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Probiotics: an Antibiotic Replacement Strategy for Healthy Broilers and Productive Rearing

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Abstract

Pathogens develop resistance to antibiotics at a rate much faster than the discovery of new antimicrobial compounds. Reports of multidrug-resistant bacteria isolated from broilers, and the possibility that these strains may spread diseases amongst humans, prompted many European countries to ban the inclusion of antibiotics in feed. Probiotics added to broiler feed controlled a number of bacterial infections. A combination of Enterococcus faecium, Pediococcus acidilactici, Bacillus animalis, Lactobacillus salivarius and Lactobacillus reuteri decreased the colonisation of Campylobacter jejuni and Salmonella Enteritidis in the gastro-intestinal tract (GIT) of broilers, whereas Bacillus subtilis improved feed conversion, intestinal morphology, stimulated the immune system and inhibited the colonisation of Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli and Salmonella Minnesota. Lactobacillus salivarius and Pediococcus parvulus improved weight gain, bone characteristics, intestinal morphology and immune response, and decreased the colonisation of S. Enteritidis. Lactobacillus crispatus, L. salivarius, Lactobacillus gallinarum, Lactobacillus johnsonii, Enterococcus faecalis and Bacillus amyloliquefaciens decreased the Salmonella count and led to an increase in lysozyme and T lymphocytes. Probiotics may also improve feed digestion through production of phytases, lipases, amylases and proteases or stimulate the GIT to secrete digestive enzymes. Some strains increase the nutritional value of feed by production of vitamins, exopolysaccharides and antioxidants. Bacteriocins, if produced, regulate pathogen numbers in the GIT and keep pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory reactions in balance.

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Neveling, D.P., Dicks, L.M. Probiotics: an Antibiotic Replacement Strategy for Healthy Broilers and Productive Rearing. Probiotics & Antimicro. Prot. 13, 1–11 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12602-020-09640-z

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