Natural antibiotic alternatives to boost animal immunity and disease resistance
Vue, Sarah Kaying
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Antibiotics have been used in the feed of livestock and poultry for growth promotion and disease prevention for many decades; however, in recent years, there has been an outcry for elimination of antibiotics in order to reduce the emergence and increase in drug-resistant bacteria. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has implemented a new guideline to phase out the use of medically important antibiotics in poultry, cattle, and swine as of January 2017. Therefore, new antibiotic alternative strategies are needed to ensure animal health and productivity. Modulating the synthesis of endogenous host defense peptides (HDPs) is being explored as a novel antibiotic-alternative approach to disease control and prevention. My study will focus on the evaluation of two natural dietary compounds, named butyrate and lactose, and if they will have a synergy in enhancing chicken HDP synthesis and barrier function genes far greater than when each compound is used individually. Butyrate was found to synergize with lactose to enhance the expressions of AvBD9 and the barrier function genes in chicken HD11 cells at the highest levels. The results also suggest that there is a beneficial role of using a combination of butyrate and lactose in enhancing gut health and possibly animal performance. The outcome of this research will help pave the way for the development of natural antibiotic alternatives to boost animal immunity and disease resistance for livestock and poultry use.