Industry needs more information on probiotic function in free range or pasture broiler systems

“It is believed that probiotics may impact the gastrointestinal microbial population (GIT) to some extent, by limiting colonization by foodborne pathogens. However, the impact on global microbial populations of GIT is much less clear ”,the authors conclude.

The to study, Involving researchers from leading US universities and UK and Romanian institutions, evaluated probiotics as a broad approach to reduce pathogens, including antimicrobial resistant organisms in alternative poultry production systems such as open air and pasture systems.

Free-range poultry are poultry reared under a system that allows limited access to the outdoors and is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). While pasture, a term not regulated by the USDA, involves birds raised in a system that allows for at least 108 square feet of outdoor space and some sort of shelter (Rothrock et al., 2019).

The impacts of probiotics, including the extent, magnitude, and duration of microbial community responses, depend on many factors that are not fully understood at this time. Factors include bacteria species and corresponding amounts administered, guild function of bacteria used, occupancy of GIT ecological niches, redundancy of microbial population in niches, metabolic products in commercial probiotic, ration, the type of target animals – production system, strain, age – and husbandry conditions – presence or absence of environmental and production stressors.

Further research on probiotics in alternative poultry production conditions is encouraged

To specifically improve the usefulness of probiotics in alternative poultry production models, there is a need to better understand how probiotics work and influence GIT microbial populations in birds reared under alternative poultry production conditions, they argue.

“As such, there is a need for further research under alternative poultry production conditions to determine the specific immune system stimulation mechanisms mediated by the administration of probiotics and whether these alternative production systems have any unique impacts. on bird responses attributable to environmental conditions. “

Further research should focus on studying the bidirectional interactions between the microbial population and the host, in particular the impact of probiotics on the effects specific to host tissues and the intestinal digestive process, which could improve the use of these compounds in poultry, the reviewers said.

Omics technology can help

Advances in metagenomics, nutrigenomics and metabolomics should shed new light that will lead to a more complete understanding of these interactions, he confirmed.

Some of the critical issues to consider when developing probiotics for food animals include strain characterization, quality control, dose optimization, thermal stability, air tolerance, and lateral transfer. gene potential from probiotics to native microbiota, particularly with regard to antimicrobial resistance or toxin genes, the team noted. .

Developing a database of these in vitro and in vivo responses from birds reared under alternative poultry production conditions will provide the means to optimize probiotic applications specifically for these birds, they pointed out.

Some probiotic impacts in GIT are increasingly defined, the research group said.

For example, stress leads to GIT dysbiosis, which allows pathogens (both of animal and food origin) to enter the animal and gain a foothold in the GIT or systematically within the animal; studies have shown that certain probiotics actually improve results in poultry under stress due to alleviation of the selective pressure of dysbiosis introduced into GIT. However, these subtle and limited impacts may not encompass all of the desired criteria for optimal health or be detectable in standard production measures such as body weight gain, FCR, or meat quality.

“Therefore, care must be taken with the probiotic selected to determine the overall goals of probiotic use and what parameters will be used to determine success. This may be especially true for alternative poultry production systems where the potential influencing factors may not only be more complex than conventional operations, but more variable due to the fluctuations in environmental exposure that these birds encounter.

Optimizing probiotic selection can help the bird in alternative poultry production systems achieve a certain stability to effectively counter these varying conditions and not compromise performance, they said.

“Isolation of probiotic candidates from outdoor poultry production systems may provide probiotic cultures with unique properties that could benefit a wide range of poultry production systems.” they added.

Source: Poultry science

Title: Probiotics and Potential Applications for Alternative Poultry Production Systems


Authors: R El Jeni, DK Dittoe, EG Olson, J Lourenco, N Corcionivoschi, SC Ricke, TR Callaway

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