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Review confirms effectiveness of Bacillus spp. probiotic strains

National Pork Board Pen of weaned piglets
Bacillus-based probiotics could reduce incidence of post-weaning diarrhea in pigs by 30%; reduce mortality in broilers by 6–8%.

A peer reviewed article by University of Bologna establishes bacillus-based probiotics as a promising strategy to help tackle the increasing problem of antibiotic resistance, while also reducing the incidence of post-weaning diarrhea in pigs by 30% and mortality in broilers by 6–8%.

A just published review of 131 scientific articles evaluates the effectiveness of Bacillus strains as probiotics, and as a potential strategy for reducing the use of antibiotics in monogastric animals. The article, "Bacillus spp. Probiotic Strains as a Potential Tool for Limiting the Use of Antibiotics and Improving the Growth and Health of Pigs and Chickens," confirms the positive effects of probiotics, also known as direct fed microbials, in young pigs and broilers. These special microbes demonstrate a broad array of modes of action, including direct and indirect inhibition of potentially harmful organisms.

The scientific findings support the global recognition of the need to reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock production, as antibiotic resistance is rising to dangerously high levels in all parts of the world. 

According to WHO, antibiotic resistance is one of the biggest threats to global health, food security and development today, and antibiotic-resistant "superbugs" are projected to kill more people than cancer by 2050. But steps can be taken throughout society to reduce the impact and limit the spread of resistance through a changed approach of prescribing and using antibiotics.

The new review includes potential modes of action, and the effects on the performance and health of pigs (weaned piglets, lactating and gestating sows) and broilers. The conclusion is that Bacillus-based probiotics could:

  • Favor growth in terms of the average daily gain (ADG) of post-weaned piglets and broilers.
  • Reduce the incidence of post-weaning diarrhea in pigs by 30%.
  • Reduce mortality in broilers by 6–8%.

"Basically, this thorough review confirms the power of good bacteria," says Kim Muller Christensen, senior vice president, Animal and Plant Health, Chr. Hansen, underlining that it includes several strains and products and not only those offered by the global bioscience leader itself. "We have been working with natural ingredients to improve food and health for almost 150 years. We believe that microbial challenges require microbial solutions, which in turn enable producers to boost their efficiency and profitability in a sustainable way, favoring animal welfare and less use of antibiotics."

"This review illustrates the strength of probiotics and lifts the entire category, supporting our data and products towards segments that are still not convinced of the beneficial effects. We believe it is a testimony to the value of scientific research, a classic Chr. Hansen stronghold. The majority of our product innovations stem from our strong platforms in bioscience technologies, including our large collection of bacterial strains, numbering more than 40,000."

"We hope that the review will strike a chord with farmers, vets and feed producers to embrace the benefits of probiotics as a means to help reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock production, favoring a more sustainable rearing system in the future."

Source: Chr. Hansen, which is solely responsible for the information provided, and wholly owns the information. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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