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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: Gut health in poultry and considerations of additives as alternatives to antibiotics

item BROOM, LEON - University Of Leeds
item Kogut, Michael - Mike

Submitted to: CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/13/2018
Publication Date: 11/14/2018
Citation: Broom, L.J., Kogut, M.H. 2018. Gut health in poultry and considerations of additives as alternatives to antibiotics. CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources. 13(038):1-6.

Interpretive Summary: There are many ingredients in chicken feed that can potentially help the bird’s immune system fight off infectious germs. However, there have not been very good scientific experiments conducted to prove this idea. This paper suggests ways for scientists that study chicken feeds, chicken immunity, and infectious germs of chickens to work together to conduct experiments that will show how chicken feed can make chickens healthier. Further understanding of how the young and adult chickens use the immune system in their guts will enable future research to help the animals fight bad germs. This paper would be beneficial to chicken feed makers, chicken farmers, and nutritionists and will help make cheaper, but better, chicken feeds.

Technical Abstract: ‘Gut health’ is currently a hot topic in animal production but lacks precise definition or definitive assessment. Antibiotics have been used for many years to manage gut health issues but are under pressure in many parts of the world to help protect their long-term effectiveness. The intestine is composed of numerous components, including a microbiome, nutrients, and host factors (e.g. cells, secretions, mediators, etc.) that are continually interacting. The gut microbiome governs the development and functionality of the immune system and strongly influences ‘gut health’. Features of the innate gut immune system are largely present and functionally mature at hatch/birth and may represent a particular focus for exogenous interventions. Inflammation is a key innate response, and although often viewed only as a negative response, evidence indicates an enhanced/less regulated acute inflammatory response capability is beneficial. Unresolved and/or sterile and/or metabolic inflammation, resulting from innate immune system stimulation by non-infectious cellular components and metabolites, are, however, generally recognized as undesirable and are a focus for intervention. AGPs were effective at preventing and/or controlling intestinal disorders, and although most evidence suggests benefits from microbiome modification, there is still debate over precise mode of action. The clear protective effects of the gut microbiome and influences on immunity makes for potential interventions that have largely focused on the application of various microbiome (e.g. probiotics) and/or immune (e.g. cytokines) modulators. Better understanding of key microbiome-immune interactions and how these can be appropriately modulated is essential for significant progress in promoting gut and animal health.