The rapid development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in human health care urges the need for effective strategies to reduce antibiotic use in animal production. One of these strategies is the use of selected feed additives.
In an article, published on Feedipedia, the authors from the Netherlands explain that antimicrobial growth promoters are still commonly used in most countries outside the EU, although growth-promoting effects differ greatly and are highly dependent on the health status.
Similar productivity effects, such as with growth promoters, may be obtained with feed additives or combinations that have an impact on microbiota composition and either directly or indirectly modulate the immune system. The ‘toolbox’ here from which the nutritionist can choose consists of a wide range of functional ingredients.
These ‘tools’ include for example short- and medium-chain fatty acids and other organic acids, prebiotic sugars and fibres, probiotics, botanicals with a wide range of plant extracts and microbial derived additives from yeasts and fungi. In general, these tools can be used to modulate the intestinal microbiota and immune system in a specific, desired direction.
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