Can probiotics have a beneficial impact on the health status of farmed animals?
Although significant investment is applied to food safety, due to the fact that is of fundamental importance to the economy, food industry and finally to the general consumer, the incidence of foodborne disease is still unacceptably high.
This is a major concern, calling for novel studies on pathogens to obtain new information and means for their elimination in European food products
The foodborne pathogens dealt with in food and food environmental studies covering the entire food chain, including farmed animals as an integrated food chain, include emerging and reemerging pathogens, like Campylobacter jejuni, Listeria Monocytogenes, verotoxin producing E.coli, Hepatitis E virus and others.
On one hand, breeding animals are exposed to the pathogenic microorganisms and on the other hand, adding antibiotics as feed additives to prevent bacterial diseases and improve animal health and growth are no longer allowed.
The farmer can therefore face problems concerning the health of farmed animals.
However, the role of probiotics in animal health and diseases, is one of the most promising areas of development regarding functional foods. In spite of the fact that most of the research has been focused on the gastrointestinal tract, probiotics can increase the overall animal health performance.
Probiotics, microorganisms that have a favourable influence on physiologic and pathological processes of the host by their effect on the intestinal flora, may play a role in improving animal health.
Probiotics may alter farmed animal health by different ways, by 1) improving intestinal barrier and mucosal integrity 2) pathogen exclusion and killing 3) alteration of immune function.
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Article made possible through the contribution of World Nutrition Forum-Biomin .