Article

Application of prebiotics and probiotics in poultry production.

Department of Animal Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, USA.
Poultry Science (Impact Factor: 1.54). 05/2003; 82(4):627-31. DOI: 10.1093/ps/82.4.627
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The intestinal microbiota, epithelium, and immune system provide resistance to enteric pathogens. Recent data suggest that resistance is not solely due to the sum of the components, but that cross-talk between these components is also involved in modulating this resistance. Inhibition of pathogens by the intestinal microbiota has been called bacterial antagonism, bacterial interference, barrier effect, colonization resistance, and competitive exclusion. Mechanisms by which the indigenous intestinal bacteria inhibit pathogens include competition for colonization sites, competition for nutrients, production of toxic compounds, or stimulation of the immune system. These mechanisms are not mutually exclusive, and inhibition may comprise one, several, or all of these mechanisms. Consumption of fermented foods has been associated with improved health, and lactic acid bacteria (lactobacilli and bifidobacteria) have been implicated as the causative agents for this improved health. Research over the last century has shown that lactic acid bacteria and certain other microorganisms can increase resistance to disease and that lactic acid bacteria can be enriched in the intestinal tract by feeding specific carbohydrates. Increased bacterial resistance to antibiotics in humans has caused an increase in public and governmental interest in eliminating sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics in livestock. An alternative approach to sub-therapeutic antibiotics in livestock is the use of probiotic microorganisms, prebiotic substrates that enrich certain bacterial populations, or synbiotic combinations of prebiotics and probiotics. Research is focused on identifying beneficial bacterial strains and substrates along with the conditions under which they are effective.

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