Can Lactobacilli bacteria, found in chicken manure, serve as a potential probiotic feed additive? A research team from Pakistan studied this in more detail and published the results in the Journal Of beneficial Microbes.
The use of probiotics (as a possible alternative for antibiotics) is gaining interest in the livestock industry. Although exact mechanisms of action of probiotics are still under investigations, most agreed mechanisms include production of antimicrobial substances, competitive exclusion of pathogens, production of digestive enzymes such as phytase, and neutralisation of enterotoxins and stimulation of immune response.
The aim of the present study was to characterise and evaluate probiotic potential of lactobacilli isolated from indigenous poultry. Dropping samples of backyard poultry (n=20) were collected from different rural areas of Lahore, Pakistan. Out of the eight selected isolates, SMP52, SMP64 and SMP70 showed excellent in vitro probiotic potential, therefore these strains were further evaluated for their effect on poultry weight gain in in vivo experiments. In vivo evaluation of selected isolates was done by their effect on the body weight gain and immune response of broiler chicks (n=90).
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Administration of SMP52, SMP64 and SMP70 alone and in different combinations increased the weight gain of poultry birds as compared to control groups. In the present study, higher antibody titres were achieved with L. crispatus SMP70 at day 21 and with a combination of all 3 isolates at day 35. Other combinations did not show a significant increase in antibody titre against NDV.
The researchers concluded that L. crispatus SMP52, L. casei SMP64 and L. crispatus SMP70 are potential probiotic candidates which alone or in different combinations may increase body weight of broilers and modulate immune response of broiler birds.