Project snapshot: Next-generation probiotics to enhance the gut health of chickens

  • 6 pages

  • Published: 12 Oct 2022

  • Author(s): Robert Moore

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Probiotics are live organisms that improve health when given at sufficient dosage. They can be used to support the health and productivity of broilers. Probiotic use in broilers has increased as the industry has looked for alternative products that can be used in place of in-feed antibiotic growth promoters. Although there is extensive use of probiotics within the broiler industry, they currently have a variable reputation. The requirement for probiotics to be administered constantly demonstrates that the current products do not integrate and work efficiently within the microbiota of the chicken gut. 

This project sought to identify and develop a next generation of probiotics that could reliably colonise and persist in broilers after a single administration. A new direct screening method in chickens was developed and used to identify bacteria with the desired properties of efficient and reliable colonisation and persistence. These persistent bacteria have the potential to be used as probiotics that are easier to apply and produce more consistent and reliable outcomes in improving the health and productivity of broilers. However, further research is required to identify those persistent bacteria within the collection that have probiotic properties.