It needs strong protection against intestinal challenges in poultry

Anne Oberdorf

3 minutes | 7. February 2019
Degree of technical knowledge

Protect your birds intestine – in a natural way

Phytogenics offer strong protection against intestinal challenges in poultry©GettyImages

Imagine: Up above the green hills it stands, the big castle surrounded by high walls. Handsome knights are waiting on the castle wall, ready to fight. But the knights are overwhelmed by the immense number of enemies attacking the castle walls – they are getting to be destroyed. Our first line of defense is not strong enough. Like the broken castle wall, even a pre-damaged poultry gut is nearly powerless against the ingress of pathogens.

Pathogenic germs, such as Eimeria, can easily invade in the intestinal mucosa and cause Coccidiosis – a disease with an economic loss of more than 2 billion euros per year.

But the former miracle weapons are under debate:

With increasing pressure because of resistance problematics, the use of coccidiostats, the main prophylaxis so far, is seen more critically nowadays. Moreover, as happened with antibiotics in 2006, there is even a talk of potential bans on the use – in Norway this is already reality.

However, the spores (oocytes) of the coccidia are resistance fighters: they survive nearly every adverse environmental influence, even cleansing and disinfection. Thereby, not only primary coccidial infections, but especially secondary bacterial infections lead to inflammations that destroy the epithelial cells of the intestinal wall – just like fire destroying the walls of the castle. The feed intake reduces, body tissue degrades and the intestinal integrity drops.

It needs phytogenic protection in poultry©GettyImages

Gut health issues? Not for you anymore. 

Especially secondary infections like necrotic enteritis cause reduced weight gain, wet litter and poor uniformity, going along with impaired animal welfare and profit losses. Those primary and secondary infections affect not only the animal and the producer – the consumer is in danger as well: Due to translocation of bacteria like Clostridia or E. coli through the intestinal barrier into the body tissues, food safety is at risk. In order to strengthen, stabilize and enhance resilience of the intestine, our castle wall against primary and secondary infections it requires strong protection– in a natural way.

But which natural alternative to antibiotics combines both direct effects against pathogens and indirect support of intestinal health? The solution is simple: Plant-based phytogenics are safe and effective weapons that prevent the colonization and attack of coccidia not only in a direct way but also indirectly – for a sustainable control of primary and secondary infections.


Your birds are happy when their gut is healthy – protection is better than cure


On the first level of defense, interruption of the Eimeria reproduction cycle can lead to markedly reduced excretion of Eimeria oocysts, hence reducing the build-up of Eimeria in the litter.

Moreover, quorum sensing inhibition (the disruption of bacterial communication pathways) on a second level leads to lower bacterial virulence (e.g. by suppression of alpha toxin production by C. perfringens) directly preventing the pathogens from colonizing and damaging the intestinal wall, hence stabilizing the gut microbiota.

Indirect effects on a third level of defense improve resilience: Like fires, emerging inflammations are extinguished by the anti-oxidative and immunomodulatory properties of phytogenic substances.    

The anti-oxidative effects can be mediated via upregulation of anti-oxidative enzymes, while pro-inflammatory molecules can be inhibited by the beneficial properties of phytogenic substances. Furthermore, direct scavenging of reactive oxygen species (ROS) enhances the anti-oxidative efficacy.

The result? Reduced pathogenic lesions and an improved intestinal integrity. By plant-based phytogenic feed additives the enemy is kept under control– gut health increases, and so does the performance under challenge conditions.

Do you want to know more about phytogenic solutions to prevent intestinal challenges in poultry?

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