Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/28/2020
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Multiple challenges confront the increasing demands for wholesome poultry food products, including governmental restrictions on the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs), dietary requirements to obtain maximum growth potential, understanding crosstalk among the immunity -microbiota -neuroendocrine system in the gut to maximize intestinal efficiency, reduce stress under high-density production conditions, and enhance natural immunity in the face of new emerging infections, particularly those that emerge in the antibiotic-free animal production environment. Initially, alternatives to antibiotics included any strategies that replace AGPs, but now include any feed additives or treatment that will allow antibiotic-free animal production to prevent and/or treat diseases. These newer disease control strategies can be classified broadly into those that are directly cytotoxic against infectious agents or remove pathogenic toxins, including vaccines, hyperimmune antibodies, antimicrobial peptides, and bacteriophages, and those that augment non-specific host immunity and gut health, including phytochemicals, adjuvants, prebiotics, and probiotics. Furthermore, because the gut microbiota influences various physiological aspects of the immune response, brain function, and gut health, most antibiotic alternatives are expected to promote beneficial microbes that will benefit host physiological responses. There are still challenges in understanding the mechanism of action, efficacy, and advantages and disadvantages of the use of novel antibiotic alternatives although the beneficial effects of many of these alternatives have been well demonstrated. Optimal combinations of various alternatives, coupled with good management and husbandry practices, will be the key to maximize performance and maintain animal productivity while we move forward with the ultimate goal of reducing antibiotic use in the animal industry.