Effect of Herbanoplex CP on broiler chicken’s performance following a nondefined challenge or intestinal lesion score using a necrotic enteritis challenge model
In intensive poultry production, many antimicrobials are frequently used to prevent (prophylactic use) and treat (therapeutic purpose) diseases, as well as for growth promotion (subtherapeutic use) to increase productivity. However, it has been reported that the use of antimicrobials at subtherapeutic doses is closely related to the alarming reports of multidrug-resistant enteropathogens such as Clostridium perfringens (CP). After the antibiotic growth promoters ban in the European Union in January 2006, acute outbreaks and the subclinical manifestation of necrotic enteritis (NE) caused by CP in broiler flocks with significant production losses have been reported. Another problem derived from the overuse of antimicrobials is the presence of residues in animal products. Hence, consumer pressures/preferences in some countries or the ban of antimicrobials as growth promoters in other countries have prompted the poultry industry to evaluate alternative feed additives with similar benefits to antibiotics. Furthermore, the modern broiler chickens are subject to several types of stress factors (environmental, biological, nutritional, physical, chemical) that induce intestinal inflammation and imbalance of the gut microbiota (dysbacteriosis). Among these alternatives, probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, enzymes, organic acids, phytobiotics, and trace minerals are the most widely studied and exciting groups. Several studies have confirmed that nutraceuticals possess several mechanisms of action such as anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunostimulatory that help maintain a proper microbiota balance and intestinal integrity.
In many cases, they are used in combinations, taking advantage of the attributes of each group, for example, in the case of synbiotics (probiotics and prebiotics). However, phytocompounds seem to be the sole feed additive category that may reduce antibiotic use if their inclusion in the broiler’s diet becomes more widespread. This also means that phytocompounds alone or other feed additives represent valid alternatives to antibiotics. Hence, the purpose of the present study was to assess the effect of Herbanoplex CP (HB) on broiler chicken’s performance following a nondefined challenge or intestinal lesion score using a NE challenge model.