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Empowering gut health to control Salmonella


Salmonella can cause morbidity and mortality in humans and livestock. Research shows empowering natural defence mechanisms in broilers’ guts can improve upon conventional feed and/or water acidification approaches to control enteric pathogens.


BY BART D‘HEER, GLOBAL PROGRAMME MANAGER SALMONELLA CONTROL AND ELLEN HAMBRECHT, GLOBAL PRODUCT MANAGER, TROUW NUTRITION


A


Membrane function


 bacteria


Antimicrobial proteins


Mucus secretion


Epithelial cell


Transcytosis


Lamina propria


IgA secretion Cell Killing of bacteria that penetrate epithelium


Dendritic cell


IgA


s the primary infection route occurs through faecal- oral transmission, the hygiene of raw materials, poultry feed and drinking water is a prerequisite to prevent the vertical and horizontal spread of


Salmonella. Organic acids have long been used as antimicrobial


Figure 1 - Intestinal defence mechanisms against Salmonella. Metabolism


Virulence


agents in poultry feeds and drinking water to support hygiene. Adding low pKa short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) like formic, acetic and propionic acid to feed helps to deliver a bacteriostatic and bactericidal impact. These SCFAs strengthen the low pH barrier of the upper (acidic) part of the gut. As Salmonella must survive this acidic environment, strengthening this area can reduce the risk of Salmonella colonising and invading the lower gut. Some Salmonella spp have developed an acid tolerance response via the synthesis of specific acid shock proteins. Strengthening natural barriers and obstacles that Salmonella encounter travelling through the gut can overrule acid tolerance (Figure 1). Below are four ways to steer gut health and defend against enteric Salmonella.


Adhesion Lumen


Outer mucus layer


Inhibit adhesion Salmonella bacteria surviving the acidic upper digestive tract proceed to the lumen of the lower gut, where intestinal epithelial and immune cells provide a protective barrier. Via fimbrial and nonfimbrial cell wall molecules, so-called adhesins, Salmonella can bind to and interact with the host’s intestinal tract. As Salmonella’s colonisation and invasion is initiated by adhesion to intestinal epithelial surfaces and cell lines and to intestinal mucins, inhibiting adhesion can reduce its pathogenesis. Mannose and mannose-based oligosaccharides have proven in vitro binding affinity for and inhibitory properties to some fimbrial adhesins present on enteric Salmonella. Indeed, in vivo trials have shown that broiler diets supplemented with hydrolysed copra meal, a natural source of β-1,4-mannobiose, reduced Salmonella shedding and improved Salmonella clearance after infection.


Inner mucus layer


(protected zone)


Live bacterial cell


Macrophage


Induction of bacteria 


Modulation of microbiota and immune response Salmonella serotypes’ ability to survive and proliferate in birds’ gastrointestinal tracts is related to the immune status of the host and microorganisms present. A broiler’s microbiome is complex and interactive. To colonise, pathogens entering the gut must survive a hostile environment created by fermentation activities of the endogenous microflora, compete with endogenous microflora for nutrients, and make contact with enterocytes. High pKa SCFA and medium chain fatty acids (MCFA) can create challenging conditions in the non-acidic part of the intestinal tract. Combined with prebiotic components, these acids support a more diverse and competitive microbial ecosystem


24 ▶ GUT HEALTH | DECEMBER 2020


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