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Bismuth citrate may reduce necrotic enteritis in broilers

Researchers at Texas A&M University looked at the effect of bismuth citrate, lactose, and organic acid on the development of necrotic enteritis in broilers.

The first study was a dose response that evaluated bismuth citrate at 50, 100, or 200 ppm on bacterial intestinal colonization and lesion development associated with our C. perfringens challenge model. The second study evaluated bismuth citrate, lactose, and citric acid on intestinal pH and lesion development. For the third study, we determined if lactose would enhance the efficacy of bismuth citrate against intestinal colonization and lesion development associated with C. perfringens.

In study 1, intestinal lesion scores at the 50, 100, and 200 ppm bismuth citrate treatment level were reduced (P  0.05) when compared with the birds fed 0 ppm bismuth citrate. Intestinal C. perfringens colonization of the 100 and 200 ppm bismuth citrate treatment group was significantly reduced when compared with birds fed 0 ppm bismuth citrate.

In study 2, we found no significant differences in lesion development, after C. perfringens challenge, between birds fed 100 ppm bismuth citrate or fed a combination of 100 ppm bismuth citrate with dietary lactose or citric acid relative to the controls. The intestinal pH of birds fed 100 ppm bismuth citrate or fed a combination of 100 ppm bismuth citrate with dietary lactose or citric acid was not significantly reduced when compared with the controls. However, a significant reduction in pH was observed in birds fed a combination of 100 ppm bismuth citrate and lactose relative to the negative controls.

In study 3, a decrease (P  0.05) in intestinal lesion scores occurred in birds fed lactose with 100 ppm bismuth citrate, compared with the positive controls. There were no significant differences in intestinal bacterial colonization. These preliminary data suggest that bismuth citrate may reduce intestinal lesion development and C. perfringens colonization in broilers infected with necrotic enteritis.

Source: Poultry Science, Nov 2009

Natalie Berkhout

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