The oxidation products from beta-carotenes (carotenoids) show promise as an antimicrobial for animals. Trials from the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta showed that this product could be part of an effective nutritional strategy to control prevalence of Bovine Respiratory Disease in cattle.
The additive, produced by the company Avivagen, has been developed by spontaneous oxidation (and transformation) of beta-carotene. The products that are formed after this patent-protected technology have been shown increase growth and feed efficiency and decrease morbidity in livestock. The company therefore believes that this product may be suitable as a good alternative for antibiotics.
The current Canadian study looked the effects of the product in a model of Bovine Respiratory Disease (BRD). The researchers conclude that it has a positive effect on limiting the disease-induced inflammation without otherwise disrupting immune response to infection. The research team therefore thinks that this product could be a good nutritional strategy that may confer benefits for cattle with respiratory tract disease.
BRD is a multi-factorial respiratory tract disease that is characterized by severe inflammation and that is cited as the most costly disease of feedlot cattle. In the US, BRD has an average annual incidence of 14-20%, with its clinical form accounting for over 30% of feedlot mortalities. The annual economic impact of BRD on the US beef industry is estimated at over 600 million dollars.
This research study was published in the December, 2014 edition of The American Journal of Veterinary Research.
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