BCO lame­ness: An­tibi­otics-free so­lu­tions

The Poultry Bulletin - - CONTENTS -

BCO lame­ness is a prob­lem wher­ever mod­ern broil­ers are grown. It is a com­mon cause of lame­ness in the US and Europe, typ­i­cally af­fect­ing 1.5% of broil­ers grown start­ing at around 30 days of age. In Asia, the in­ci­dence of BCO may be lower at around 1%, as pro­duc­tion cy­cles tend to be shorter, though sub­clin­i­cal is­sues and mor­tal­ity do oc­cur. BCO can also con­trib­ute to prod­uct qual­ity is­sues, e.g. con­sumers re­ject prod­uct where the white cap of ar­tic­u­lar car­ti­lage sep­a­rates from the fe­mur head.

BCO may be present and neg­a­tively in­flu­ence flock per­for­mance and health even though it is not rec­og­nized as such. Prof Robert Wide­man of the Univer­sity of Ar­kan­sas, cited an ex­am­ple of a coun­try he vis­ited where mul­ti­ple in­di­vid­u­als claimed that BCO was not a prob­lem lo­cally. How­ever, it turned out that 40% of the mor­tal­ity in broil­ers do­mes­ti­cally were be­ing culled due to lame­ness caused by bac­te­rial chon­dronecro­sis with os­teomyeli­tis. Pro­duc­ers should be dili­gent: “In my opin­ion, wher­ever broil­ers are be­ing grown, this [BCO] is going to be a prob­lem – an im­por­tant prob­lem,” stated Dr Wide­man.

A BCO ‘epi­demic’ out­break can af­fect over 15% of a flock. It can be de­scribed as a meta­bolic dis­ease, in that it be­comes most se­vere in the fastest grow­ing flocks.

Non-an­tibi­otic so­lu­tions are in­creas­ingly rel­e­vant

From what we know of the patho­gen­e­sis of BCO, path­o­genic bac­te­ria (e.g. Staphy­lo­coc­cus spp., En­te­ro­coc­cus spp. and even E. coli) har­boured in the gut grad­u­ally leak through the in­testi­nal ep­ithe­lium, make their way into the cir­cu­la­tion and trig­ger the in­fec­tions. Hence, the pri­mary fo­cus is to im­prove in­testi­nal health and bar­rier func­tion to pro­tect against bac­te­rial translo­ca­tion re­spon­si­ble for BCO.

Un­til re­cently, an­tibi­otics were the method of choice to treat BCO lame­ness. How­ever, an an­tibi­otic treat­ment will not be ef­fec­tive against an­tibi­otic re­sis­tant bac­te­ria or dur­ing the with­drawal pe­riod. Also, given the in­creas­ing need to re­duce the use of an­tibi­otics in an­i­mal pro­duc­tion, an­tibi­otic-free so­lu­tions are es­sen­tial.

Dur­ing a re­cent we­bi­nar on the topic of BCO lame­ness, Prof Wide­man pre­sented re­sults of five ex­per­i­ments with four broiler lines con­ducted over the course of two years show­ing how one pro­bi­otic prod­uct was ef­fec­tive in re­duc­ing the in­ci­dence of BCO lame­ness. Yet, in two ex­per­i­ments un­der sim­i­lar con­di­tions with an­other pro­bi­otic, there was neg­li­gi­ble re­sponse from the other prod­uct in terms of re­duc­ing BCO. While the sec­ond pro­bi­otic may have had some ben­e­fi­cial use in gut per­for­mance, it did not pro­tect against bac­te­rial translo­ca­tion.

Ex­ten­sive re­search has iden­ti­fied three types ben­e­fi­cial bac­te­ria that act as driv­ers of good gut health in poul­try, each in­hab­it­ing var­i­ous parts of the gastrointestinal tract:

1. En­te­ro­coc­cus sp. orig­i­nat­ing in the je­junum 2. Bi­fi­dobac­terium sp. orig­i­nat­ing in the ileum, and 3. Lac­to­bacil­lus spp. orig­i­nat­ing in the ce­cum.

They act to com­pet­i­tively ex­clude harm­ful bac­te­ria in the gut, prime the im­mune sys­tem and cre­ate a proper en­vi­ron­ment for ben­e­fi­cial mi­croflora.

All three strains are found in Poul­trys­tar® – a well-de­fined, poul­try-spe­cific, multi-species sym­bi­otic prod­uct de­vel­oped by BIOMIN that is the only one of its kind with EU au­tho­ri­sa­tion.

For more in­for­ma­tion, contact Al­bert Van Rens­burg and his team at Biomin South Africa: Tel: +27 (0)18 468 1455 / +27 (0)18 468 1456 Mo­bile: +27 (0)834095315 E-mail: al­bert.van­rens­burg@biomin.net www.biomin.net

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