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Efficacy of a lactylate on production performance and intestinal health of broilers during a subclinical Clostridium perfringens infection

Lensing, M., van der Klis, J.D., Fabri, T., Cazemier, A., Else, A.J.
Poultry science 2010 v.89 no.11 pp. 2401-2409
broiler chickens, poultry diseases, necrotic enteritis, Clostridium perfringens, disease control, diet therapy, feed additives, lactic acid, lactates, animal performance, intestines, intestinal microorganisms, bacterial colonization, intestinal mucosa, disease severity, dosage, dose response, microbial growth, optimal nutrition
Clostridium perfringens, an α-toxin producing gram-positive bacterium, is an enteric pathogen for poultry. Because subclinical C. perfringens infections often result in damage of the intestinal mucosa, decreased nutrient digestion, and poor performance, efforts should be taken to find an effective strategy that controls overgrowth of C. perfringens. For this purpose, the efficacy of a sodium lauroyl lactylate (LauL) as a feed additive to prevent C. perfringens colonization in broilers was determined. First, the effect of LauL was compared with capric and lauric mono- and diglycerides (MDG) and capric and lauric free fatty acids in Clostridium-infected chickens. Clostridial lesion scoring at d 16 showed that MDG and LauL were both effective in reducing the severity of lesions. When taking into account results on BW gain and mortality, LauL was more effective than MDG. For this reason, a dose response study was made to determine the optimal dietary dosage of LauL. In this experiment, it was shown that a LauL dose higher than 0.15% should be used to expect positive effects on lesion severity and mortality. None of the LauL doses led to a significant better response on growth performance. In a third trial, efficacy of LauL was compared with commercial products that limit bacterial activity in the intestinal tract (Aromabiotic Poul 60) or coccidiosis (chemical coccidiostat, Clinacox). None of the products were able to reduce the number or severity of lesions, and no effect on production performance was observed. Thus, despite the clear positive effect seen in experiment 1, and in experiment 2 with LauL doses higher than 0.15%, supplementing this lactylate to the diet does not consistently reduce C. perfringens colonization in broiler chickens because no such effects were observed in experiment 3. These results, however, provide a scientific basis for future studies to further investigate lactylates as potential additives to reduce the severity of necrotic enteritis in broilers in a C. perfringens challenge model.