Control of Enterococcus cecorum in broilers
Proper nutrition plays a critical role in the control of 𝘌𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘰𝘤𝘤𝘶𝘴 𝘤𝘦𝘤𝘰𝘳𝘶𝘮 in poultry. A balanced and adapted diet can strengthen the immune system of birds...
Enterococcus cecorum is a bacterium that has raised concerns in the poultry industry due to its impact on the health of the birds, especially broilers. It is a pathogen that not only generates pathology in birds but also poses a risk to public health and food safety.
Enterococcus cecorum and its impact on broilers
In the past, Enterococcus cecorum was a microorganism known as a harmless commensal of the intestinal microbiota of broilers and layers. However, in recent years, pathogenic strains with a high capacity to generate disease and increase mortality in this species have been registered, a fact that translates into high economic losses for the poultry sector.
When the proliferation and infection by pathogenic strains of Enterococcus cecorum occurs, it can manifest itself in different ways, but the most common symptoms are the following:
The importance of nutrition in the control of Enterococcus cecorum
Proper nutrition plays a critical role in the control of Enterococcus cecorum in poultry. A balanced and adapted diet can strengthen the immune system of birds, reduce their susceptibility to infection and help prevent the proliferation of this pathogen.
On the one hand, through adequate nutrition, an improvement in intestinal well-being is obtained, which is vital for the control of Enterococcus cecorum, since this bacterium is found mainly in the digestive tract of birds. A balanced diet should include conditioning pronutrients that allows the mucosa to be in physiologically adequate conditions to perform its nutritional and defensive functions optimally, being able to promote a healthy intestinal environment, favoring the growth of a beneficial microbiota and limiting the colonization of pathogenic bacteria. In addition, it can help strengthen the intestinal barrier, preventing the translocation of pathogenic bacteria, such as Enterococcus cecorum, from the intestine to other tissues and organs.
In addition, optimal nutrient digestibility is also obtained, essential to ensure that the birds obtain the necessary nutrients for their growth and development, and that undigested substrates are not available for the growth of bacteria such as E. cecorum. The use of high-quality ingredients and proper diet formulation can maximize nutrient digestibility, thereby reducing the potential for Enterococcus cecorum growth.
Finally, optimal nutrition supplemented with local and systemic immunostimulant pronutrients are essential for the development and proper functioning of the bird’s immune system. A robust immune system is crucial to defend the body against bacterial infections, including Enterococcus cecorum. Key nutrients to strengthen the immune system include vitamins (such as vitamin E and C), minerals (such as zinc and selenium), and antioxidants.
Risk to food safety and public health
The presence of Enterococcus cecorum in broiler chickens not only represents a challenge for animal health, but also poses risks for food safety. If the birds are infected, there is a possibility that the bacteria could be transmitted through the food supply chain, reaching chicken meat that is later consumed by humans. This increases the chances of contamination and exposure to the bacteria.
An additional problem associated with Enterococcus cecorum is its ability to develop resistance to antimicrobials commonly used in the poultry industry. The excessive or inappropriate use of antibiotics can foster the emergence of resistant strains, making them difficult to treat and potentially having serious public health implications. As mentioned above, by optimizing the integrity of the intestinal mucosa with the help of pronutrients, the possibility of translocation of pathogenic bacteria, such as Enterococcus cecorum, from the intestine to other tissues and organs can be decreased. This not only helps control the spread of the bacteria within the bird’s body, but also helps reduce the need to overuse antimicrobials, thus minimizing the risk of developing antimicrobial resistance.
Pathogenic strains of E. cecorum have been shown to possess higher antimicrobial resistance compared to commensal strains. These pathogenic strains have been recovered in poultry meat and an increase in nosocomial infections in people has been observed.
It is essential to address this challenge effectively and seek alternatives to control this bacterium without generating resistance.
Innovative strategy for the control of Enterococcus cecorum
Taking into account the importance of controlling this pathogen in poultry, a clear example as an alternative is an antimicrobial product called Alquermold ECI. It is a product of botanical origin that has been tested and has shown to have a great capacity to reduce the load of Enterococcus cecorum.
In a trial conducted in 2022, Alquermold ECI demonstrated a 70.36% reduction in E. cecorum burden.
This product, being natural, is an ideal alternative for the control of Enterococcus cecorum. Acting at the intestinal level, it reduces the load of this pathogen in broilers, avoiding the generation of associated pathologies and guaranteeing food safety. Being natural, it does not generate antimicrobial resistance, which is crucial to maintain the efficacy of treatments in the long term.
The combination of a balanced diet, the use of Alquermold ECI and other management and control measures can contribute significantly to guarantee the welfare of poultry, while minimizing the risks associated with Enterococcus cecorum in relation to food safety. and public health.
Enterococcus cecorum represents a significant challenge for the poultry industry and food safety. Their impact on broilers can have consequences for both animal and human health. It is essential to address this problem in a comprehensive manner, taking into account the nutrition of the birds and seeking natural alternatives to control this pathogen.
The use of Alquermold ECI specifically designed to reduce the intestinal load of Enterococcus cecorum in chickens is an effective strategy. This product acts naturally, avoiding the generation of pathologies in birds and ensuring that the chicken meat consumed by humans is free of bacterial contamination. In addition, its nature does not generate antimicrobial resistance, which makes it a safe and sustainable option for the control of this pathogen.