Effects of bacteriophage supplements – broiler chickens
Bacteriophages are a unique and important tool in the fight against bacterial infections. By targeting and invading harmful bacteria, bacteriophages can help reduce their population and prevent disease in animals.
A recent study found that adding bacteriophages to broiler chickens’ diets had positive effects on performance, morphology and immune responses. Birds fed bacteriophages gained weight and had better feed conversion than those fed colistin or a control diet without bacteriophages, and European efficiency was also higher. These results suggest that the inclusion of bacteriophages in animal diets may be a promising strategy to improve overall health and productivity.
Further research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and limitations of using bacteriophages in this manner.
On 23 August 2022, the authors Zahra Sarrami, Mohammad Sedghi, Ishmael Mohammadi, Woo Kyun Kim and Amir Hossein Mahdavi published their findings in the article: Effects of bacteriophage supplement on the growth performance, microbial population, and PGC-1α and TLR4 gene expressions of broiler chickens.
Key findings include;
- Bacteriophages are viruses that invade and replicate in bacteria, resulting in lysis of bacterial cells.
- The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of adding bacteriophages to the diet of broiler chickens and its effects on performance, morphology and bacterial population in the intestine, some immune responses and expression of some intestinal genes.
- The feed treatments were as follows: Basal diet (control), control + 0.3 g/kg colistin or 0.5, 1 and 1.5 g BP/kg diet.
- Bacteriophages increased body weight gain and reduced feed conversion ratio (FCR) compared with colistin treatment throughout the finisher period (P < 0.05). The European efficiency factor was significantly higher in birds fed 1.5 g bacteriophages compared with the control and colistin treatments. Birds fed bacteriophages and colistin had higher Lactobacillus counts than birds in the control group (P <0.05). The cecal concentrations of propionate in the birds fed 1.5 g bacteriophages were higher than those in the control group (P <0.05).
Bacteriophages (BP) are viruses that invade bacteria and propagate inside them, leading to the lysis of the bacterial cells. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of adding BP to the broiler’s diet and its effect on the performance, morphology and bacterial population of the gut, some immune responses and expression of some intestinal genes.
Accordingly, dietary treatments were as follows: basal diet (control), and control + 0.3 g/kg colistin or 0.5, 1 and 1.5 g BP/kg of diet. BP increased the body weight gain and reduced the feed conversion ratio (FCR), as compared to the colistin treatment, in the finisher and overall period (P < 0.05). European efficiency factor was significantly higher in 1.5 g BP-fed birds, as compared to the control and colistin treatments. meanwhile, bacteriophage and colistin-fed birds had higher Lactobacillus and lowered coliform bacteria counts, as compared to the control treatment (P < 0.05). Cecal concentrations of propionate in the 1.5 g BP-fed birds were higher than those in the control treatment (P < 0.05). BP-fed birds had a significantly increased villus height to crypt depth ratio, as compared to the control treatment. BP increased the serum concentrations of the total antibody, immunoglobulin (Ig) M, and IgG, as compared to the control treatment (P < 0.05). In the ileum, the expression of the Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1α) gene was decreased by dietary BP supplementation (P < 0.05). Furthermore, Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) gene expression was down-regulated in the BP-fed birds, whereas Interleukin 10 (IL-10) gene expression was up-regulated (P < 0.05).
Overall, the use of BP may be a promising alternative to growth-promoting antibiotics in broilers by altering the gastrointestinal tract microbiota, enhancing immunological responses and improving the gut’s morphology.
© 2022. The Authors.