Alternatives to Antibiotic Growth Promoters in Poultry, A Peruvian Experience
Even though antibiotic growth promoters (AGP) are allowed to be widely used in the Peruvian poultry industry, some big broiler and layer companies have started new approaches in order to replace the AGP by novel alternatives like nutraceuticals, which include probiotics, prebiotics, organic acids and their salts and plant extracts among others.
This new trend reveals the awareness of the threat of irrational use of antibiotics in food animals which are dangerous for human health (public concern) and showing the importance that how poultry and livestock are raised.
We in VHD Sanidad Animal started to move toward this trend in 2012 when signed an agreement with XVET Germany in order to introduce it´s products as AGP alternatives (NAGP).
Understanding basic physiological and biological characteristics of the digestive system nowadays, is a base of modern nutrition of livestock. Gastrointestinal tract proposes the most important task: the nutritional absorption; and therefore its mucosa must be managed to remain undisturbed. Only a healthy intestinal tract can ensure optimal absorption, which is the main gate to the genetical capacity of a growing animal. Focusing on this one essential fact, and delivering right nutritional tools, will make our path to non-antibiotic growth enhancement, easier and smoother.
Prebiotics are defined as non-digestible or partially digestible food ingredients that beneficially stimulate the growth or activity of the beneficial flora. Food ingredients to be classified as prebiotic must have characteristics such as neither to be hydrolyzed nor absorbed in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract. A good example would be, MOS (Mannanoligosaccharides) which is derived from the Saccharomyces cerevisiae cell wall. Literature shows that bacteria with fimbriae of mannose affinity, such as Escherichia coli or Salmonella spp., will readily attach MOS, and this will avoid them to attach the intestinal mucosa, preventing them to colonize and multiply. This will lead to an increased villi length, and healthy mucosa, with a better resorption surface; and more goblet cells along the gastrointestinal channel.
Reducing antibiotic resistance with monoglycerides and free fatty acids
Antimicrobials have been used in animal feed for about 70 years to treat diseases, boost growth and obtain improvement in productivity (FAO 2018). Use of antibiotics to promote animal growth has been banned in European Union (EU) since January 1, 2006. Europe has done it and USA is in progress. Antimicrobial resistance remains a serious threat to public health worldwide. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, Stockholm, 2017 (ECDC 2017) from many European countries is reported that high percentages of isolates with resistance to key antimicrobial groups still exist which shows great concern and represent a serious threat to patient safety. Overview of the annual morbidity and mortality of antibiotic-resistant infections in the United States, estimating their number at approximately 2 million and the number of death associated with these infections at 23,000 (CDC 2013). Antibiotic Growth Promoters are still used as feed additives in countries outside EU. A radical rethinking of policies to reduce antibiotic consumption and resistant is necessary worldwide.