged control group birds (P < 0.10). The weight gain of Calibrin-Z-supplemented birds was also 6 percent greater than the weight gain of enzyme-supplemented birds, 11 percent greater than the yeast cell wall group and 19 percent greater than the algae-based product group.

Calibrin®-Z body weight gain chart.
Different letters indicate a significant difference between groups (P < 0.10). Figure 1. Body weight gain of birds fed a diet containing two mycotoxins plus Calibrin-Z was statistically similar to that of birds receiving a diet free of mycotoxins.

Calibrin-Z Numerically Improved Feed Conversion

Feeding Calibrin-Z to mycotoxin-challenged broilers improved feed conversion by up to 10 points compared to diets supplemented with enzyme, yeast cell wall or algae-based products (Figure 2).  While not a statistical difference in this trial, these results represent a significant numerical difference in broiler production.

Calibrin®-Z feed conversion ratio chart.
Figure 2. All groups had statistically similar feed conversion, with Calibrin-Z numerically improving feed conversion compared to all groups except the unchallenged control.

This study showed that adding Calibrin-Z to aflatoxin- and fumonisin-contaminated feed enabled broiler chickens to maintain weight gain and feed conversion similar to birds fed a mycotoxin-free diet. The other commercial products did not improve bird performance to the same extent as Calibrin-Z in this study, demonstrating the production advantage Calibrin-Z delivers by binding multiple biotoxins and improving intestinal tract health. For more information on this study, or on the health and productivity benefits of adding Calibrin‑Z to your birds’ rations, contact us.

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.

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.

Read the full article

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.

Consumer Demand Driving Natural Feed Solutions

Poultry barn with Amlan Logo text graphic.

Source: Amie Simpson, Brownfield Ag News, January 28, 2022

“Increasing regulation and strong consumer demand are creating a growing market for natural animal protein production solutions,” commented Dr. Wade Robey, our VP of Marketing and Product Development, in a recent interview with Amie Simpson from Brownfield Ag News. Wade also discussed Amlan’s introduction of natural mineral-based feed additives into the US market and the growth opportunities this presents for Amlan in 2022. Read more here.

Managing Gut Health for Antibiotic-Free Chicken

Fred Kao photo with chicken barn background graphic.

Source: Red River Farm Network, January 28, 2022

An increasing market sector around the world. That’s the prediction for the no-antibiotic-ever market provided by Fred Kao, Vice President of Global Sales for Amlan, during his recent interview with Red River Farm Network. Fred also discussed the competitiveness of Amlan’s mineral as a stand-alone product. Read the full story here.

Exploring Necrotic Enteritis: Cause, Effects and Solutions

Necrotic enteritis is a common infectious disease that costs the poultry industry billions of dollars each year. With more and more poultry production systems moving toward the global objective of reduced in-feed use of antibiotics for growth promotion, maintaining a healthy intestinal environment now relies more heavily on other management methods to reduce the risk of necrotic enteritis development. Keep reading to learn more about the origins of necrotic enteritis, the relationship between necrotic enteritis and coccidiosis, and management of the disease risk in ABF production systems.

C. perfringens: The Cause of Necrotic Enteritis

Necrotic enteritis is caused by Clostridium perfringens types A and C: gram-positive, spore-forming anerobic bacteria. C. perfringens can be found throughout the poultry house environment and has spores which, under the right environmental conditions, can survive for long periods outside the bird. The normal microbiota of the bird contains C. perfringens, so its presence alone doesn’t necessarily indicate an issue. Instead, disease occurs when predisposing conditions in the bird cause overgrowth of the pathogen. There are multiple factors that can contribute to C. perfringens overgrowth including diet changes, immune status and stress, intestinal pathophysiology and concurrent infection with coccidiosis.

Multiple exotoxins can be produced by C. perfringens, including alpha-toxin and necrotic enteritis toxin B-like toxin (NetB). Alpha-toxin is cytotoxic to endothelial cells, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets, whereas NetB toxin forms pores in cell membranes that allows electrolytes to rupture cells, causing cell death and necrotic lesions in the small intestinal mucosa. These two toxins are known to have a role in necrotic enteritis development.

Impaired Nutrient Adsorption

In healthy birds, the epithelium and mucus layer of the intestine form a selective barrier between internal tissues and the external environment (the intestinal lumen). The natural barrier allows nutrients through the intestinal wall but not pathogens and their biotoxins. When there is an overgrowth of C. perfringens, there is a breakdown of the defensive barrier. The damage to the intestinal wall hinders nutrient digestion and absorption and can allow toxins to enter the circulatory system.

Necrotic enteritis can present as either clinical or subclinical disease. The clinical form is characterized by high mortality, whereas subclinical disease causes decreased weight gain and increased feed conversion ratio (FCR). The increased FCR is due to the reduced nutrient digestibility and adsorption, resulting in compensatory feed intake.

Coccidiosis Can Increase Necrotic Enteritis Incidence

Coccidiosis is another common disease in poultry that causes a significant negative economic impact on production. It is an enteric disease caused by parasitic protozoa in the Eimeria genus. Part of the Eimeria life cycle includes invading intestinal epithelial cells, damaging the intestinal wall barrier. The damage that coccidia cause to intestinal epithelial cells promotes invasion by C. perfringens (as well as other pathogens), increasing the incidence of necrotic enteritis.

Necrotic Enteritis in Antibiotic-Free Production

Managing necrotic enteritis in an ABF production system requires detailed strategies including the use of vaccinations, diagnostic tools and natural feed additives. In some production systems, ionophores used to control coccidiosis may also be eliminated, which further heightens the importance of other management practices that keep birds free of diseases like coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis.

Management practices, such as biosecurity, sanitation, water quality and air quality, also require increased planning and monitoring in ABF systems. Reduced ventilation, increased litter moisture and poor husbandry can increase the incidence of necrotic enteritis. The quality and sanitation of eggs in the hatchery also needs to be managed well in ABF systems, so that birds have a healthy start to life.

Necrotic Enteritis Control Solutions

Along with management best practices, natural feed additives such as Varium® and Calibrin®-Z are available to help reduce the incidence of necrotic enteritis. Varium, a natural patented mineral-based feed formulation, can reduce challenges from pathogenic bacteria and their toxins, strengthen the intestinal barrier and activate the innate immune system to naturally defend against disease. In high challenge environments, Calibrin-Z, a broad spectrum biotoxin control feed additive, can be used on top of Varium to reduce the level of pathogens in the intestines that cause mortality, wet droppings, reduced feed efficiency and damage the integrity of the intestine.

Necrotic enteritis is a challenging disease for poultry producers, particularly those using an ABF production system. However, with best practice management strategies and inclusion of feed additives that promote intestinal health and function, poultry flock health can be improved, thereby reducing the risk of disease and maximizing production efficiency. To learn more about necrotic enteritis, keep checking the Education Center for other posts in the necrotic enteritis series.  

Reference

Chi, F. A Viable Adjunct or Alternative to Antibiotics: Meta-Analysis of Broiler Research Shows Natural Growth Promoter Delivers Feed Efficiency Equal to Antibiotics, Amlan International. https://amlan.com/product-category/feed-efficiency/

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