Poultry are constantly being bombarded by pathogens, resulting in being in a constant inflammatory state. This energy consuming process can have a detrimental effect on health and production, not to mention additional stressors caused by several factors. So, what happens inside the bird when inflammation kicks in?
- Inflammation of the gut mucosal epithelium is a key mechanism for mucosal colonization by several pathogens (Craven et al, 2012).
- Inflammation results in overall diversity and abundance of commensal bacteria being reduced (Craven et al, 2012).
- With increased inflammation, more nutrients and colonization niches are made available to pathogens. Certain pathogens exploit inflammation in order to reduce competition from microflora and promote their own success in colonization and pathogenesis rodent models (Stecher et al., 2007; Winter et al., 2010).
- Reduced inflammation causes stabilization of beneficial bacteria known to reduce expression of inflammatory cytokines (messengers) and reduce goblet cell size and mucus secretion (Fraune and Bosch, 2010; Kau et al., 2011; Maslowski et al., 2011; Salzman, 2011).
- So, inflammation is a precursor to dysbacteriosis and necrotic enteritis (Fraune and Bosch, 2010; Kau et al., 2011; Maslowski et al., 2011; Salzman, 2011).
- Barrier function is a critical aspect of gut health. The intestine is exposed to a nearly unlimited number of antigens and potential insults daily, including dietary components, toxins, and commensal and pathogenic microorganisms (Vicuna, 2015).
- The GIT serves as a selective barrier to take up nutrients and fluids into the body, while excluding undesirable molecules and pathogens (Vicuna, 2015).
- Proper gut barrier function is essential to maintain optimal health and balance throughout the body and is the first line of defense against foreign antigens from the environment (Vicuna, 2015).
- Oxidative stress, poorly digestible protein or energy sources and coccidiosis are some examples that can cause gut barrier failure (Vicuna, 2015).
- Commercial poultry are exposed to many stressors that can induce changes in gut motility and permeability, as well as possible alterations in mucus secretion and absorption (Vicuna, 2015).
- These changes have been linked to Mast cells, translating stress signals into the release of neurotransmitters and pro-inflammatory cytokines, with dramatic effects on gastrointestinal physiology (Vicuna, 2015).
- Enteric inflammation stress increases gut leakage associated with dissolution of tight junctions between endocrine cells (Vicuna, 2015).
At a low inclusion rate of 100g/t of feed, several trials have proven its efficacy and today, Xtract Nature is being applied worldwide in monogastric production systems.