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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Food and Feed Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #177770


item McReynolds, Jackson
item Byrd Ii, James - Allen
item Duke, Sara
item Kubena, Leon
item Nisbet, David

Submitted to: Asociacion Nacional De Especialistas En Ciencas
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/20/2005
Publication Date: 4/27/2005
Citation: McReynolds, J.L., Byrd II, J.A., Duke, S.E., Kubena, L.F., Nisbet, D.J. 2005. Evaluation of a dietary supplement (lactose) on the development of necrotic enteritis in poultry. XXX Convencion Anual de ANECA, April 27-30, 2005, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. 2005 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary: In the commercial poultry industry diseases of the gastrointestinal tract can cause serious health and economic effects. One of these diseases is necrotic enteritis. This disease is known to be caused by the bacterium Clostridium perfringens; however the conditions that cause the disease are not completely understood. The aim of this research was to learn what dietary factors can help reduce this disease. Results showed that factors such as dietary lactose can reduce clinical signs associated with Necrotic enteritis. Birds were exposed to low levels of Clostridium perfringens and evaluated for several days. Birds that received 2.5 % dietary lactose showed the best results in reducing the clinical signs. This research will help the poultry industry control a costly disease as well as utilize a by-product commodity.

Technical Abstract: The commercial poultry industry uses a wide variety of management tools to control pathogens including antibiotics, vaccines, and competitive exclusion cultures. The industry has used growth promoting antibiotics (GPA) to target Gram-positive organisms which are associated with decreased performance and health. One target organism controlled with GPA is Clostridium perfringens, the etiologic agent of Necrotic enteritis (NE). Due to increasing consumer pressure to remove GPA from the market, our laboratory is currently evaluating the effects of dietary lactose on the microbial populations of the GI tract in the disease condition of NE. Day-of-hatch broilers were assigned to one of the following groups containing 45 birds/treatment: negative control (0 %), 1, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, and 4.5 % dietary lactose; fed from day one until termination of the experiment (d 21). Clostridium perfringens (10**7 cfu/mL) was administered once daily via oral gavage to the birds for three consecutive days starting on day seventeen. In the control group, 100% of the birds showed clinical signs of NE compared to the 1, 1.5, 2.0, and 2.5 % lactose treatment groups whose clinical signs were significantly reduced (P < 0.05, N=10) to 66, 66, 50, and 22 % for the respective groups. Lactobacilli, E. coli, Clostridia, and Enterococci gut populations were monitored; however, there was no significant association between the concentration of these bacteria and NE. This technology could provide the industry with a viable alternative that can immediately be used in current commercial production operations in reducing the clinical infection of Necrotic enteritis.