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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 #372091

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 biological effects of microencapsulated organic acids and botanicals induces tissue-specific and dose-dependent changes to the Gallus gallus microbiota

item Feye, Kristina
item Swaggerty, Christina - Christi
item Kogut, Michael - Mike
item RICKE, STEVEN - University Of Arkansas
item PIVA, ANDREA - University Of Bologna
item GRILLI, ESTER - University Of Bologna

Submitted to: BMC Microbiology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/8/2020
Publication Date: 11/2/2020
Citation: Feye, K.M., Swaggerty, C.L., Kogut, M.H., Ricke, S.C., Piva, A., Grilli, E. 2020. The biological effects of microencapsulated organic acids and botanicals induces tissue-specific and dose-dependent changes to the Gallus gallus microbiota. BMC Microbiology. 20. Article 332.

Interpretive Summary: The poultry industry is looking for natural products that can be used to replace antibiotics and other medications to help improve bird welfare yet still promoting growth and feed efficiency required for a profitable industry. One such alternative product is made up of several natural components that are then blended together and put into capsules so it can be added to the chicken’s feed. This natural blend (AviPlus®P) has been shown to reduce the number of foodborne bacteria, including Salmonella, in chickens. Salmonella and other bad bacteria live in the gut of chickens. We wanted to know if feeding this natural blend could change the types of gut bacteria so that Salmonella and other bad bacteria would not be able to grow. Chicks were fed the natural product for 15 days and then a piece of the gut was removed, and the content was analyzed to determine the different types of bacteria that were present. In order to differentiate the types of bacteria, we isolated the DNA of the bacteria and analyzed the data with a special computer program. We found that feeding chickens a diet supplemented with our natural product did, in fact, change the bacterial populations inside the chicken’s gut. We found changes indicating the gut is healthy with less bad bacteria. We found a decrease in bad bacteria (Enterobacteriaceae) and an increase in other good bacteria (Clostridia). Both of these changes are associated with a healthy gut. In conclusion, a healthy gut has the potential to limit Salmonella and other foodborne pathogens from being able to grow which, in turn, will produce a healthier bird that reaches the consumer thereby creating a safer food supply.

Technical Abstract: Microencapsulated organic acids and natural botanicals have the potential to develop into important tools for the poultry industry. A blend of vanillin, thymol, sorbic, and citric acids (AviPlus®P) has previously been shown to reduce Salmonella and other foodborne pathogens in chickens; however, changes to the microbiota of the jejunum and ileum have not been evaluated. Microbiota diversity is linked to, but not correlated with, the efficacy of natural products including organic acids and essential oils; therefore, understanding the effects of these products on the microbiota is a necessary first step into evaluating the potential for wide-spread use within the poultry industry. Day-of-hatch by-product breeder chicks (n=30) were placed into either the control (0 g/MT AviPlus®P; n=5) or one of two experimental groups (300 g/MT; n=5; 500 g/MT AviPlus®P; n=5). The experiment was conducted using two replicate pens therefore 10 chicks/treatment were used for all analysis. Chickens were sacrificed 15d post-hatch and total jejunum and ileum contents were individually collected and snap frozen until further processing and analysis. The DNA was extracted and sequenced using the Illumina 16S rDNA MiSeq V3 platform and the samples analyzed in QIIME2.2019.1. Samples were filtered for quality and chimeras using DADA2, with OTU frequencies less than three removed from the study. Alpha and beta diversity analytics indicated compartmentalization within the poultry gastrointestinal tract (GIT). Additionally, LEfSE and ANCOM analysis showed a reduction in Enterobacteriaceae with increased inclusion rate and an increase in Clostridia, both of which are associated with good gut health. In conclusion, addition of a blend of organic acids and natural botanicals to the diet of chickens does not adversely impact the microbiota and, in fact, is associated with microbial changes within the ileum and jejunum that are largely thought of as beneficial. Promotion of a healthy GIT has the potential to limit colonization by Salmonella and other foodborne pathogens.