Salmonella phage cocktail
The health, metabolism and immunity of broiler chickens can be strongly influenced by the microbiota in their gut. Certain bacteria can have a positive effect, while others have a negative impact on animal productivity. Therefore, new strategies to control pathogens without upsetting the delicate balance of the microbial community are critical.
Phages, viral parasites that specifically target bacterial cells, offer such a solution.
The objective of this study was to characterize the microbial community in broiler chickens treated with a phage cocktail targeting Salmonella.
In field trials, this approach was found to successfully control Salmonella without upsetting the balance of the overall microbiota. These results demonstrate the potential of phages as a promising alternative to conventional antibiotics in broiler production.
The authors Viviana Clavijo, Tatiana Morales, Martha Josefina Vives-Flores, and Alejandro Reyes Muñoz published their findings in the article The gut microbiota of chickens in a commercial farm treated with a Salmonella phage cocktail, dated 19 January 2022.
- The microbiota in the intestine of broiler chickens influences the health, metabolism and immunity of the animals both positively and negatively.
- Phages are a promising antimicrobial alternative that selectively targets pathogens without disrupting the microbiota.
- The objective of this study is to further characterize the commensal microbial community at production scale in broiler chickens treated with Salmonella phage treatment.
- We studied the microbiota in the caecum of broiler chickens raised in a commercial housing system in which the birds were administered a phage cocktail against Salmonella.
- Our results showed that the addition of the phage cocktail resulted in a significant reduction in Campylobacter and an increase in Butyricimonas, Helicobacter and Rikenellaceae.
The microbiota in broiler chicken intestines affects the animals’ health, metabolism, and immunity both positively and negatively. Accordingly, it has a significant impact on animal productivity.
Phages, host-specific parasites of bacterial cells, are a promising antimicrobial alternative that selectively target pathogens without disturbing the microbiota.
The purpose of this study is to further characterize the commensal microbial community at production scale in broiler chickens treated with a Salmonella phage treatment.
We evaluated the cecal microbiota of broilers reared in a commercial farming system where a phage cocktail against Salmonella, SalmoFree was supplied to animals.
To do so, two field trials were conducted, incorporating three doses of phages in the broilers’ drinking water. Our results showed that the core microbiome (taxa that were present in more than 50% of samples) contained species that are key to microbiota adaptation in the last stage of the production cycle. Among these, there are some important degraders of complex polysaccharides and producers of short chain fatty acids (SCFA) such as Eisenbergiella and Lachnoclostridium.
The phage cocktail did not affect the normal development of the microbiota’s structure.
The addition of the phage cocktail resulted in a significant reduction in Campylobacter and an increase in Butyricimonas, Helicobacter and Rikenellaceae, which are common inhabitants in chicken gut with known negative and positive effects on their health and metabolism.
Altogether, we consider that these results contribute valuable information to the implementation of large-scale phage therapy technologies.
© 2022. The Authors.