The animal industry still uses antibiotics to prevent disease and improve the yield of animal production in challenging conditions. However, the emerging public health crisis in relation to antibiotic resistance, due to the possibility of these bacteria being transferred to other animals and humans (farmers, veterinarians and consumers), has stimulated efforts to end the use of prophylactics in feed antibiotics. This review summarizes the current developments and perspectives regarding the use of the enzymes as an alternative to antibiotics, with a specific focus on carbohydrases. It is difficult to conclude that enzymes per se could replace antibiotics in efficient animal production. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize their role as a fundamental part of a multidisciplinary displacement intervention strategy that integrates a mixture of different additives and more efficient management programs. Positive effects of carbohydrase enzymes on performance are normally associated with increases in nutrient digestibility because of the release of encapsulated nutrients, as well as hydrolysis or partial hydrolysis of non-starch polysaccharides. There also seems to be an influence on the environmental physico-chemical conditions in digesta and the composition of the microbiota in the digestive tract.
Presented at the International Fibre Summit 2019 (https://internationalfibre.com/). Reproduced with permission from the organizers.