Trials in the SRUC Allermuir AISC research facility

Antimicrobial alternative offers promising results for the poultry sector

Encapsulated antimicrobial precursors for non-antibiotic treatment of MDRO in poultry

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has been identified as a major public health threat. Developing antimicrobial alternatives is a hugely important challenge and CIEL is involved in a global project focusing on this issue in the poultry sector.

As part of the project, researchers have tested a new technology based on the release of the wide spectrum biocide peracetic acid (PAA) for its impact on performance and bacterial concentration and diversity in different gut locations in broilers.

Aga Nanotech and Gama Healthcare have developed a novel non-antibiotic antimicrobial agent based on the release of PAA by two different precursors, sodium-percarbonate (SP) and tetra-acetyl-ethylene-diamine (TAED) encapsulated in ammonio methacrylate copolymer type A (RLPO), able to generate targeted, destructive oxidising agents in a controlled way throughout the gastrointestinal tract of chickens and potentially other livestock animals.

So far, two different administration methods (i.e., feed and water) have been tested through a total of three animal trials carried out at the SRUC Allermuir Avian Innovation and Skills Centre (AISC), developed by SRUC and CIEL with the support of Innovate UK, whereas a water-based trial has been carried out by SHVRI at Lihua.

As demonstrated by the trials carried out by Professor Jos Houdijk and Dr Salvatore Galgano at SRUC, PAA was not associated to mortality or side-effects while positively affecting performance, likely by modulating gut bacteria. In particular, PAA administered in-water for one-week, increased body weight gain whilst reducing the absolute bacterial concentration in the crop, suggesting a positive interaction with upper-gut bacterial population. Moreover, bacteria notoriously associated with good performance in poultry, such as Enterococcus spp., where found to be increased in chickens administered PAA by Zero-inflated negative binomial (ZINB) regression analysis with Cumulative Sum Scaling (CSS) normalization. On the other hand, PAA has been demonstrated to be correlated with better performance when encapsulated SP and TAED were administered in-feed also in presence of re-used litter as a challenge. In particular, PAA was significantly associated with better body weight, body weight gain and feed conversion ratio. Microbiota analysis in five different gut location for these samples is currently ongoing, thus will likely elucidate the microbiological mechanisms underlying these observations.

The research is [co] funded by the UK Department of Health and Social Care as part of the Global AMR Innovation Fund (GAMRIF) and is a collaboration between Aga Nanotech and GAMA Healthcare, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), CIEL and Shanghai Veterinary Institute (SHVRI).

For more information, please email nikki.dalby@cielivestock.co.uk