WHAT IS A PROBIOTIC?
Probiotics are cultures with one or more species of viable microorganisms that produce beneficial effects for the host's health when given in the recommended dose (FAO/WHO 2001). Different species and various strains of microorganisms are commercially available as probiotics, either as a single strain product or with multiple species. It is important to stress that the ideal probiotic is not pathogenic for the host, is species-specific and able to cross the gastric juice acid environment to reach the intestine, where the host will obtain the probiotic positive effects.
WHAT IS A COMPETITIVE EXCLUSION PRODUCT?
Competitive Exclusion (CE) is the terminology used to describe the protective effects promoted by the natural or native intestinal microbiota, limiting colonization by pathogenic bacteria, particularly the Salmonella spp. genus (OIE 2010). In this way, CE products are formed by a pool of intestinal non-pathogenic microorganisms, obtained from healthy adult birds, and can include hundreds of different bacterial species.
HOW ARE THE COLOSTRUM® LINE PROBIOTICS PRODUCED?
Specific master seeds are the starting point for each probiotic type. They go through a fermentation process according to each group of microorganisms to be cultured. Probiotics for use in feed (DFM or NAGF) are coated with three layers of polymers. These layers are strongly adhered to the microorganisms, protecting them against the proventriculus acid environment and favoring their release in the middle third of the GI tract. The coating makes the microorganisms more thermo-resistant to the feed pelleting process.
WHAT IS THE MODE OF ACTION OF CE PRODUCTS AND PROBIOTICS AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS RELATED TO THEIR USE?
- Production of organic acids, bacteriocins and other substances;
- Complex molecules ingested by the bird are broken down by the bird, favoring digestion and utilization;
- Production of vitamins;
- Competition with pathogenic bacteria for space and adhesion sites in the gut
- Competition with pathogenic bacteria for nutrients. Probiotic bacteria do not compete for nutrients with the bird; they use nutrients with low availability or that are unavailable for the bird, such as the non-starch polysaccharides – that interfere negatively on the bird’s production performance;
- The immune function of the intestine is improved, as it contains a large amount of lymphoid tissue (GALT);
- Intestinal health is improved as the villi height and crypts depth are increased;
- Presence of pathogenic bacteria (especially Salmonella spp.) is reduced;
- Performance is improved by weight gain increase and feed conversion and mortality reduction.
HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO USE A PROBIOTIC THAT IS SPECIFIC FOR POULTRY?
In nature, when chicks are born under the hen, bacteria from the healthy adult bird are released in the feces and ingested by the chick, acting as a natural inoculum and providing a microbiota similar to that of the mother. Probiotics are given to mimic the natural contamination as soon as possible, taking into account that the ratios between the different bacteria lineages are highly complex and depend on a specific interaction between them and the host. It is more advantageous to use microbiota obtained from birds in the same species, as it is extremely similar to natural conditions (Cisek & Binek, 2014; Ribet & Cossart, 2015).
HOW CAN CE PRODUCTS AND PROBIOTICS BE ADMINISTERED?
The most common routes of administration are: spray (hatchery), drinking water (farm), ready feed (mini pellets) and feed. Another possibility is in ovo inoculation on the 18th day of incubation, in association with the vaccines for viral infections that are administered in the hatchery. Colostrum® Bio21 Liquid® is the first probiotic approved by the Ministry of Agriculture for in ovo inoculation.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO USE CE PRODUCTS AND PROBIOTICS?
Being an intestinal colonizer, the best time for CE products and probiotics administration is in the hatchery, as the newly hatched chicks have a rudimentary intestinal microbiota. The use of probiotics to recolonize the intestine is highly recommended for young and adultmbirds, to restore the protective microbiota after any situation that resulted in an imbalance in the intestinal microorganisms. It can be due to a disease, stress during transportation or as a result of handling, vaccination, moulting, etc. or even after treatment with antimicrobials.
WHAT IS THE BEST AGE FOR PROBIOTIC ADMINISTRATION IN OVO?
The best age for in ovo inoculation is around the 18th day of incubation.
IS IT POSSIBLE TO ASSOCIATE PROBIOTICS WITH PERFORMANCE ENHANCING ANTIBIOTIC (PEAs)
Yes, it is possible, as long as the doses established by legislation are respected.
DO ANTIBIOTICS INTERFERE WITH THE PROBIOTIC EFFICIENCY?
Yes, therapeutic doses of antibiotics interfere with the probiotic’s efficiency. Therefore, the associated use is not recommended.
DO PROBIOTICS USED AS FEED ADDITIVES SURVIVE PELLETING?
Resistance to pelleting will depend on the probiotic composition, its production process and pelleting process. Probiotics with bacterial spores and/or coated during the production process are more thermo-resistant and therefore can undergo pelleting;
CAN PROBIOTICS BE USED IN FEEDS WITH ORGANIC ACIDS?
Yes, as long as the organic acids do not have formaldehyde in their composition.
CAN SPRAY PROBIOTICS BE PROVIDED WITH OTHER SPRAY VACCINES
Yes, they can be associated.
SALMONELLA GALLINARUM IS PART OF WHICH GROUP OF SALMONELLA - TYPHOID OR PARATYPHOID?
SG is part of the Typhoid infections.
WHAT IS THE CAUSATIVE AGENT OF FT? WHAT ARE THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THIS DISEASE?
The causative agent is Salmonella enterica subsespecie enterica serovar Gallinarum biovar Gallinarum. The disease is characterized by being systemic, acute / chronic septicemia and by resulting in high mortality and morbidity, between 40-80% of the flock.
WHAT IS THE MAIN ROUTE OF SG TRANSMISSION / INFECTION?
The fecal-oral route is the main route of SG transmission / infection.
WHAT DIAGNOSTIC METHODS CAN BE USED TO IDENTIFY THE AGENT THAT CAUSES AT?
Bacteriological isolation of the etiologic agent is necessary through aseptically collected samples from infected tissues, preferably the liver and spleen of supposedly infected birds. It is worth mentioning that SG does not grow in the most modern chromogenic culture media (ex: XLD and XLT4) and in tetrathionate, which if used for isolation will lead to a false negative. After isolation, confirmation of the Gallinarum serotype must be carried out using biochemical or molecular techniques. Serological tests (ELISA and rapid whole-blood plate test =Pullorum disease antigen) do not detect Salmonella Gallinarum, they only indicate vaccination or infection by salmonella from group D.
ARE WHITE LAYING HENS RESISTANT TO SG INFECTION?
White laying hens are as infected as red laying hens. However, in general, clinical signs and mortality are less pronounced.
WHAT IS THE GREATEST SUSCEPTIBILITY OF COMMERCIAL BIRDS TO FOWL TYPHOID?
White layers are the most resistant and red layers are the most sensitive. Breeders´ susceptibility is closer to red laying hens.
HOW CAN FOWL TYPHOID BE PREVENTED IN COMMERCIAL FARMS?
Currently, only with active health surveillance, biosecurity and an adequate vaccination program with SG 9R strain live attenuated vaccines.
WHAT IS IMPORTANT TO DO DURING AN SG OUTBREAK TO DECREASE TRANSMISSION?
It is essential to remove birds sick, dying or dead as soon as possible, several times a day and eliminate them technically.
IS IT EFFECTIVE TO TREAT FOWL TYPHOID WITH ANTIBIOTICS?
No, because the infection is not eliminated with the use of antibiotics, only mortality is temporarily reduced.
HOW DOES SG IMMUNITY WORK?
Immunity is given through cellular immune response and, for this, it is essential to use live attenuated vaccines, such as SG 9R.
SHOULD I VACCINATE A HOUSE NEXT TO THE AFFECTED BUILDING WITH FT, EVEN IF THERE IS NO MORTALITY?
In a farm that suffers from a FT outbreak in a house and there is no adequate isolation between neighboring flocks or group of sheds, it is important to vaccinate all birds on the farm, even if they are white laying hens and have no symptoms.
CAN VACCINATION FOR SG BE DONE AFTER TREATMENT WITH ANTIBIOTICS?
Yes, it is possible, but the period of 7 days (ideally 14 days) after the end of the antibiotic medication must be respected to carry out the vaccination, regardless of the vaccination route used.
IS THERE A REVERSAL OF VIRULENCE OF THE SG 9R VACCINE?
The outbreaks that arise are caused by SG field strains. The studies indicate that there is no reversal of the virulence of the SG 9R vaccine. This strain has been used in all countries that suffer from FT for more than 50 years.
WHAT IS THE BEST DESTINATION FOR BIRDS KILLED BY SG?
The best way is to incinerate dead birds and not do the composting, as there is a risk of spreading the infection through insects, mites, domestic and wild animals.
ORGANIC ACIDS ARE EFFECTIVE TO CONTROL SG?
SG is not controlled with the use of organic acids, essential oils, prebiotics or probiotics. These are efficient tools for the paratyphoid infections that colonize the intestine and especially the cecum.
THE COMPETITIVE EXCLUSION (CE) SHOULD BE USED TO CONTROL SG?
The use of CE is very important to control the colonization of the intestine and the cecum by paratyphoid Salmonella and not by SG, since it does not live in the intestines of birds.
SHOULD THE FLOCKS OF POULTRY BREEDERS CONTAMINATED BY SG BE ELIMINATED?
As there is no efficient treatment for SG, to eradicate the problem, it is necessary to summarily eliminate the poultry breeders contaminated by SG.
MYCOPLASMA GALLISEPTICUM (MG)
WHAT IS MG?
Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) is the agent that causes mycoplasmosis, a respiratory disease in poultry birds. Mycoplasma is a bacteria of the class Mollicutes, a very small microorganism, which infects the respiratory tract of the bird and persist in the mucous membranes, especially air sacs.
WHAT ARE THE DAMAGES THAT MG BRINGS TO THE BIRDS?
Flocks affected by Mycoplasma gallisepticum have huge economic losses. MG affects the respiratory and reproductive systems of chicken, with decrease of egg production and quality, increasing eggs with shell abnormalities: shell-less eggs, thin eggshell, cracked and broken.
HOW IS MYCOPLASMOSIS BEING TRANSMITTED?
MG transmission can be vertical or horizontal. The vertical transmission occurs from the breeder to the progeny, by the infected breeding eggs. It is important to acquire replacement birds from MG-free suppliers. Horizontal transmission from the infected or sick bird to the healthy bird is the main route of disease dissemination. It occurs through aerosols and feathers that carry MG from one bird to another. Inside the facilities, MG can still be disseminated by equipment and people, which favor the introduction and perpetuation of the disease in the farms, mainly in those with flocks of multiple ages. The implementation of biosecurity and vaccination programs are very important measures for the control of mycoplasmosis.
HOW DO I KNOW IF MY FARM HAS PROBLEMS WITH MG?
Signs of compromising the respiratory system are the easiest to check. Presence of birds with respiratory problems, sinusitis, wheezing (snoring), sneezing and nasal discharge. The involvement of the reproductive system is more difficult to verify, because MG silently decreases production and affects the quality of the eggshell. In addition, MG also opens doors to other agents and is usually associated with them: E. coli, BIG (Infectious Bronchitis), Coryza infectious, Pasteurellosis, ... causing the respiratory syndromes. These syndromes can take a long course evolving to DCR (Chronic Respiratory Disease). The assistance of avian pathology laboratories, with specific tests, is very important in the mycoplasmosis diagnosis.
DOES THE USE OF ANTIMICROBIALS ELIMINATE THE PROBLEM?
No, the use of antimicrobials has short and superficial action on the agent. The Mycoplasma gallisepticum, since it colonizes the air sacs, is little affected by the antimicrobials, due to this place is poorly vascularized, therefore, of low reach to the drugs. The frequent and indiscriminate use of antimicrobials, can induce the development of resistance of MG, besides other bacteria, to these products.
WHAT TYPES OF VACCINES ARE AVAILABLE?
Three types of vaccines are available: - Live attenuated vaccines - naturally attenuated strains of MG, which were isolated in the field and worked for use as a vaccine. - Recombinant live vaccines - those that contain the insertion of part of the MG structure in a viral vaccine vector. - Inactivated vaccines - MG is inactivated and added in an oil vehicle.
WHICH VACCINE HAS THE BEST PROTECTION?
The vaccine with the live attenuated strain MG-F, is the one with the best efficacy. The vaccine induces protection of the tracheal mucosa, air sacs and reproductive system, ensuring the productivity of layers (Avian Diseases, 56:272-275 (2012) The Efficacy of Three Commercial Mycoplasma gallisepticum Vaccines in Laying Hens N.Ferguson-Noel, K.Cookson, V.A.Laibinis, S.H.Kleven).
HOW TO MONITOR THE VACCINE RESPONSE TO MG?
The vaccine response can be monitored by serological testing, detecting vaccine antibodies in qualitative analyses such as the plate SAR (Rapid Serum Agglutination) test; or in quantitative analyses using Elisa tests. The response measured by SAR, can be done from 4 weeks after vaccination. For the Elisa test, more time is required, it should be done preferably after 6 weeks of vaccination. The decrease of respiratory signs and stability in production, for long periods, are indicative of positive response to the vaccination program implemented at farm.
WHICH VACCINATION PROGRAM IS RECOMMENDED?
The vaccination program can be performed with one dose of vaccine, or two doses in highly challenging locations. The first dose should be done preferentially in the rearing phase, between 4 to 6 weeks, not before that age, and the second dose, in the rearing phase, between 8 to 12 weeks.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS SHOULD I TAKE IN VACCINATION?
It is essential that the MG-F vaccine strain reaches the respiratory system of the birds, through vaccination, before the field challenge strain. The SAR test is a quick and sensitive test to attest the negativity of birds to MG, before vaccination. The application of MG-F vaccine should occur with an interval of 7 days before or after other vaccines for respiratory diseases (BIG, NCD, MPV, LTI).
WHAT ARE THE ROUTES OF APPLICATION OF THE MG-F VACCINE?
The preferential route of vaccine application is by eye drop. The vaccine can also be administered by spray, but this route requires more attention in the application. The drinking water route, although described, should be avoided.
CAN I VACCINATE BREEDERS WITH THIS VACCINE?
In Brazil, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA) prohibits the use of this vaccine in flocks of both layer and broiler breeders.
CAN I VACCINATE TURKEYS WITH THE MG-F?
No, the use of MG-F vaccine in turkeys is not indicated. Turkeys are highly sensitive to the MG-F vaccine strain.