Prevalence of necrotic enteritis in Bangladesh in 2023
Different measures can prevent necrotic enteritis, like improving management and nutritional conditions, controlling predisposing factors,...
Clostridium perfringens is a gram-positive, anaerobic bacterium which can form highly resistant spores in the environment and is known to be the causative agent of necrotic enteritis, one of the diseases that mostly affects the poultry sector worldwide.
The poultry industry in Bangladesh faces significant challenges due to an elevated prevalence of C. perfringens in hens. According to the most recent statistics available from 2023, the disease affects about 25% of broiler chickens. Sixty per cent of the chickens tested positive for C. perfringens also exhibit clear clinical signs of necrotic enteritis.
Several factors can increase the frequency of C. perfringens in broilers, such as:
- The age of the birds: younger chickens are more susceptible to perfringens infection, although the severity is higher at ages close to slaughter due to the high productive pressure of the digestive organs.
- The health condition of the chickens: birds with underlying diseases, such as coccidiosis, are more prone to perfringens infection (they are correlated diseases). Nutritional status plays an important role, as the health and immune status depend on it.
- Management: Poor management conditions, such as overcrowding and poor hygiene, can increase the risk of perfringens infection. Diet management is also essential, as high protein levels, use of unsafe raw materials, or poor use of exogenous enzymes can contribute to the problem.
The main symptoms include bloody diarrhoea, weight loss and worsened productive performance, high mortalities, and flatulence in some cases.
Numerous tests are available to diagnose necrotic enteritis in broilers, including:
- Necropsies: post-mortem examination may reveal characteristic lesions, such as inflamed and necrotic gut and intestinal gas.
- Laboratory tests, such as bacterial culture, can confirm the presence and quantification of perfringens.
Prevention and treatment of necrotic enteritis
Necrotic enteritis in broilers does not have specific treatments. The therapy is usually supportive and may include fluid therapy to replace fluids lost in the diarrhoeal process, antibiotics to treat secondary infections and reduce the Clostridium load, and nutrient supply to foster the broiler’s recovery.
Necrotic enteritis can be prevented with various strategies, such as improving management conditions, controlling the diet, and predisposing factors like coccidiosis, among others.
Currently, Biovet S.A. has developed a natural technology that is highly effective in both the prevention and natural treatment of necrotic enteritis. It combines an active ingredient called cimenol ring with citric acid (AMN).
This combination acts as a natural antimicrobial, where citric acid facilitates the entry of the cimenol ring inside Clostridium and other pathogens. This phenolic compound destabilises the cell membrane from the inside, causing its rupture and the death of the bacteria.
In this way, Biovet’s technology keeps Clostridium overgrowth under control during the whole cycle if administered continuously in the feed. Furthermore, when an outbreak is detected, it supports production parameters recovery and decreases mortality when the liquid form is supplied in drinking water.
This tool can be safely used throughout the production cycle up to slaughter age as it is natural, does not create resistance, and does not require a withdrawal time. In addition, it promotes beneficial flora such as Lactobacillus.
The high prevalence of C. perfringens in broilers in Bangladesh is a serious concern for the poultry industry due to the consequent deterioration in production performance and high mortality rates. Different measures can prevent necrotic enteritis, like improving management and nutritional conditions, controlling predisposing factors, and using natural tools such as those based on the cimenol ring, which also serves as treatment during outbreaks with high mortalities.