How to control necrotic enteritis with organic acids and botanicals

Necrotic enteritis (NE) is a poultry intestinal disease caused by the proliferation of toxigenic strains of Clostridium perfringens (CP), with coccidia infections being the best-known predisposing factor. CP causes subclinical infections, with chronic damage and inflammation of the intestinal mucosa and significant loss in performance. The increase in NE in the poultry industry requires new strategies to improve the growth of the animals by supporting intestinal health in challenging conditions.

Organic acids and botanicals are proved to increase the growth performance of healthy birds: a scientific approach from in vitro tests to in vivo studies is useful to support the use of organic acids and botanicals as a tool to control NE. Organic acids and botanicals have anti-microbial properties against many pathogens. We used the Minimal Inhibitory Concentration test as an in vitro screening of their specific anti-microbial activity against CP, determining the lowest concentration able to inhibit bacterial growth. Our previous researches show the synergistic action of organic acids and botanicals, more effective combined than alone.

If not protected, organic acids and botanicals are absorbed or degraded in the stomach and don’t reach the lower gut, where CP proliferation mostly occurs. AviPlus®P overcomes this problem: it is a blend of organic acids and botanicals microencapsulated in a lipid matrix that allows the gastric bypass and the slow release of bioactive compounds along the gut.

Many trials demonstrated that AviPlus®P improves the growth rate and feed efficiency of healthy broilers and this innovative product showed positive growth-promoting effects also in different conditions in terms of NE challenge and pharmacological treatments:

  • Study 1: AviPlus®P improved feed efficiency and final body weight of birds vaccinated against coccidia and raised in a built-up litter from previous CP challenges.
  • Study 2: On a re-used litter as a possible source of coccidia oocysts and with an anticoccidial treatment, AviPlus®P was as effective as bacitracin in improving FCR and final BW and, when added on top of bacitracin, allowed to further enhance animal growth.

Overall, these results show that the use of AviPlus®P can be effective in preventing the loss of body weight commonly associated with NE, thanks to its beneficial anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and barrier-improving effect in the intestine.For more information: