PROBIOTICS

WHAT IS A PROBIOTIC?
Probiotics are cultures with one or more species of viable microorganisms that produce beneficial effects for the host's health when given in the recommended dose (FAO/WHO 2001). Different species and various strains of microorganisms are commercially available as probiotics, either as a single strain product or with multiple species. It is important to stress that the ideal probiotic is not pathogenic for the host, is species-specific and able to cross the gastric juice acid environment to reach the intestine, where the host will obtain the probiotic positive effects.
WHAT IS A COMPETITIVE EXCLUSION PRODUCT?
Competitive Exclusion (CE) is the terminology used to describe the protective effects promoted by the natural or native intestinal microbiota, limiting colonization by pathogenic bacteria, particularly the Salmonella spp. genus (OIE 2010). In this way, CE products are formed by a pool of intestinal non-pathogenic microorganisms, obtained from healthy adult birds, and can include hundreds of different bacterial species.
HOW ARE THE COLOSTRUM® LINE PROBIOTICS PRODUCED?
Specific master seeds are the starting point for each probiotic type. They go through a fermentation process according to each group of microorganisms to be cultured. Probiotics for use in feed (DFM or NAGF) are coated with three layers of polymers. These layers are strongly adhered to the microorganisms, protecting them against the proventriculus acid environment and favoring their release in the middle third of the GI tract. The coating makes the microorganisms more thermo-resistant to the feed pelleting process.
WHAT IS THE MODE OF ACTION OF CE PRODUCTS AND PROBIOTICS AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS RELATED TO THEIR USE?
  • Production of organic acids, bacteriocins and other substances;
  • Complex molecules ingested by the bird are broken down by the bird, favoring digestion and utilization;
  • Production of vitamins;
  • Competition with pathogenic bacteria for space and adhesion sites in the gut
  • Competition with pathogenic bacteria for nutrients. Probiotic bacteria do not compete for nutrients with the bird; they use nutrients with low availability or that are unavailable for the bird, such as the non-starch polysaccharides – that interfere negatively on the bird’s production performance;
  • The immune function of the intestine is improved, as it contains a large amount of lymphoid tissue (GALT);
  • Intestinal health is improved as the villi height and crypts depth are increased;
  • Presence of pathogenic bacteria (especially Salmonella spp.) is reduced;
  • Performance is improved by weight gain increase and feed conversion and mortality reduction.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO USE A PROBIOTIC THAT IS SPECIFIC FOR POULTRY?
In nature, when chicks are born under the hen, bacteria from the healthy adult bird are released in the feces and ingested by the chick, acting as a natural inoculum and providing a microbiota similar to that of the mother. Probiotics are given to mimic the natural contamination as soon as possible, taking into account that the ratios between the different bacteria lineages are highly complex and depend on a specific interaction between them and the host. It is more advantageous to use microbiota obtained from birds in the same species, as it is extremely similar to natural conditions (Cisek & Binek, 2014; Ribet & Cossart, 2015).
HOW CAN CE PRODUCTS AND PROBIOTICS BE ADMINISTERED?
The most common routes of administration are: spray (hatchery), drinking water (farm), ready feed (mini pellets) and feed. Another possibility is in ovo inoculation on the 18th day of incubation, in association with the vaccines for viral infections that are administered in the hatchery. Colostrum® Bio21 Liquid® is the first probiotic approved by the Ministry of Agriculture for in ovo inoculation.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO USE CE PRODUCTS AND PROBIOTICS?
Como colonizador intestinal, o melhor momento para se administrar produtos de EC e probióticos é na planta de incubação, uma vez que pintos recém eclodidos, apresentam microbiota intestinal rudimentar. Como recolonizador intestinal, o uso de probióticos é altamente recomendado para aves jovens e adultas, de forma a restaurar a microbiota protetiva depois de qualquer situação que represente um desequilíbrio nos microrganismos do intestino. Pode ser devido a uma doença, estresse durante o transporte ou decorrente de manipulação, vacinação, muda forçada, etc. ou ainda, após o tratamento com antimicrobianos.
WHAT IS THE BEST AGE FOR PROBIOTIC ADMINISTRATION IN OVO?
The best age for in ovo inoculation is around the 18th day of incubation.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO ASSOCIATE PROBIOTICS WITH PERFORMANCE ENHANCING ANTIBIOTIC (PEAs)
Yes, it is possible, as long as the doses established by legislation are respected.
DO ANTIBIOTICS INTERFERE WITH THE PROBIOTIC EFFICIENCY?
Yes, therapeutic doses of antibiotics interfere with the probiotic’s efficiency. Therefore, the associated use is not recommended.
DO PROBIOTICS USED AS FEED ADDITIVES SURVIVE PELLETING?
Resistance to pelleting will depend on the probiotic composition, its production process and pelleting process. Probiotics with bacterial spores and/or coated during the production process are more thermo-resistant and therefore can undergo pelleting;
CAN PROBIOTICS BE USED IN FEEDS WITH ORGANIC ACIDS?
Yes, as long as the organic acids do not have formaldehyde in their composition.
CAN SPRAY PROBIOTICS BE PROVIDED WITH OTHER SPRAY VACCINES
Yes, they can be associated.