AviPlus®P: a tool to improve antibiotics efficacy against resistant infections

We are losing our last tools against pathogenic bacteria

Poultry industry is facing many different pathologies that affect not only animal health but also their live performance. For example, C. perfringens (with coccidia as a predisposing factor) causes necrotic enteritis (NE), with billion dollars losses every year. Another important pathology, especially for fast-growing animals, is kinky back: in this case, the most involved pathogen is E. cecorum, a commensal bacterium of the gut microflora that, in case of inflammation, translocates from the intestine to the bloodstream and has a specific tropism for bones and cartilage. When these pathologies occur antibiotic therapy is necessary. Unfortunately, nowadays antimicrobial resistance is increasing worldwide: more and more bacteria isolated from infected animals are resistant to most of/all conventional antibiotics. The result is that animal treatments are frequently not effective and infections persist without us being able to do anything about it.

Can nutrition be involved in fighting resistant pathogens?

Different feed additives are commonly used for their antimicrobial activity as preservatives in the feed: an example are organic acids (OA). At the same time, nature identical compounds (NIC) are normally used in feed and have a strong antimicrobial activity against bacteria. AviPlus®P contains both OA (citric and sorbic) and NIC (thymol and vanillin). The idea to combine these molecules is based on their synergistic activity. As antimicrobials, OA passively enter the bacterial cell membrane in the undissociated form. Once inside, the OA dissociates releasing hydrogen ions and lowering the internal pH of the cell, with a bacteriostatic effect. Meantime the negatively-charged part (anion) of the OA has a toxic effect against nucleic acids, with bactericidal activity. NIC create pores in the bacterial membrane with a direct bactericidal activity and facilitating OA entrance. Their combined activity modulates gut microflora, lowering pathogenic bacteria count. This combination has also a strong anti-inflammatory activity, improving the intestinal mucosa barrier function, preventing bacterial translocation.

A combined action against resistant pathogens

In our latest study, published in the Journal of Applied Poultry Research (Giovagnoni et al., 2019) we tested the antimicrobial activity of conventional antibiotics and AviPlus® active ingredients against C. perfringens and E. cecorum isolated from chickens with clinical signs of kinky back or NE. Results demonstrated that pathogens had different sensitivity to conventional antibiotics: only a few antibiotics were always effective, while pathogens were frequently resistant to more than one molecule. At the same time, AviPlus® active ingredients ware always effective, also against resistant bacteria. We also combined AviPlus® with conventional antibiotics to see if they can work together to face resistant infections. Results showed that the antimicrobial activity of antibiotics was enhanced by the presence of AviPlus® in the mix, whit an increase of bacterial sensitivity to them.

On the basis of these promising results, in a situation of ever-increasing antimicrobial resistance, the supplementation of poultry diet with AviPlus®P can help to face hardly treatable infections with both direct antimicrobial action and the improvement of the activity of the antibiotics.For more information: marketing@vetagro.comRead the cited peer-reviewed publication here.