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Research Project: Identification of the Ecological Niches and Development of Intervention Strategies to Reduce Pathogenic Foodborne Pathogens in Poultry

Location: Food and Feed Safety Research

Title: The effect of microbiome modulation on the intestinal health of poultry

item Kogut, Michael - Mike

Submitted to: Animal Feed Science and Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/15/2018
Publication Date: 4/1/2019
Citation: Kogut, M.H. 2019. The effect of microbiome modulation on the intestinal health of poultry. Animal Feed Science And Technology. 250:32-40.

Interpretive Summary: The development of the immune response in chicks is controlled by the millions of bacteria in the animal's gut. What has been found over the last 20 years is that bacteria that do not cause disease, but normally grow in the gut can work together to make the young animal's immune system work better and prevent the harmful germs from growing. This article shows that the growth of specific bacteria control specific components of the chick's local immune environment in the gut and that there many potential ways to alter these bacteria to improve the chick's immune system including changing the nutrients in the diet of the young chick. This paper would be beneficial to chicken growers, microbiologists, and nutritionists and will help make better animal feeds that encourage the growth of the normal bacteria in the gut, thereby aiding in the development of a healthy immune system.

Technical Abstract: The chicken gastrointestinal (GI) tract is home to a complex microbial community that emphasizes the links between diet and health. The GI tract is rich in microbial biodiversity, playing home to greater than or equal to 500 phylotypes or ~1 million bacterial genes, which equates to 40-50 times the number in the chicken genome. Manipulating the microflora would serve as promising therapeutic paradigm; albeit not a new concept for the poultry industry as evidenced by competitive exclusion where newly hatched chickens could be protected against colonization by Salmonella enteritidis by dosing a suspension of gut contents derived from healthy adult chickens. This concept of adding beneficial bacteria to the intestine has led to the development of probiotics and prebiotics. Unlike the host genome, which is rarely manipulated by xenobiotic intervention, the microbiome is readily changeable by diet, ingestion of antibiotics, infection by pathogens and other host- and environmental-dependent events. The plasticity of the microbiome has been implicated in numerous disease conditions, and an unfavorable alteration of the commensal structure of gut microbiota is referred to as 'dysbiosis'; this includes a reduction in the number of tolerogenic bacteria and an over-growth of potentially pathogenic bacteria (pathobionts) that can penetrate the intestinal epithelium and induce disease in certain genetic or environmental contexts. This article highlights the plasticity of the avian microbiome that allows defined interventions as a means of enhancing poultry health and productivity. The ability to intentionally manipulate the microbiota by providing nutrients, modulating host immunity, inhibiting/preventing pathogen intestinal colonization, or improve intestinal barrier function has led to a number of novel methods to prevent disease, but also led to improved body weight, feed conversion, and carcass yield.