Bharat L Sadarao, Venket Shelke, Partha Das and R. ChanthirasekaranKemin Industries South Asia Pvt. Ltd.
The gut, or gastrointestinal (GI) tract, controls the absorption or uptake of nutrients and the transport of unwanted intracellular and extracellular substances such as pathogens and toxicants. Under normal circumstances, the symbiotic interaction between gut microbiota and the host is critical to intestinal health. However, an imbalanced host-microbe relationship, known as “dysbiosis” can result in a disruption in the gut microbiota. Often changes in feed composition, technological stress, water pollution, or subclinical infections in the flock may cause disturbance in gastrointestinal homeostasis, accelerate the passage of intestinal contents and be responsible for mild inflammation of the intestinal epithelium. Even though “wet droppings” is a well-known phenomenon linked to a variety of diseases and dietary factors, the reason for short or long-term occurrences of wet droppings is sometimes overlooked. Gastrointestinal infections are the consequence of a complex interaction between pathogen virulence factors and host defense systems, which can lead to altered gut transit or impaired barrier function, both of which can cause clinical symptoms such as diarrhea. As a result, there may be a temporary impairment in digestion and feed absorption on the farm, which expresses itself macroscopically as indigestion, wet litter syndrome, or diarrhea.
Furthermore, reducing antibiotics has resulted in significant effects, such as decreased animal performance and an increase in the prevalence of animal diseases. The rapid adoption of alternative additives in poultry production gained attention after the social pressures to ban the use of antibiotics as growth promoters. With the rising bacterial resistance and frequent occurrences of multidrug resistance strains (MRS), and lack of work on the development of new antimicrobial agents, tests of active substances derived from microbes and plants are currently the most promising branch of preparations. This can be effective and used on a large scale while maintaining relatively reasonable economic relations.
Kemin has launched a product named KURACO™ Dry, by considering various conditions that arise during diarrhea, and includes various ingredients which can tackle these issues. KURACO™ Dry is a combination of active microbial (Bacillus subtilis PB6), gut-centric phytogenic compounds, and functional polysaccharides. With direct inhibitory action and competitive exclusion over pathogenic microorganisms, probiotics maintain beneficial microflora. Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) provide a favorable environment to harbor beneficial microflora. Gut-centric phytogenic compounds help to maintain inflammatory conditions. Thus, KURACO™ Dry provides a broad approach to controlling diarrhea with its versatile composition. KURACO™ Dry is a unique combination of prebiotic, probiotic, and anti-inflammatory agents for improved gut health and control of dysbacteriosis.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The study was done to evaluate the effect of KURACO™ Dry in controlling diarrhea, improving gut health (dysbacteriosis status), and performance characteristics in commercial broiler birds.
The in vivo commercial trial was done with 15-days-old Cobb-430 breed broiler birds for seven days in an environmentally controlled deep litter system house. The experimental trial design and classification of the groups are mentioned in Table 1. The trial was done with a total of 10,000 broiler birds, which were divided into three groups: pre-treatment, treatment, and post-treatment period. KURACO™ Dry supplementation started when birds were at 15 days of age and lasted for 7 days, consisting of 14 day pre-treatment period and 14 day post-treatment period. The pre-treatment and post-treatment groups received water without any additional treatment products, whereas the treatment group was treated with KURACO™ Dry. It was given at the recommended rate of 10 g/ 100 birds through drinking water daily once for 7 days. The experimental data were collected for 35 days to evaluate the performance of pre-treatment, treatment, and post-treatment days. Throughout the experimental period, the broiler birds were provided with commercial pellet feed based on their nutritional requirements and fed ad libitum daily with free access to water.
At the end of 35 days, performance parameters such as body weight gain, feed intake, and feed conversion rate (FCR) were monitored at weekly intervals and mortality was recorded daily. Also, before and after the treatment period, intestinal lesion scoring, dysbacteriosis scoring, droppings consistency, and feed passage in the feces were monitored for improvement in bacterial enteritis (BE)/ dysbacteriosis score. The intestinal lesion scoring was done based on the instructions reported by Johnson and Reid method for coccidiosis, and the Kemin scoring system adapted from Teirlynck et. al., for dysbacteriosis. Three birds each from pre-treatment and post-treatment groups were randomly chosen, and their intestine was removed after cervical dislocation following ethical practices and measured for gut lesion scoring. Feces consistency was interpreted based on average observations of feces from both periods.
Table-1: Experimental design and classification of treatment groups.
|Groups||Treatment||Duration (days)||Number of birds||Treatment days|
|Treatment||KURACO™ Dry at 10 ml for 100 birds||15-21||15,159||7|
The analyses of data involving body weight (BW), feed consumption, FCR, and mortality, which were collected from different observation groups are presented in Table 2. However, the body weight gain and feed efficiency of birds within different groups were not comparable due to single-shed broiler birds. But interesting findings on livability were observed during KURACO™ Dry supplemented week. A lower rate of mortality was seen during the period of KURACO™ Dry supplemented week than during the weeks of pre-treatment and post-treatment periods at the end of the trial (Table-2 and Figure-1). In this study, weekly mortality of 0.28% was recorded in KURACO™ Dry supplemented group during the treatment in the 3rd week, but higher mortality was recorded in birds from pre-treatment group weeks (1st week-0.49%; 2nd week-0.43%) followed by post-treatment group (4th week-0.42%; 5th week-0.39%) during the experiment.
Table-2: Effect of the experimental group on the growth performance of broiler birds.
|Treatment||Weeks||Weekly Mortality (%)||Cumulative Feed Intake (kg)||Average Body Weight (kg)||FCR|
Figure-1: Effect of feeding broilers KURACO™ Dry on livability.
Intestinal Lesion and Dysbacteriosis Score:
The intestinal lesion and dysbacteriosis scores for the birds in the pre-treatment and post-treatment groups were measured and the results are shown in Table-3. Among the groups, the post-treatment group showed a distinctly lower score (TMLS – 0.67) when compared to the pre-treatment group (TMLS – 1.00). Similarly, the improvement in dysbacteriosis or bacterial enteritis scores was observed during the post-treatment period of the study. A dysbacteriosis score of 1.33 was observed in the pre-treatment group when compared to the post-treatment group score (1.00). This improvement in intestinal health score may be assumed that treatment with the KURACO™ Dry group for a week helped in the improvement of intestinal lesion score.
Table-3: Intestinal lesion and dysbacteriosis scoring in experimental groups.
|* TMLS: total mean lesion score|
|Treatment||–||TMLS > 2|
The excreta consistency was monitored randomly throughout the trial through visual observation. Images of the excreta of respective groups are shown in Figure-2 and Figure-3. As per the poultry producer, loose droppings were observed from the 7th day of the starter stage and continued till the start of treatment with KURACO™ Dry. Watery and semi-solid droppings were seen during pre-treatment observations (Table-4 and Figure-2). Excreta of post-treatment groups were normal during and after the treatment of 7 days, which showed an improvement in the dropping consistency (Table-4 and Figure-3).
Table-4: Faeces consistency in experimental groups.
Figure-2: Droppings and litter observation before supplementing the treatment.
Figure-3: Droppings and litter observations after supplementing the treatment.
It is clear from this study that the administration of KURACO™ Dry via drinking water had beneficial effects on broiler birds’ performance. Improvement in the livability of chickens in the KURACO™ Dry treatment group over pre and post-treatment groups is attributable to the fact that continuous feeding of probiotics might have suppressed the undesirable microorganisms that lead to improved health status (build-up resistance) and ultimately improved growth and overall performance. Usage of KURACO™ Dry in commercial broilers benefits poultry producers in terms of improved intestinal health and dysbacteriosis score. It is reported that Bacillus could increase the concentration of beneficial bacteria, which could lower pH and inhibit the multiplication of harmful bacteria in the gut. Whereas FOS might act as a modulator of colonic bacterial populations and fermentation end-products potentially improving host health. This improvement in intestinal health score may be assumed that the treatment of birds with KURACO™ Dry for a week exerts a positive effect on gut health. A similar result was found by Li., et al. who observed that the diarrhea incidences mainly occurred for 0-3 weeks, which slowly get subsided at the lowest diarrhea rate in the antibiotics group followed by the Bacillus subtilis group and finally with the FOS + Bacillus subtilis group. However, global public health concerns about the threat of antibiotic-resistant pathogens and antibiotic residues in animal products have forced the poultry industry to reduce or stop antibiotic usage and shift producer focus towards various green and pollution-free additives. Thus, the prototype of a product, KURACO™ Dry containing the combination of prebiotic, probiotic, and anti-inflammatory ingredients in commercial broilers benefits in terms of improved performance, livability, dropping consistency, reduction in feed passage, and lower dysbacteriosis, which ultimately result in a positive effect on controlling diarrhea and promoting optimal health status.
In the present study, usage of KURACO™ DRY at the recommended dose of 10g/ 100 birds significantly improved the performance of broiler birds and can be safely used as a gut health management product or anti-diarrheal product in broiler birds in field conditions. However, the duration of treatment varies from 5-10 days depending upon the severity of dysbacteriosis, loose droppings (diarrhea), and other factors such as species composition and viability, administration level, application method, frequency of application, overall diet, bird age, overall farm hygiene, and environmental stress factors. Similarly, the efficacy of the product may vary in case of diarrhea with viral or coccidial origin. A positive trend toward livability in the treatment group is encouraging to undertake further studies on KURACO™ Dry use under extensive conditions which probably will help to reduce antibiotic usage in poultry feeds or water based on the mode of action of the product.