Engormix/Poultry Industry/Technical articles

Steering Broiler Intestinal Microbiota Through Nutrition For Improved Health

Published on: 6/18/2020
Author/s : R. Ducatelle, V. Eeckhaut, E. Goossens, F. Haesebrouck and F. Van Immerseel / Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, 9820 Merelbeke, Belgium.


Digestion and absorption of nutrients takes place in the small intestine, in the chicken essentially in the duodenum and jejunum. The remaining undigestible fraction, mostly plant cell wall polysaccharides (non-starch polysaccharides or NSP), are the natural substrate for the microbiota that live in the lower part of the intestine, essentially ileum and caeca. Dysbiosis can be defined as an unfavorable shift in the intestinal microbiota, leading to inflammation. It can be due to incomplete digestion of feed, leading to digestible nutrients becoming available to the microbes. In the immature gut ecosystem of the broiler, also insufficient capacity of the developing microbiota to break down the plant cell wall polysaccharides is an issue. Therefore, strategic use of NSP degrading enzymes (NSPases), prebiotics, and any other interventions supporting this functional segregation between the upper and the lower gastrointestinal tract, will reinforce a healthy microbiome. This microbiome has beneficial effects on the absorption and utilization of nutrients.


Presented at the International Fibre Summit 2019 (https://internationalfibre.com/). Reproduced with permission from the organizers.

Author/s :
Veterinarian, graduated from Ghent University in Belgium in 1978. PhD in veterinary pathology from Ghent University in 1983. Professor in veterinary pathology at Ghent University, Belgium, appointed in 1989. He is author or co-author of more than 750 scientific publications, of which more than 380 are listed in the web of science, more than 300 are in proceedings of international congresses, and 7 are chapters in books. His research focus is mainly on intestinal health and on interactions of zoonotic agents with the animal host reservoir.
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