Biomin.net http://www-biomin.net English newsfeed of Biomin.net en_GB Biomin.net Thu, 20 Sep 2018 01:30:29 +0200 Thu, 20 Sep 2018 01:30:29 +0200 TYPO3 EXT:news news-2123 Tue, 18 Sep 2018 15:54:55 +0200 3rd Aquaculture Conference 2018: Recent Advances in Aquaculture Research http://www.biomin.net/news/3rd-aquaculture-conference-2018-recent-advances-in-aquaculture-research/ The 3rd Aquaculture Conference: Recent Advances in Aquaculture Research, which will be held from 25-28 September 2018 in Qingdao, China, will bring together top senior scientists in all of aquaculture’s disciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research areas.

BIOMIN is honored to have Rui A. Goncalves, Scientist – Aquaculture at BIOMIN, present “Impact of deoxynivalenol on rainbow trout: Digestibility and metabolism” and “Fate of [3H]-deoxynivalenol in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) juveniles-Tissue distribution and excretion”, and Michele Muccio, Product Manager at BIOMIN, present “Worldwide Mycotoxin Occurrence in Plant Meals: an Overlooked Risk to Aquaculture?”

Rui’s presentations address one of the main constraints when studying deoxynivalenol (DON) impact on aquaculture species, which is the lack of DON-induced clinical symptoms. In order to understand the reasons behind the lack of clinical manifestation, two experiments were set up to evaluate and elucidate the impact of DON on rainbow trout, by exploring new tools and evaluating new diagnostic factors, which may be used later by the industry as a standard to better diagnose DON intake in fish. 

Michele’s presentation focuses on the occurrence of main mycotoxins in plant-based ingredients that are commonly used in aquaculture, and that were analyzed in the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey 2018. The presentation will show the contamination trends comparing the results from 2018 with the last years with the aim to provide a broader picture on how mycotoxin occurrence patterns are evolving and what could be the consequences for producers.

The results that will be presented at the 3rd Aquaculture Conference: Recent Advances in Aquaculture Research are certainly one step further to help the industry to understand the impact of DON.

Details of the presentations:

  • Impact of deoxynivalenol on rainbow trout: Digestibility and metabolism
  • Worldwide mycotoxin occurrence in plant meals: An overlooked risk to aquaculture?

Session: Session 2: Innovations in Nutrition, Feeds and Feeding I
Date: Wednesday 26th September 2018
Time: 16:10-17:30
Room: Regency Ballroom 

  • Fate of [3H]-deoxynivalenol in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) juveniles-Tissue distribution and excretion

Session: Session 5: Biotechnology Innovations in Aquaculture I 
Date: Friday 28th September 2018
Time: 10:40-11:30
Room: Regency Ballroom

The topics discussed at the conference include emerging aquaculture science areas of sustainability science, social-ecological systems, ornamental, conservation and restoration sciences as they relate to the development of aquaculture. For more information on the 3rd Aquaculture Conference: Recent Advances in Aquaculture Research, please visit

https://www.elsevier.com/events/conferences/aquaculture

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Aquaculture News
news-2119 Mon, 17 Sep 2018 10:33:44 +0200 The Effect of Mycotoxins on Swine Fertility http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/the-effect-of-mycotoxins-on-swine-fertility/ Swine fertility has a significant effect on farm profitability. Along with other factors, the number of pigs produced per sow per year defines the production cost per pig. It is crucial to sustain reproductive indices like litter size, number of farrowings per year and productive days at a high level. The Effect of Mycotoxins on Swine Fertility

Different parameters affect herd fertility, including: 

  • management 
  • genetics
  • nutrition
  • health status
  • anti-nutritional factors

One known anti-nutritional factor that affects reproduction is mycotoxins. (Watch “What Is a Mycotoxin and How Can It Harm My Animals?")

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Mycotoxins Pigs Blog Posts
news-2118 Mon, 17 Sep 2018 10:17:17 +0200 BIOMIN Takes Mycotoxin Academy to More Regions in India http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/biomin-takes-mycotoxin-academy-to-more-regions-in-india/ Following the success of the first edition of Mycotoxin Academy concept in India in July, BIOMIN in association with its supply chain partners extended the success streak to four more locations in India.

A total of over 500 customers and poultry players participated in these Academies, which facilitated knowledge transfer between BIOMIN experts and customers. The events were also the testimony to the commitment by the innovative feed additive firm in creating awareness about the mycotoxin risk awareness in India and providing innovative solutions to the problem.

Following the first leg of Mycotoxin Academies in north India in July, the second leg of these signature events began in Hyderabad. On August 14, the event was held at Radisson Hitec City in Hyderabad, followed by another event in Coimbatore, held at Le Meridien on August 16.

At the Coimbatore Mycotoxin Academy, Dr A Natarajan, Professor and Head, Animal Feed Analytical and Quality Assurance Laboratory of Veterinary College and Research Institute, Namakkal participated as guest speaker and offered invaluable insights to the participants.

The final leg of the Mycotoxin Academies began in Pune on August 29 at Hotel Conrad, followed by another event at Hotel Swissotel in Kolkata on August 30.

In his introductory speech, Edward Manchester, Regional Director, BIOMIN Asia Pacific highlighted the company values and explained that Mycotoxin Risk Management and Gut Health Management are the two pillars for BIOMIN.
“R&D is the cornerstone for BIOMIN and we are the first and only company with an EU authorization of three ingredients in the group of feed additives for mycotoxin deactivation,” he added.

Participating in all the Mycotoxin Academies as lead speaker, Eileen Han, Regional Product Manager – Mycotoxin Risk Management, BIOMIN Asia-Pacific explained about the risks and impacts of mycotoxins in poultry with data from BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey Report.

“When it comes to counteracting mycotoxins, the poultry industry tends to think of ‘toxin binders’ first. However, clay mineral binders are not an effective answer to all major mycotoxins,” said Ms Han, and added that a combination of different strategies like biotransformation and bioprotection can counteract the negative effects of mycotoxins in poultry more completely.

It may be noted that the key to the effectiveness of Mycofix® product line from BIOMIN is its three-pronged strategy of mycotoxin control, namely: biotransformation, adsorption and bioprotection.

Gangga Widyanugraha, Regional Technical Sales Manager – Poultry in his presentation on “Feed testing and Necropsy” highlighted the prevalence of mycotoxin in poultry in India. He also quoted various instances of the mycotoxin risks he found from the extensive postmortem analyses of birds he had done across India.

Keerthivasan Chandrasekar, Digital Marketing Executive in his presentation on the digital media initiatives being done by the company in India and pointed out that staying connected with the official social media handles of the company on Facebook and Twitter will be of immense benefit to the farmers.

Apart from this, he also explained about using Mycofix® App and accessing key findings of the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey and articles from Science & Solutions to the farmers.

BIOMIN has conducted the Mycotoxin Survey Program annually since 2004 and the accumulated number of samples is already over 75,000, which makes the program the largest worldwide data pool for mycotoxin analyses.

On the success of Mycotoxin Academies in India, Sujit Kulkarni, Managing Director, BIOMIN India commented that the company has now reached all key locations in India in creating awareness about mycotoxin risk management.

“It is a proud moment for all of us and I would like to thank the entire BIOMIN team for their support and commitment in making this concept a great success,” he said and added that BIOMIN will continue to do such innovative programs, which sets them apart.

The Mycotoxin Academies were a cobranding initiative by BIOMIN, which was supported by its supply chain partners, Tara Group, Sri Amman Enterprises, Ayugen and SM Marketing for the events held in Hyderabad, Coimbatore, Pune and Kolkata respectively.

Sales Directors Shriraj Sirmokadam, Rajan Seralathan, Neeraj Singh and Regional Sales Manager Praveen Reddy took active part in planning and coordinating the events in their respective territories and ensured the success of the Mycotoxin Academies.

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Mycotoxins Poultry Press Releases
news-2117 Mon, 17 Sep 2018 09:54:43 +0200 Improving Broiler Performance on Top of an Antibiotic Growth Promoter Regimen in India http://www.biomin.net/articles/improving-broiler-performance-on-top-of-an-antibiotic-growth-promoter-regimen-in-india/ The results of an Indian broiler trial demonstrates that a well-defined, poultry-specific, multi-species synbiotic improves performance. The most prevalent issues in poultry industry are diseases (e.g. dysbiosis, coccidiosis, necrotic enteritis, lameness caused by Bacterial Chondronecrosis with Osteomyelitis (BCO), and Gram-negative pathogens like E.coli), regulatory issues, food safety (e.g. Salmonellosis and Campylobacteriosis) and antibiotic growth promoter (AGP)-free poultry production.

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Probiotics Poultry Articles
news-2111 Tue, 11 Sep 2018 11:31:56 +0200 Science & Solutions No. 59 - Poultry http://www.biomin.net/magazines/science-solutions-no-59-poultry/ In this issue: Natural growth promotion in broilers vs. an antibiotic growth promoter; 5 tips to increase profits from cage-free egg production; Reducing the impact of heat stress using synbiotics How are you managing the recent poultry industry challenges?

The poultry industry is continuously evolving, adding extra pressure to poultry producers. It is important to stay naturally ahead in order to respond to challenges.

Lately in the USA and Europe, there has been increasing demand from the market for eggs produced by layers kept in welfare-friendly environments. The layer industry quickly embraced this new challenge, switching from cage to cage-free systems. This has led to a new way of keeping birds by altering the management, health and nutrition strategies adopted on the farm. Another challenge has been the extreme weather conditions seen this summer in the northern hemisphere with temperatures of over 30°C in the United Kingdom and Scandinavian Peninsula. High environmental temperatures are among the most important causes of poor performance in the poultry industry. Birds, when exposed to extreme conditions, are not able to establish an optimal thermic balance, causing heat stress.
A continual challenge is the reduction of antibiotics. In this issue of Science & Solutions, we discuss how to reduce the usage of antibiotics for prophylaxis and metaphylaxis or total replacement of antibiotic growth promoters. The first article shows the effect of a permeabilizing complex combined with a mix of organic acids for better management of Gram-negative pathogens.
In this issue, we also highlight the benefits of using phytogenics, synbiotics and enhanced organic acids to maintain good health status and high production performance levels of birds, especially in challenging situations such as heat stress, and during periods of adaptation to new environments (i.e. moving to a cage-free system).

Enjoy reading this issue of Science & Solutions, keeping you naturally informed.

IN THIS ISSUE:

New Scientific Results on Natural Growth Promotion in Broilers vs. An Antibiotic Growth Promoter
The reduced use of antibiotics for prophylaxis and metaphylaxis or total replacement of antibiotic growth promoters is one of the main topics in animal production. In a press release issued on 19 June 2018, the European Parliament informally agreed new rules on more responsible ways to produce, sell and use medicated animal feed to tackle the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Antonia Tacconi explains how Biotronic® Top3, an enhanced organic acid, positively influences broiler production in the absence of antibiotics.

5 Tips to Increase Profits From Cage-Free Egg Production
Egg producers can address the additional costs and new challenges of moving hens into cage-free environments by focusing on these five factors.

Reducing the Impact of Heat Stress Using Synbiotics
Heat stress negatively affects bird performance around the world. Synbiotics are an interesting tool for reducing this negative impact. Synbiotics modulate the immune response to the stress caused by high temperatures, consequently improving bird performance.

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Magazines
news-2110 Tue, 11 Sep 2018 11:05:57 +0200 Reducing the Impact of Heat Stress Using Synbiotics http://www.biomin.net/articles/reducing-the-impact-of-heat-stress-using-synbiotics/ Heat stress negatively affects bird performance around the world. Synbiotics are an interesting tool for reducing this negative impact. Synbiotics modulate the immune response to the stress caused by high temperatures, consequently improving bird performance. Probiotics Poultry Articles news-2109 Mon, 10 Sep 2018 14:18:38 +0200 5 Tips to Increase Profits From Cage-Free Egg Production http://www.biomin.net/articles/5-tips-to-increase-profits-from-cage-free-egg-production/ Egg producers can address the additional costs and new challenges of moving hens into cage-free environments by focusing on these five factors. Probiotics Poultry Articles news-2108 Mon, 10 Sep 2018 08:27:42 +0200 New Scientific Results on Natural Growth Promotion in Broilers vs. An Antibiotic Growth Promoter http://www.biomin.net/articles/new-scientific-results-on-natural-growth-promotion-in-broilers-vs-an-antibiotic-growth-promoter/ The reduced use of antibiotics for prophylaxis and metaphylaxis or total replacement of antibiotic growth promoters is one of the main topics in animal production. In a press release issued on 19 June 2018, the European Parliament informally agreed new rules on more responsible ways to produce, sell and use medicated animal feed to tackle the spread of antimicrobial resistance. Antonia Tacconi explains how Biotronic® Top3, an enhanced organic acid, positively influences broiler production in the absence of antibiotics. Acidifiers Poultry Articles news-2103 Tue, 04 Sep 2018 14:51:31 +0200 BIOMIN Launches Spectrum Top 50® Advanced Mycotoxin Detection Service http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/biomin-launches-spectrum-top-50r-advanced-mycotoxin-detection-service/ The new LC-MS/MS method for multi-mycotoxin analysis can determine over 50 different mycotoxins and metabolites in a single run, making it the most advanced mycotoxin detection commercially available. Mycotoxins Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Press Releases news-2101 Tue, 04 Sep 2018 13:48:46 +0200 BIOMIN at 14th International Symposium on Digestive Physiology of Pigs http://www.biomin.net/news/biomin-at-14th-international-symposium-on-digestive-physiology-of-pigs/ BIOMIN is proud to support the advancement of digestive physiology at the definitive 14th International Symposium on Digestive Physiology of Pigs (DPP) scientific forum as the Diamond Sponsor.

DPP, which takes place once every three years, will be held at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre (BCEC) in Brisbane, Australia, from 21-24 August 2018. It will be a gathering of over four hundred professionals and leading experts from the livestock industry.

The scientific framework of DPP 2018 is centered around studies of the pig’s digestive system, focusing on specific aspects such as the emerging areas of the Microbiota and the nutrient chemosensory mechanisms in the pig gastrointestinal tract. In particular, discussions will be targeted on the latest advances in the field of digestive physiology, which will illustrate the future research trends.

BIOMIN Asia-Pacific Managing Director Marc Guinnement said, “We’re proud to actively support the 14th International Symposium on Digestive Physiology of Pigs (DPP) scientific forum as the Diamond Sponsor. It’s a great platform for the leading professionals, scientists in the industry and academia to network, exchange knowledge and best practices. As research and development forms the cornerstone of BIOMIN, we are pleased to be able to display our commitment and expertise, especially in the area of gut performance management, at the DPP.”

Come visit BIOMIN at booths 9/10 to discover our innovative solutions for swine. For more information on DPP, please visit https://dpp2018.org/

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Pigs News
news-2093 Mon, 27 Aug 2018 15:25:00 +0200 BIOMIN and ERBER Keep Emergency Skills Current with Fire & First Aid Training http://www.biomin.net/news/biomin-and-erber-keep-emergency-skills-current-with-fire-first-aid-training/ On 26 July 2018, employees of ERBER Biotech (Thailand), which BIOMIN is a part of, underwent a Fire and First Aid Training. The training was conducted in compliance with the organization’s Occupational Health and Safety Standard, and the country’s labor and employment laws and regulations. The objectives of the training are to educate employees on the use of fire-fighting equipment and life-saving methods, unsafe practices or operations, and to highlight the importance of swift reporting of such practices. At ERBER Group, the safety of its employees, visitors, clients and the public is of utmost importance. The Group believes in providing employees with a safe and healthy workplace environment, which is also a contributing factor to the organization’s long-term success. This is the reason ERBER Group implemented its Occupational Health and Safety Standard, to ensure the well-being of all employees, and to prevent and reduce occupational accidents at all means.

For more information on the ERBER Group workplace safety measures, please visit: http://www.erber-group.net/en/our-responsibility/integrated-management-systems/

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News
news-986 Wed, 22 Aug 2018 17:15:00 +0200 The Hidden Dangers of Lipopolysaccharides http://www.biomin.net/articles/the-hidden-dangers-of-lipopolysaccharides/ Lipopolysaccharides pose a serious and often overlooked risk to pigs. Several tips can help limit their negative impacts. Photo: iStock/frentusha
Photo: iStock/frentusha

Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) constitute up to 75% of the structure of the cell wall of Gram-negative bacteria, being present at average 2x106 molecules of LPS/bacterial cell. LPS are a pre­­­requisite for bacterial viability; they serve as a potential barrier toward antimicrobials at the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. Figure 1 illustrates the structure of a lipopolysaccharide containing a pyrogenic lipid part embedded in the bacterial wall, an inner and outer core oligosaccharide, and an O antigen polysaccharide chain. Also called endotoxins, lipopolysaccharides are released upon bacterial replication or death (lysis). They are present everywhere in the environment including in the ground, air, water and the GI tract. Pigs are continuously exposed to them throughout their lives. In healthy animals, the intestinal and other epitheliums such as skin or lungs, represent an effective barrier that prevents their passage into the bloodstream. Once there, however, endotoxins can elicit strong immune responses, weakening immune systems and impairing performance. Severely pronounced immune response can lead to septic shock. In swine, endotoxins are known to cause dose-dependent increases in body temperature of 1°C to 1.5°C, reduced levels of activity/movement, lower feed intake, and severe anorexia. More frequent vomiting, salivation and chewing have also been reported.

Figure 1. Diagram of a lipopolysaccharide.

Source: BIOMIN

Effects on gut

The gut is the first line of defense against endotoxins and, if compromised via nutrition, stress or metabolic state, can result in increased endotoxin transport. Heat stress, for example, increases gut permeability. LPS can be absorbed through the intestinal epithelium to the general circulation through either the said paracellular or the transcellular pathway, being the first the most frequent. Transcellular transport happens trough receptor mediated endocytosis or diet fat micellar assisted permeation (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Enterocytes with tight junctions structure and actin filament supporting structure.

Source: Mani et al, 2013

Negative effects

PS is transported in the blood by LPS binding protein (LPB), synthesized in liver and gut epithelial cells as acute phase reactant, at lower extent transported by albumins; once bound is able to activate the specific receptor TLR4 and initialize the kinase cascade and the NF-KB transcription factor complex, this way several hundreds of genes are transcribed to start inflammatory response.

Once in the bloodstream, endotoxins are transported to the liver through the portal vein where a major portion of the detoxification process occurs. If the amount of endotoxin entering the gastrointestinal tract overwhelms the detoxification capacity of the liver, endotoxemia ensues.

Download our guide to differential diagnosis that helps you identify and correct common issues in modern poultry production.

Endotoxins cause an inflammatory cascade that increase a pig’s maintenance requirements (due to fever) that, coupled with reduced feed intake, means less energy is available for growth. One research study found that LPS-challenged piglets had a 13% lower average daily gain (Table 1) compared to the control group.

Endotoxins also impair feed efficiency. A recent study of common challenges in pig farms reported a reduction in feed intake of 3% due to parasitic infections, 4.1% due to poor housing conditions, 10.2% due to digestive bacterial infections, 17.3% because of respiratory diseases, 25.2% due to mycotoxicoses (mycotoxin-induced diseases) and 26.8% due to lipopolysaccharides.

Table 1. Higher inflammation and lower growth.

Source: Lieu et al., 2003

Environment and endotoxin exposure

While the main route for lipopolysaccharide exposure in swine is the gastrointestinal tract, the concentration of endotoxins in the air and dust should not be overlooked: endotoxins are a major component of biological dust. Air endotoxin levels are an important issue not only for the animals, but also for workers. A survey of pig production facilities has registered airborne lipopolysaccharide concentrations from 40.4 to 1.144 nanograms per cubic meter of air (Table 2). This reinforces the importance of good management regarding hygiene and dust levels on farms, and specific measures to protect workers such as wearing a fine dust mask.

Table 2. Total endotoxin air contamination in pig production facilities, stationary sampling.

Source: Øyvind Omland, 2002

Aggravation of endotoxin exposure

Major detoxification process for LPS is through a lipase present in macrophages, dendritic cells, neutrophils, liver cells and renal cortical tubule cells. Intestinal alkaline phosphatase, or IAP, is a brush–border enzyme that detoxifies directly lipopolysaccharides. IAP is modulated by presence in the diet of saturated or unsaturated fatty acids, with saturated increasing its presence. High caloric and high fat diets increase serum endotoxin concentrations and induce acute low-grade inflammation. Starvation, stress or disease can depress the expression and function of IAP—particularly in early weaning piglets—and result in high pro-inflammatory cytokine expression.

Mycotoxin magnifiers

Lipopolysaccharides are able to increase a pig’s sensitivity to deoxynivalenol, a major mycotoxin that can cause feed refusal, vomiting, diarrhea, splay legs and weakened immune function. A synergistic effect was recently found between deoxynivalenol and lipopolysaccharides in induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines TNF-α and IL-1β in porcine alveolar macrophages. Endotoxins reduced the minimum dose of deoxynivalenol needed to induce cytokine response, increased its toxic effects, increased organisms’ sensitivity to the toxin and magnified the effects of even low concentrations.

Tips to reduce the risk of endotoxins.

  1. Avoid the introduction of pathogens through robust biosecurity
  2. Limit stressors linked to leaky gut, and conditioned diseases such as Pasteurella, Haemophilus, E. coli, Salmonella, Brachyspira, Lawsonia, etc.
  3. Provide proper nutrition, balancing appropriate protein and energy (fats)
  4. Avoid fasting after weaning
  5. Avoid mycotoxin contamination
  6. Use an effective endotoxin and mycotoxin deactivator

Treatment

Biosecurity and hygiene can greatly help decrease the lipopolysaccharide challenge in farm animals, together with the awareness that a certain amount of endotoxin is always present. Some healthy behaviors can greatly help to reduce the risk of endotoxin challenge on the farm. In addition, the use of a selected feed additive that offers endotoxin protection can help mitigate the risks of a lipopolysaccharide challenge. Mycofix® is a multi-strategy mycotoxin and endotoxin deactivating feed additive that uses adsorption as a mode of action to effectively bind and prevent endotoxins from entering the bloodstream, mitigating the risk to animals. Figure 3 shows that even at low doses, Mycofix® is able to efficiently adsorb or bind a considerable percentage of endotoxin in the gut lumen, greatly decreasing its passage into the bloodstream. Other research has demonstrated this mode of action to be effective even in the presence of adsorbable mycotoxins such as aflatoxins.

Figure 3. Mycofix® counteracts endotoxins at low doses.

Source: BIOMIN

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Mycotoxins Pigs Articles
news-2091 Thu, 16 Aug 2018 15:19:00 +0200 Fifth Cleaning Festival at Wat Sakaeo Orphanage in Thailand http://www.biomin.net/news/fifth-cleaning-festival-at-wat-sakaeo-orphanage-in-thailand/ On 5 August 2018, the BIOMIN Thailand team participated in the Fifth Cleaning Festival organized by Iceman Charity at Thailand’s largest orphanage, the Wat Sakaeo Orphanage. Dr. Erich Erber, Founder and President of ERBER AG, which BIOMIN is a part of, also joined in the biannual cleaning campaign. The Cleaning Festival gathers volunteers to help clean up the orphanage over a weekend, as part of a health and cleanliness program to ensure a clean and safe environment for the children. “The Cleaning Festival is a wonderful opportunity for us to roll up our sleeves, and is a way for us to give back to the society. The BIOMIN team is heartened to be able to be part of this initative. We look forward to contributing further to the community in the future, and to the children, who are the important pillars of our future generation," said Piyapa Erber, Managing Director of BIOMIN Thailand.

To find out more about the Wat Sakaeo Orphanage Cleaning Festival or to participate in it, please visit Opens external link in new windowhttps://www.icemancharity.com/  

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News
news-2079 Thu, 16 Aug 2018 08:17:00 +0200 BIOMIN Announces Support for MycoSafe-South to Combat Mycotoxins in Sub-Saharan Africa http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/biomin-announces-support-for-mycosafe-south-to-combat-mycotoxins-in-sub-saharan-africa/ 16 August 2018 – BIOMIN, the global leader in mycotoxin deactivation, has recently announced its involvement in a 3-year, nearly US$1 million project to tackle mycotoxin-related food safety issues in sub-Saharan Africa. MycoSafe-SouthThe MycoSafe-South project aims to identify safe-use options for aflatoxins- and fumonisins-contaminated food and feed, to reduce human exposure to fungi-produced mycotoxins from animal protein sources, and to promote education and awareness efforts to understand mycotoxin-associated health risks in humans and animals. The research outcomes focus on human and infrastructural capacity building, and awareness building through on-site training of community, nutritionists, veterinarians, small-scale subsistence farmers and commercial farmers.

Dian SchatzmayrMycotoxins jeopardize food security and food safety

“Aflatoxins and fumonisins are harmful mycotoxins that often co-occur, and constitute a serious issue in Africa,” observed Dr Dian Schatzmayr, Development Team Leader Mycotoxins at BIOMIN.

Aflatoxins are potent carcinogens produced by strains of Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus. Fumonisins are hepatotoxic, nephrotoxic and immunosuppressive mycotoxins produced by Fusarium proliferatum and F. verticillioides. Both groups of mycotoxins are detrimental to humans and animals. Mycotoxin-contaminated crops fed to animals can carry over into dairy, egg and meat products.

Mycotoxin consumption in Africa has been linked to stunting among children, premature death and illness. Furthermore, mycotoxin contamination limits economic development in that the mycotoxin infestation of crops restrict Africa’s ability to trade agricultural products with the rest of the world.

Delivering science-backed solutions

In addition to providing some funding, BIOMIN will contribute knowledge and expertise to trials designed to demonstrate safe and efficient detoxification of mycotoxins in African dairy species, African laying hens and African broilers.

“Leveraging our leading EU-authorized technologies to combat mycotoxins, we aim to drastically reduce mycotoxin exposure in animals and limit mycotoxin carryover into food products, which should ultimately deliver real benefits for African consumers,” explained Dr Schatzmayr.

“Effective mycotoxin mitigation strategies contribute to food security, food safety and sustainability,” she added.

Approved by LEAP-Agri

The selection committee of EU LEAP-Agri approved the project, which is co-funded by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO), Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (NFSR), Research Council of Norway (RCN), Kenyan Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST), South Africa's National Research Foundation (NRF), BIOMIN and Harbro Ltd.

The LEAP-Agri international review panel acknowledged the research team is strong and very complementary. The project offers post-harvest solutions that are feasible to implement in African countries, and creates opportunities for young researchers by assigning 4 PhDs students to conduct research at both European and African institutes. The MycoSafe-South consortium also acknowledges the expertise of BIOMIN in communication and dissemination of project results to stakeholders through newsletters and their worldwide distribution network, already in place in some African countries.

Cape Town kick-off

BIOMIN will host the MycoSafe-South project kick-off on 2 October 2018 in Cape Town, South Africa, one day prior to the start of the 2018 World Nutrition Forum.

“We highly value the opportunity to engage with scientists and the global academic community through conferences and knowledge exchanges about animal nutrition,” commented Dr Schatzmayr, who added, “We look forward to welcoming the MycoSafe-South team to Cape Town.”

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Mycotoxins Poultry Ruminants Press Releases
news-2081 Mon, 13 Aug 2018 15:23:00 +0200 Science & Solutions No. 58 - Aquaculture http://www.biomin.net/magazines/science-solutions-no-58-aquaculture/ In this issue: Organic Acids and Autolyzed Yeast Reduce the Impact of Pathogens in Fish; Mycotoxin Management in Livestock Production: A Model for Aquaculture?; Top Aqua Performance Indicators explained When was your last gut performance checkup?

The aquaculture industry is enjoying a period of rapid growth and investment due to the high demand for aquatic protein. Production techniques have intensified and innovation in management techniques are constantly being implemented to maximize output; fish are even being farmed in the desert thanks to innovation!

Yet, the aquaculture industry must also stay adaptable to remain naturally ahead. Adopting new technologies alone will not guarantee success. Aquatic species are highly sensitive to a number of external factors that must all be managed throughout the production cycle.
Traditionally, disease management in the aquaculture industry means the administration of antibiotics. However, regulatory guidelines and consumer demand for antibiotic free fish and shrimp products have changed the market. Thanks to the introduction of natural alternatives, feed additives such as organic acids, phytogenics and probiotics can be used in place of antibiotics to reduce disease challenge. We delve into results with organic acids and yeast in the first article on page 4 of this issue of Science & Solutions.
The use of plant-based protein in aqua feeds is a costeffective alternative to fishmeal. Producers should be aware that plant-based protein sources are often contaminated by harmful mycotoxins. The aquaculture industry has relatively little knowledge or experience of dealing with these anti-nutritional factors compared with other terrestrial livestock producers. On page 9, Rui Gonçalves highlights five management tips that the aquaculture sector can employ thanks to experience gathered by the livestock sector.
Finally, as in any industry, measuring and monitoring performance is vital. Constant measurement of performance indicators, such as those presented on page 15, will allow the early identification of problems so that the necessary adjustments can be made to ensure maximum profitability. Do you use any or all of these performance indicators in your business? Regardless of which formula you use, talk to your BIOMIN representative about making improvements to your performance.

We hope you enjoy reading this issue of Science & Solutions, keeping you naturally informed.

IN THIS ISSUE:

Science & Solutions No. 58 - Aquaculture

Organic Acids and Autolyzed Yeast Reduce the Impact of Pathogens in Fish
Rising demand for aquatic protein is driving the intensification of aquaculture production, which is increasing the incidence of diseases. High stocking densities and high organic outputs provide optimum conditions for the spread of pathogens including a wide range of microorganisms, viruses, parasites and fungi. Organic acids and autolyzed yeast products can reduce the impact of pathogens, supporting performance and profitability.

Mycotoxin Management in Livestock Production: A Model for Aquaculture?
Future growth and sustainability of the aquaculture industry depend on the sector’s ability to identify alternative sources of protein to substitute fishmeal in aquafeeds. Consequently, many new alternatives are available, e.g. insect meal, macroalgae meal or single-cell protein. However, high costs and limited availability are still challenges to overcome. Plant-based meals seem to be one of the most promising and viable solutions, but a common problem is the presence of mycotoxins.

Top Aqua Performance Indicators explained
The BIOMIN international aqua team explain their top 5 aqua performance indicators.

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Mycotoxins Specialized Solutions Aquaculture Magazines
news-2080 Mon, 13 Aug 2018 11:21:00 +0200 Top 5 Aquaculture Performance Indicators http://www.biomin.net/articles/top-5-aquaculture-performance-indicators/ The BIOMIN international aqua team explain their top 5 aqua performance indicators. Download as PDF

There are numerous performance indicators used by aquaculture farms to measure the success of a production cycle.

Top 5 Aquaculture Performance Indicators

1. Feed conversion ratio (FCR)

Feed is the biggest cost on aquaculture farms, so making sure that fish and shrimp properly utilize feed is a very valuable metric for producers.

The lower the number, the more efficiently the feed is being converted into weight gain. Producers and nutritionists work together to decrease the FCR, therefore getting more output for the same amount of input.

FCR = feed given (g) / animal weight gain (g)

2. Survival rate

Numerous factors affect the survival rate of aquatic species—many of them in the external water environment, which harbors many pathogens. Disease management is a constant priority in aquaculture production, and is carried out with the help of the survival rate metric.

During periods of disease challenge, producers may monitor survival rate over specific periods of time within the production cycle to determine the effectiveness of any treatment given.

Survival rate % = number of surviving animals at the end of the production cycle / total number of animals at the beginning of the cycle * 100

3. Body weight gain (BWG)

Fish and shrimp are traded on weight, so the heavier the animals, the more the producer will be paid. Fish and shrimp diets are formulated using the best ingredients to encourage weight gain.

Producers will monitor body weight gain throughout the production cycle by weighing a sample of animals and extrapolating the calculation for the whole population.

Body weight gain (g) = final body weight (g) – initial body weight (g)

4. Average daily gain (ADG)

Further to how much the animals grow, the rate at which the fish and shrimp grow is also crucial to know. Being able to predict when a crop will reach their final weight allows producers to forecast how many crops they can grow in a year, and helps with the purchase of inputs such as feed.

This metric can also be adjusted to calculate weight gain over different lengths of time as required by the production unit, e.g. the weekly growth rate (WGR).

Average daily gain (g) = body weight gain (g) / number of days

5. Yield / hectare

This performance indicator takes into account the stocking density and measures the output per unit of production space. It is typically measured in kg / ha but this varies depending on country and species.

Yield / ha = total output (kg) / total production area (ha)

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Aquaculture Articles
news-2078 Wed, 08 Aug 2018 15:16:00 +0200 Mycotoxin Management in Livestock Production: A Model for Aquaculture? http://www.biomin.net/articles/mycotoxin-management-in-livestock-production-a-model-for-aquaculture/ Future growth and sustainability of the aquaculture industry depend on the sector’s ability to identify alternative sources of protein to substitute fishmeal in aquafeeds. Consequently, many new alternatives are available, e.g. insect meal, macroalgae meal or single-cell protein. However, high costs and limited availability are still challenges to overcome. Plant-based meals seem to be one of the most promising and viable solutions, but a common problem is the presence of mycotoxins.
Photo: ©istockphoto.com, Visual_Intermezzo

Mycotoxin occurrence

The first big difference between livestock and aquaculture production is the level of knowledge about mycotoxin occurrence and co-occurrence in the plant feedstuffs used to make the diets. Only recently has interest in mycotoxin contamination in aquafeeds started to grow, so know-how about mycotoxin occurrence in aquafeeds is still being accumulated. In the past, small amounts of plant meals were included in the diets of carnivores and herbivores, which has increased the disregard for mycotoxin threats in aquafeeds. Due to the novelty of the topic, and contrary to the livestock industry, the contamination of aquaculture feedstuffs with mycotoxins is, in general, often neglected. There is a growing awareness of mycotoxin contamination in aquafeeds. However,  we are still far from having solid knowledge of the mycotoxin contamination patterns in aquafeeds, and how the type of plant meal used influences it.

Tip #1: Survey your plant meals for mycotoxins to avoid any possible risk.

The wrong information may lead to employing the wrong strategies

One of the main misconceptions deeply entrenched across the aquaculture industry is that the majority of mycotoxin issues result from poor storage conditions leading to aflatoxin contamination. It is true that poor storage conditions can lead to the growth of Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp., which can ultimately lead to the production of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A. However, BIOMIN has observed that most of the mycotoxins found in aquaculture finished feeds are from Fusarium spp., i.e., resulting from field contamination of the raw materials used to produce aquafeeds. In this case, this mainly concerns deoxynivalenol (DON) and fumonisins. In some cases, aflatoxins continue to represent a challenge, especially in tropical countries and/or when storage conditions are inadequate.

Tip #2: Correctly identify the mycotoxin(s) in your diet or raw material in order to implement the correct management plan.

How do I know if my fish/shrimp are being exposed to mycotoxins?

Mycotoxins are structurally very diverse. This characteristic generates a wide range of symptoms in mycotoxin-affected animals, ranging from decreases in production efficiency to increases in mortality. In aquaculture, symptoms are generally unspecific, which makes accurate diagnosis difficult. The diagnosis of mycotoxicoses in farm animals is further complicated for two reasons. First, the synergistic effects of multiple mycotoxins in feeds create a different pattern of symptoms. Second, mycotoxins are responsible for suppressing the immune system, which allows opportunistic pathogens to colonize, prompting the display of secondary symptoms in the host. Sensitivity to mycotoxins varies greatly between species and is dependent on several factors that can modify the expression of toxicity including age, gender, nutritional and health status prior to exposure, and environmental conditions.

The situation is already very complex, but in addition to this we must consider the 138 different fish species and 38 shrimp species (FAO, 2011), with different feeding behaviors (herbivorous, omnivorous and carnivorous) and inhabiting different environments (freshwater, brackish water, marine). This high number of variables tends to dilute scientific output from all aquaculture research, not only in the field of mycotoxins. The low number of experts working with mycotoxins in their research compounds the problem, making it more difficult to have comprehensive diagnoses on the effects of mycotoxins in the main species.

Some reports describe clinical signs for the most common mycotoxins (Anater et al., 2016), however, most of them are generalist parameters and can be attributed to any diverse pathologies or challenges e.g. anti-nutrition factors or lectins in the diet, or environmental changes (bacteria, environmental toxins). Some of the parameters referred to above include reduction in growth performance, alteration of blood parameters (erythrocyte/leucocyte count), changes in blood enzyme levels (Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT), Aspartate Transaminase (AST) or Alkaline Phosphatase (ALP)), alterations to the liver or the suppression of immune parameters. Two notable exceptions are aflatoxicosis (yellowing of the body surface, (Deng et al., 2010)) and ingestion of fumonisin (alteration of the sphinganine to sphingosine ratio (sa/so)(Tuan et al., 2003)). Only aflatoxicosis can be visually identified so to correctly diagnose a change in the sa/so ratio, blood or haemolymph samples need to be collected and analyzed.Compared to livestock, there is a lack of any clear, clinical signs of mycotoxin ingestion in aquatic species (Figure 1i-v).

Figure 1. Photographs illustrating classic clinical signs of mycotoxin ingestion in livestock and aquaculture production. Photographs i-iv show easily identifiable mycotoxicoses in poultry and swine. Photographs v and vi show animals fed DON at considerably high doses with no macroscopic signs of disease except anorexia (which could be attributed to other causes in a field situation).

Tip #3: Keep a detailed and up-to-date record of your farm activities

The lack of any clear clinical signs of mycotoxicoses makes it very important to have a rigid mycotoxin management plan and a good record of farm activities. For example, an up-to-date record of environmental parameters (salinity, temperature, N-compounds, oxygen) and feed management (feed intake, identification of feed batches) could be fundamental to identifying the causes of a sudden decrease in feed intake or growth performance or an increase in mortality. While analyzing environmental and feed management parameters, you may also consider mycotoxin contamination depending on the success of your mycotoxin management plan.

Impact of mycotoxins: Are my contamination levels critical?

In aquaculture, it is common practice to study the impact of anti-nutritional factors (ANFs) present in the plant meals, and try to overcome these limitations. However, mycotoxins are often overlooked as ANFs. It is not yet common practice in academia to evaluate the raw materials used to formulate test diets for the presence of mycotoxins. As a result, when comparing to livestock species, much less is known about the effects of mycotoxins in aquaculture species. The efforts of the aquaculture scientific community are even more diluted when taking into account the much higher number of aquaculture species compared to the number of livestock species. As reported previously, sensitivity to mycotoxins varies greatly between species and is dependent on several factors which can modify the expression of toxicity including age, gender, nutritional and health status prior to exposure and environmental conditions. However, for some species we can already provide some advice. The figures on pages 12 and 13 show some of the sensitivity levels (minimum and maximum) of DON (Figure 2), fumonisins (Figure 3), and aflatoxins (Figure 4).

Figure 2. Sensitivity levels to DON of some sensitive species. DON has been studied in several important aquaculture species including rainbow trout, which is the most sensitive species, and white leg shrimp.

Tip #4: Ensure mycotoxin contamination stays below sensitivity levels.

Most published studies address the effects of single mycotoxin contamination. Thus, it is assumed that values reported in the literature are quite conservative when taking into account that most aquafeeds are contaminated with more than one mycotoxin (Gonçalves et al., 2016, 2017, 2018). The interaction between several mycotoxins might decrease the sensitivity levels reported.

The lack of any clear clinical signs of mycotoxicoses makes it very important to have a rigid mycotoxin management plan

There are still several gaps that need to be addressed in order to understand how to better manage mycotoxin risks in aquaculture. In recent years, the awareness of mycotoxin-related issues within the aquaculture industry has grown significantly. This is driven by increasing scientific evidence of the negative impacts of mycotoxins in aquatic species, and by frequent reports of the prevalence of mycotoxins in many raw materials.

Figure 3. Sensitivity levels to fumonisins of some sensitive species. Fumonisins have not been extensively studied in aquaculture species, however, the few studies available indicated that white leg shrimps and rainbow trout can be sensitive to fumonisins in feed.

Figure 4. Sensitivity levels to aflatoxins for some sensitive species. Aflatoxins have been extensively studied in farmed fish and crustacean species due to the toxicity of AFB1. Several species are extremely sensitive to aflatoxins. While aflatoxin contamination is more common in tropical countries, the global trade of raw materials and aquaculture feeds could potentially export the occurrence of mycotoxins to other regions.

Aquaculture: raised in a complex environment

One of the first challenges faced in aquaculture production is the environment where the fish lives, breathes, eats and defecates: the water. In aquaculture, fish and shrimp live in close connection with the surrounding environment. Through the ingestion of water, aquatic farmed animals are constantly exposed to pathogens and environmental stress. There are approximately one million bacteria per milliliter of water in coastal areas, and in aquaculture systems, especially in intensive systems, this number will be considerably higher. Most bacteria found in aquatic environments are opportunistic, therefore the slightest unbalance in the animal’s immune system will be used by these opportunistic bacteria to become pathogenic.

Due to this complex interaction between the environment and the animal, two main challenges emerge. First, the fact that the animals are in water makes the rapid perception of any macroscopic clinical signs (e.g. skin lesions, lethargy or other common visual control points) very difficult. This is particularly true for animals raised in highly turbid water (i.e. most of the aquaculture in Asia and South America). Second, as soon as an animal has a suppressed immune system or its immune defense is affected (e.g., a skin lesion), opportunistic bacteria rapidly infect. When the farmer realizes that something is wrong, there is a high probability that the animals are already contaminated with Vibrio spp. and, depending on the environment, many other bacteria. The question of whether the animals are sick due to the initial bacterial infection or whether they are the target of secondary opportunistic bacterial infections arises.

Tip #5: Maintain high levels of biosecurity, ensure good feed management, and frequently monitor the health status and behaviour of your animals.

The best way to investigate production problems is to examine biosecurity and feed management. Keep information on environmental parameters (e.g., salinity, temperature, N-compounds, oxygen, rain), and feed management (e.g., feed intake, identification of feed batches, feed ingredients, purchase date, date of first use, and storage temperature and humidity). Take regular samples to assess growth performance. Make sure the samples are properly stored and updated to reduce reaction times to potential problems.

Mycotoxin management in livestock production: a model for aquaculture?

Both production sectors have their own challenges. However, the aquaculture industry may learn from the mycotoxin management plans already in place for livestock. Furthermore, some plant meals used in livestock are also commonly used in aquaculture, so there are benefits in sharing information regarding occurrence and co-occurrence levels.

Regarding sensitivity levels, in aquaculture there is a great disparity of vulnerability between the already studied species. Research should continue to better understand which are the most sensitive species and to which mycotoxins. We also need to understand why some species (e.g. channel catfish) are extremely resistant to some mycotoxins (in this case DON), to help us improve the resistance of other sensitive species.

This article originally appeared in International AquafeedReferences available on request.

 

In Brief
  • New alternative sources of protein for aquaculture diets are now available, many of them derived from plants.
  • Plant-based protein sources are often contaminated with mycotoxins, a relatively unknown and often overlooked anti-nutritional factor in the aquaculture sector.
  • Symptoms of mycotoxicosis are less evident in fish and shrimp species compared to terrestrial livestock species.
  • Regular testing of feed for mycotoxins will help identify threats and enable the correct mitigation strategy to be employed to keep contamination below sensitivity limits.
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Mycotoxins Aquaculture Articles
news-2077 Wed, 08 Aug 2018 13:41:00 +0200 Organic Acids and Autolyzed Yeast Reduce the Impact of Pathogens in Fish http://www.biomin.net/articles/organic-acids-and-autolyzed-yeast-reduce-the-impact-of-pathogens-in-fish/ Rising demand for aquatic protein is driving the intensification of production, which is increasing the incidence of diseases. High stocking densities and high organic outputs provide optimum conditions for the spread of pathogens including a wide range of microorganisms, viruses, parasites and fungi. Organic acids and autolyzed yeast products can reduce the impact of these pathogens, supporting performance and profitability.
©istcokphoto.com, c1a1p1c1o1m1

Bacterial threats

Bacteria can survive very well in aquatic environments, especially when water temperatures rise or when farming systems are unbalanced. But these bacteria can cause significant economic losses. Bacteria from the Aeromonas, Edwardsiella, Pseudomonas, Streptococcus, Vibrio and Yersinia genera can all be pathogenic to aquatic animals.

There are many ways to control bacterial disease outbreaks in aquaculture and one of the most common control methods is to use antibiotics. However, a growing awareness of consumers opposing the use of antibiotics in aquaculture production means that some farmers are now banned from selling aquatic products to export markets. The extensive use of such antimicrobials is linked to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains and the transfer of resistant genes between different bacterial species. The emergence of pathogenic-resistant bacteria has negative impacts, not only on aquaculture, but also on human health. It also negatively affects consumer perception. Therefore, the demand for more environmentally-friendly alternatives is higher than ever. Anti-microbial substances such as organic acids and plant extracts are now commonly used in the fish farming industry. Additionally, other solutions like yeast cell walls can prevent disease by enhancing the innate immune system of fish whereas vaccines only enhance adaptive (acquired) immunity.

Organic acids to control pathogens in fish

Organic acids, or combinations of acids, are an efficient tool for improving growth performance, gut morphology and pathogen control in aquaculture. Recently researchers have focused on the role of organic acids and their salts to prevent and control diseases with great success. They demonstrated, for example, that dietary supplementation with organic salts, such as propionate and butyrate, improved gut morphology under hypoxia and reduced enteritis symptoms (in high soya bean meal diets) in O. niloticus (Tran-Ngoc et al., 2016). Similarly, scientists have demonstrated the very strong anti-microbial effect of organic acids under challenge with Streptococcus agalactiae (Ng et al., 2009) and a high potential to exert beneficial effects on growth, nutrient utilization and disease resistance in tilapia.

While the effects of organic acids on pathogenic bacteria are not yet fully clear, it is commonly understood that they can exert either bacteriostatic or bactericidal effects depending on the physiological status of the organism and the physicochemical characteristics of the environment. Un-dissociated organic acids are lipophilic and can easily bypass the plasma membrane of bacteria. Once inside the cells, where pH levels are usually more neutral than in the outer environment, organic acids dissociate in their anions and protons. Traditionally, it has been assumed that the cytoplasmic pH drop caused by this mechanism is the main toxic efficacy of organic acids. Recently, other toxicity mechanisms have been proposed such as the capability of these acids to interfere with cytoplasmic membrane structure and functionality, as well as interference with nutrient transport, electron transport and macromolecular synthesis inside the cells.

Scientists cultured a number of pathogens in growth medium, with and without the enhanced organic acid Biotronic® Top3 from BIOMIN. The pathogens were chosen based on their ability to cause widespread disease and high economic losses in aquaculture, and included Aeromonas spp., Edwardsiella sp., Pseudomonas sp., Streptococcus sp., Vibrio spp. and Yersinia sp. Researchers observed that Biotronic® Top3 effectively reduced the growth of all pathogens (Figure 1).

Biotronic® Top3 was most effective against Gram-negative pathogens, although inhibition of Streptococcus was also observed. This is not surprising, since the formulation contains a unique BIOMIN® Permeabilizing Complex, specifically designed to weaken the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria.

Figure 1. Growth inhibition of aquatic pathogens by Biotronic® Top3
Figure 1. Growth inhibition of aquatic pathogens by Biotronic® Top3

Choosing a science-backed solution

The organic acid market within aquaculture is vast, and choosing the correct solution can be confusing. It is important that products are assessed using both in vitro and in vivo models. A recent peer-reviewed publication demonstrated how Biotronic® Top3, an enhanced acidifier, can be used to reduce pathogens and improve disease resistance in aquaculture (Menanteau-Ledouble et al. 2017).

In one in vivo study, specific pathogen free (SPF) rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were split into two groups, and received either a commercial feed or the same feed supplemented with Biotronic® Top3. After 25 weeks, fish were artificially infected with Aeromonas salmonicida by intraperitoneal (IP) injection, immersion and cohabitation. For quality control purposes, fish in both treatments were also ‘mock’ infected to take into account background mortality. Once the infection had taken its course, the survival rate was calculated (Figure 2). In control tanks, mortalities were observed immediately indicating the virulence of the pathogen. In the Biotronic® Top3 treatments, much slower death rates were seen, indicating that the infection could be slowed down. This may benefit fish farmers as they can identify and treat diseases before incurring huge losses. After 35 days of challenge, Biotronic® Top3 supplemented fish showed a considerably higher survival rate (80%), compared to just 60% in control tanks, indicating the protective capabilities of Biotronic® Top3. Furthermore, the rainbow trout that received Biotronic® Top3 had a significantly higher survival rate (70%) than those not receiving the supplement (25%) when challenged via IP injection.

Figure 2. Survival curves of fish during pathogen challenge. Data represents the average mortality across three infection routes
Figure 2. Survival curves of fish during pathogen challenge. Data represents the average mortality across three infection routes

Autolyzed yeast to enhance marine fish immunity (Lates calcarifer)

The immune system is a set of cellular and humoral components used to defend the body against foreign substances, such as microorganisms, toxins or malignant cells. They respond to factors such as endogenous or exogenous components that stimulate the immune system. The fish immune system is divided into innate and adaptive (memory), both further divided into cell mediated defense and humoral factors (soluble substances). Today, it is known that these systems work together in order to destroy invaders or to trigger defense processes. The innate system includes all components present in the body before the appearance of the pathologic agent and acts as the first line of defense with a faster reaction than the specific system. Among these components are the skin as a physical barrier, the complement system, the antimicrobial enzymes, the interleukins, the interferons and the organic defense cells, such as granulocytes, monocytes, macrophages and natural killer cells (Bayne and Gerwick, 2001; Ellis, 1999; Magnadottir et al., 2011).

Autolyzed yeast (containing the cell walls and available nutrients) is well known in the aquaculture industry to support immune defense mechanisms. Autolyzed yeast consists of concentrations of yeast cells that are allowed to die and break up, so that the endogenous enzymes of the yeast break their proteins down into simpler compounds which are then available for animals (e.g. amino acids, peptides, nucleotides). Autolyzed yeast cell walls contain mannan-oligosaccharides (MOS), β1,3 and β1,6 glucan, chitin and nucleotides. β-glucans are glucose-based polysaccharides that have an immune-stimulant effect in aqua species. They activate several immune cells including macrophages, neutrophils, monocytes, natural killer cells and dendritic cells. MOS have three main modes of action: improvement of gastrointestinal health, modulation of the immune system and pathogen absorption.

Figure 3. Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer)
Figure 3. Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer)

A study was conducted to evaluate the effect of several immune-stimulants in Asian seabass (Lates calcarifer; Figure 3). A total of four treatments were tested: a control (commercial feed), the commercial feed supplemented with Levabon® Aquagrow (autolyzed yeast), the commercial feed supplemented with β-glucan, and the commercial feed supplemented with nucleotides. After eight weeks, fish were artificially infected with Streptococcus iniae by IP injection at 107 CFU/ml. The results showed that in control tanks, the survival rate was only 37% 11 days post-challenge. The treatment containing the autolyzed yeast Levabon® Aquagrow gave the highest survival rate at 57%. Single immune-stimulants (β-glucan and nucleotides) showed an intermediate survival rate of 43% (Figure 4).

Fish fed Levabon® Aquagrow had higher circulating white blood cells (Figure 5). Considering the important protective role leukocytes play, it is not surprising that fish with higher numbers of these immune cells can fight pathogens more effectively, improving survival.

 

Figure 4. Survival rate of Seabass (Lates calcarifer) after S. iniae challenge
Figure 4. Survival rate of Seabass (Lates calcarifer) after S. iniae challenge

Figure 5. Circulating leukocytes (white blood cells) after eight weeks of feeding experimental diets and prior to pathogen challenge
Figure 5. Circulating leukocytes (white blood cells) after eight weeks of feeding experimental diets and prior to pathogen challenge

Conclusion

Disease outbreaks are a persistent threat to the profitability of aquaculture farms. Dietary supplementation with the organic acid blend Biotronic® Top3 can improve survival in trout during a challenge with Aeromonas salmonicida but also inhibits the growth of a wider range of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria pathogens. Acidifiers can improve gut health, increase nutrient utilization by reducing the pathogen load, and increase disease resistance without compromising growth performance.

Additionally, several immune-stimulant substances have demonstrated a positive improvement on the survival rate of Asian seabass after a bacterial disease challenge with Streptococcus iniae. In this study, the autolyzed yeast Levabon® Aquagrow containing the full blend of immuno-stimulants had better efficacy than the single β-glucan or nucleotide application. For aquaculture producers who want to avoid the sub-therapeutic use of antibiotics, Biotronic® Top3 and the autolyzed yeast Levabon® Aquagrow offer an interesting alternative to traditional pathogen control medication, opening the door to higher profitability.

In Brief
  • Antibiotic use in aqua production is falling due to customer demand, but the threat of economic loss from disease is ever present.
  • Alternatives to antibiotics include organic acids, autolyzed yeast and plant extracts.
  • Organic acids have antimicrobial properties, which control and prevent disease.
  • Autolyzed yeast supports the immune defense systems.
  • As shown in trials, Biotronic® Top3 and Levabon® Aquagrow are interesting alternatives to traditional pathogen control medication.
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Acidifiers Aquaculture Articles
news-2068 Wed, 01 Aug 2018 08:45:00 +0200 Regional Results of Global Mycotoxin Occurrence through June 2018 http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/regional-results-of-global-mycotoxin-occurrence-through-june-2018/ According to the results of the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey, from March to June 2018, we can notice an increase of mycotoxins such as fumonisins, deoxynivalenol and zearalenone in feedstuffs.

Since 2004, the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey Program constitutes the longest running, and most comprehensive survey of its kind. It details the incidence of the main mycotoxins occurring in agricultural commodities, which include aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 toxin (T-2), fumonisins (FUM) and ochratoxin A (OTA).

The survey focuses on components that are used for feed such as corn, wheat, barley, rice, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, dried distillers grains (DDGS) and silage, among others.

From January to June 2018, the BIOMIN scientists have tested 8,527 samples, from different regions around the world.

Top threats worldwide

The main mycotoxins detected are deoxynivalenol, fumonisins and zearalenone, detected in 70%, 18% and 68% of all samples respectively. The average levels were 774 ppb for DON, 1,748 ppb for FUM and 135 ppb for ZEN. Other mycotoxins such as Afla, T-2 and OTA, were detected in 21%, 18% and 17% of samples analyzed respectively. (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Occurrence of mycotoxins worldwide through Q2 2018. Average of all samples collected by BIOMIN.

Co-contamination

The results show that 91% of all samples contained at least one mycotoxin. Of these, 72% contained at least three mycotoxins (figure 2). The phenomena of co-contamination inevitably leads to synergism, a condition where the severity of one mycotoxin is increased by the presence of others.

Figure 2. Co-occurrence of mycotoxins worldwide, collected by BIOMIN, in all samples.

Europe

With five mycotoxins above the risk threshold, Europe faces a severe contamination risk. The most prevalent mycotoxin in this region was DON, detected in 69% of the samples, followed by ZEN, detected in 65% of the samples. FUM was detected in 63% of samples analyzed. The highest contamination found in a single sample was 40,700 ppb for DON, 3,889 ppb for ZEN and 26,204 ppb for FUM.

Asia

In Asia the average concentration of four mycotoxins is above the risk threshold, hence this region is facing a high contamination risk. Nonetheless, we can see a significant decrease of T-2 toxin contamination, compared to the last months. Moreover, the incidence of Afla was rather low with 33% of samples analyzed contaminated with this mycotoxin, although the average concentration of 40 ppb should be of concern for dairy producers. The most prevalent mycotoxin remains FUM, detected in 83% of samples, followed by DON, detected in 80% of samples analyzed. The concentration of ZEN should not be neglected, as it was detected in 64% of the samples. The maximum FUM concentration recorded was 60,275 ppb.

North America

With six mycotoxins above risk threshold, North America faces a severe contamination risk. The most prevalent mycotoxins detected are DON and FUM, found in 66% and 43% of the feed samples analyzed, respectively. ZEN was detected in 26%, in the samples. Other mycotoxins such as Afla, OTA and T-2, were detected in less than 20% of the samples. The highest concentration of FUM in a single sample was 50,734 ppb. ZEN and DON showed very high maximum concentrations as well: 10,790 and 10,728 respectively.

Central America

Central America faces a high contamination risk having four mycotoxins average concentrations above the risk threshold. FUM is the highest prevalent mycotoxin and was found in 79% of samples, followed by DON, identified in 57% of samples respectively. Afla, ZEN, T-2 and OTA were detected in 18%, 17%, 0 and 3% of samples respectively. The highest maximum concentrations of FUM and DON were 4,427 and 1,618 ppb respectively.

South America

This region faces a severe contamination risk having five mycotoxins average concentrations above the risk threshold. FUM and DON are the highest prevalent mycotoxins and were found in 69% and 68% of samples respectively, followed by ZEN, identified in 56% of samples analyzed. Afla, T-2 and OTA were detected in 21%, 25% and 5% of samples respectively. South America shows the highest maximum concentration of FUM and DON worldwide (70,418 and 24,880 ppb respectively).

Middle East

With four mycotoxins average concentrations above the risk threshold, the Middle East faces a high contamination risk. The most prevalent mycotoxins in this region were FUM, followed by ZEN and DON, detected in 86%, 57% and 49% of samples respectively. The highest maximum concentration detected in Middle East was 4,805 ppb FUM.

Africa

With four mycotoxins above the risk threshold Africa faces a high mycotoxin contamination risk. FUM and DON were both detected in 75% of samples analyzed; whereas ZEN was the third most prevalent mycotoxin, and was detected in 71% of samples analyzed. The highest FUM concentration in a single sample was 14,427 ppb. Afla was detected in 12% of samples analyzed, whereas T-2 and OTA in 3% and 13% of samples respectively.

Conclusion

These BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey findings show that recent mycotoxin occurrence is quite high. The mycotoxin problem can be addressed through valid farm management strategies and the use of a registered mycotoxin deactivator whose efficiency is scientifically proven.

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Mycotoxins Poultry Ruminants Pigs Blog Posts
news-2062 Mon, 30 Jul 2018 10:30:00 +0200 BIOMIN Submits EU Dossier for Digestarom® DC as Zootechnical Feed Additive in Broilers http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/biomin-submits-eu-dossier-for-digestaromr-dc-as-zootechnical-feed-additive-in-broilers/ The innovative feed additive firm marks another milestone in the global rollout of the new phytogenic feed additive by applying for additional zootechnical status in the EU. Digestarom® DCFollowing a successful start to a global launch, BIOMIN submitted a dossier for the EU authorization of Digestarom® DC, a phytogenic feed additive (PFA), for zootechnical status based on its ability to improve the performance parameters of broilers.

Focus on broilers

Efficiently converting feed into broiler meat is crucial. “Phytogenics can play an important role in maintaining feed intake, improving digestibility and ultimately supporting enhanced feed conversion,” explained Michael Noonan, Global Director Phytogenics at BIOMIN.

“For poultry producers, improved feed efficiency translates into lower production costs, better margins and reduced ammonia emissions that support profits and sustainability,” added Mr Noonan.

Multiple trials

The EU dossier, submitted for evaluation in June 2018, includes 4 broiler feeding trials that were conducted to demonstrate the efficacy and the safety of Digestarom® DC.

“The trials conducted have shown better growth performance, greater weight gain and improved feed efficiency in broilers,” stated Mr Noonan. “We continue to see strong interest in scientifically-backed phytogenic feed additives for a number of applications,” he added.

Innovative Biomin® Duplex Capsule

Digestarom® DC incorporates a unique encapsulation technology that ensures continuous delivery of active phytogenic compounds throughout the digestive process, demonstrates stability under common pelleting conditions and offers easier handling.

The Biomin® Duplex Capsule also supports the triple action formulation of Digestarom® DC, which consists of three modules: 1) appetizing and endogenous secretions, 2) gut microbiota modulation, and 3) gut protection.

Market leadership

The submission of Digestarom® DC for zootechnical authorization for broilers marks the latest milestone in ongoing activities around phytogenics at BIOMIN. The firm submitted an EU dossier for zootechnical authorization in piglets in 2017, which is still under review.

In 2016, BIOMIN announced its ambition to become PFA market leader by 2020. The PFA market is expected to grow considerably in the coming years. A full 60% of respondents to the 2018 BIOMIN Phytogenic Feed Additives Survey said that they expected to increase their use of phytogenics.

Next steps

The dossier for zootechnical registration has been submitted for scientific review by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). “We are optimistic that the diligent work put into developing the next-generation Digestarom® and compiling the dossier complies fully with the necessary requirements,” Mr Noonan stated.

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Phytogenics Poultry Press Releases
news-2064 Thu, 26 Jul 2018 14:17:00 +0200 BIOMIN conducts first ever edition of Mycotoxin Academy in India http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/biomin-conducts-first-ever-edition-of-mycotoxin-academy-in-india/ BIOMIN in association with MG Marketing, its supply chain partner for north India, organized the first ever edition of BIOMIN Mycotoxin Academy in India in two key locations in north India.  

With over 300 customers and poultry players participating at both the editions of BIOMIN Mycotoxin Academy, the event marked a new beginning in creating awareness about the mycotoxin risk management in India and how BIOMIN continues to lead from the forefront in offering solutions to the problem.

On July 9, the first BIOMIN Mycotoxin Academy in India was held at Noormahal in Karnal, followed by another Academy at Park Plaza – Zirakpur in Chandigarh on July 11, with over 300 enthusiastic participants in both the events.

Both the events were led by Eileen Han, Regional Product Manager – Mycotoxin Risk Management, BIOMIN Asia-Pacific. Beginning with the clear introductory session on what are mycotoxins, Eileen Han in her lucid presentation proceeded to explain about the risks and impacts of mycotoxins in poultry.

“Any mycotoxins present in feed are delivered straight to the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of the birds, the organ most affected by mycotoxins. The GIT is the most important organ for converting feed into energy, and its ability to function properly is directly linked to poultry productivity,“ she explained and added that the GIT is the biggest immune organ in the body system.

Among the major mycotoxins, DON (deoxynivalenol), ZEN (zearalenone) and FUM (fumonisins) are often overlooked when considering their impact on poultry health and productivity since their clinical symptoms are not usually obvious or visible. However, there have been a number of scientific and commercial trials that prove these Fusarium mycotoxins are closely related to some important poultry diseases.

Sharing key details from the latest BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey Report, Eileen Han informed that BIOMIN is conducting the Mycotoxin Survey Program annually since 2004. “The accumulated number of samples is already over 75,000, which makes the program the largest worldwide data pool for mycotoxin analyses. In 2017, the analysed number of samples hit a record high,“ she pointed out.

“Taking a closer look at the results from South Asia or India, Aflatoxin (Afla) is still the biggest threat if we also consider the percentage contamination above the risk threshold. The prevalence of FUM and Ochratoxin A (OTA) in South Asia was the highest of all the Asian sub regions. However, Afla has been always the centre of attention that it is relatively well counteracted,“ she added.

According to her, the more problematic mycotoxins are rather FUM and DON. Unfortunately, in India the awareness of these Fusarium mycotoxins is low. DON is a known protein synthesis inhibitor and can interfere with the metabolism of high turn-over cells such as skin cells (epithelial cells), hepatic cells, immune cells and intestinal epithelial cells.

Some of the most frequent sub-clinical symptoms of DON contamination in feed are the reduction in feed intake, wet-droppings and a reduction in vaccine efficacy. On the other hand, FUM blocks the synthesis of complex sphingolipids that play a pivotal role in protecting nerves, muscles and membranes.

“When it comes to counteracting mycotoxins, the poultry industry tends to think of “toxin-binders” first. However, clay mineral binders are not an effective answer to all major mycotoxins. Especially not against Fusarium mycotoxins since their structures are not suitable for adsorbing by binders,“ she underlined.

She recommended that biotransformation using microbes and enzymes is the most effective strategy as it provides reliable protection for birds against Fusarium mycotoxins by biodegrading mycotoxins into non-toxic metabolites. In addition to biotransformation, a bioprotection strategy is also important. A combination of different strategies can counteract the negative effects of mycotoxins in poultry more completely, especially in cases of multi-mycotoxin contamination with the poorly absorbed Fusarium mycotoxins in poultry feed.

The Mycofix® product line from BIOMIN, which is in the forefront of mycotoxin risk management, is an unique combination of patented specific enzymes and biological components that deactivates mycotoxins in contaminated feed into non-toxic, environmentally-safe metabolites.

The key to the effectiveness of Mycofix® product line is its three-pronged strategy of mycotoxin control, namely: biotransformation, adsorption and bioprotection.

Gangga Widyanugraha, Regional Technical Sales Manager – Poultry in his presentation highlighted the prevalence of mycotoxin in poultry in India. Äccording to him, postmortem analyses of birds done by him across India corroborates the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey Report.

Edward Manchester, Regional Director, BIOMIN Asia Pacific in his welcome address earlier informed the participants that research and development is the cornerstone of BIOMIN. “Collaborations with global institutions and organisations strengthen the BIOMIN research core. Synergies from these research collaborations inspire us to push the boundaries of animal nutrition and continue developing customer-oriented solutions that are a step ahead of the competition,” he said.

According to him, the superior quality of the products and services of BIOMIN is evident from the number of patents and EU authorizations received by the company.

Sujit Kulkarni, Managing Director, BIOMIN India in his address said that the initiative to create awareness among the customers and poultry players on the mycotoxin risk management through such BIOMIN Mycotoxin Academies has received overwhelming response.

“We will continue to strive towards maintaining the lead in providing scientific solutions to the mycotoxin contamination and also to create awareness among the stakeholders throughout the country by conducting more editions of BIOMIN Mycotoxin Academies,“ he added.

It may be noted that the first edition of Mycotoxin Academy in India, apart from creating awareness about mycotoxin contamination and offering solutions was a cobranding event conducted by both BIOMIN and MG Marketing.

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Mycotoxins Poultry Press Releases Pictures
news-2063 Thu, 26 Jul 2018 13:59:00 +0200 Mycotoxins, endotoxins and their control http://www.biomin.net/articles/mycotoxins-endotoxins-and-their-control/ Mycotoxins and endotoxins impair animal health and immune status as well as feed production in various ways: these toxins are invisible, odorless and cannot be detected by smell or taste, but can reduce significantly performance in pig production. Due to the complex nature of these naturally occurring contaminants and to their elaborate analytics a risk-management concept has to be adopted in order to reduce the risk encounter to a defined and acceptable level (Binder, 2007).
Photo: iStockphoto_Dr_Microbe

Mycotoxins are toxic fungal metabolites that cause intoxication when consumed by animals. Fusarium, Aspergillus, and Penicillium are the most incident moulds that produce these toxins and contaminate animal feeds through fungal growth prior to and during harvest, or during improper storage (Bhatnagar et al., 2004).

Aflatoxins are produced by many strains of Aspergillus flavus and A. parasiticus on many different commodities, including cereals, figs, oilseeds, and others (Diener et al., 1987). Moreover, aflatoxin B1 is considered the main hepatocarcinogen in animals, although effects vary with species, age, sex, and general nutritional conditions.

Trichothecenes constitute a large group of mycotoxins produced by various species of moulds, in particular those belonging to the genus Fusarium. The most prevalent mycotoxins of these groups are deoxynivalenol (DON, vomitoxin) and T-2 toxin. An important issue is that some of these closely related compounds occur simultaneously (Fuchs et al., 2004) and are proven to cause synergistic effects (Weidenbörner, 2001). Different types of trichothecenes vary in their toxicity though all of them have high acute toxicity. They may cause haematological changes and immune suppression, reduced feed intake and skin irritations as well as diarrhea and hemorrhages of internal tissues. Pigs seem to be the most sensitive farm animals to this group of mycotoxins. Effects occurring at the lowest levels of trichothecenes were reduced feed intake and weight gain, as well as impairment of the immune system.

Zearalenone (ZEA) is also produced by Fusarium species and has strong hyper-estrogenic effects, which result in impaired fertility, stillbirths in sows and a reduced sperm quality in boars. ZEA is mostly affecting breeding animals which have a very sensitive reproductive system.

Ochratoxin A (OTA), which is produced by a number of Aspergillus and Penicillium species causes renal toxicity, nephropathy and immune-suppression in pigs, resulting in reduced performance parameters in animal production.

Ergot alkaloids are present in the sclerotia of Claviceps species, which are common pathogens of various grass species and grains of cereals, such as wheat, rye, oats, barley and triticale. Pigs belong to the principal animals at risk. Clinical symptoms of ergotism in animals include tail and ear necrosis eventually leading to gangrene, abortion, convulsions, suppression of lactation in sows, hypersensitivity and ataxia (Bennet and Klich, 2003). As mentioned before, in pigs a high level of toxin intake results in vasoconstriction and subsequently dry gangrene of hooves, ears and tails (Bryant, 2008).

Endotoxins are incredibly fascinating substances. On the one hand they stimulate the immune system in a positive way; on the other hand they cause endotoxic shock and death.

Classically, an endotoxin is a toxin that, unlike an exotoxin, is not secreted in soluble form by live bacteria, but instead is a structural component in the bacteria which is released mainly when bacteria are lysed. Endotoxins are commonly referred to in literature as lipopolysaccharides (LPS). The toxic and non variable part is the Lipid A (identical in all cell walls of Gram-negative bacteria). Endotoxins, unlike exotoxins, react with different blood proteins, cytokines (involved in the immune response), amongst others, thus inducing immune reactions.

The endotoxin is also called lipopolisaccharide (LPS) as it consists of a polysaccharide part (sugar, Core Polysaccharide and O Antigen ) and a lipid moiety, known as lipid A and responsible for the toxic effect. The polysaccharide chain is highly variable among different bacteria. Absorption effects, removal and detoxification of endotoxins are complex phenomena that depend on many factors and on the variable susceptibility amongst animals. LPS kinetics inside the body implies a number of interactions; they can bind to high density lipoproteins, albumins, immunoglobulins, complement C3, and to a number of unknown proteins that altogether increase their half life in serum, preventing the uptake of LPS by the liver and the spleen as well as their engulfing by macrophages.

The greatest prognostic factor, however, is the development of shock (Ispahani et al., 1987). Septic shock is a syndrome characterised by hypotension, oliguria, hypoxia, acidosis, the development of microvascular abnormalities, and disseminated intravascular coagulation (Hamill and Maki, 1986). Multiple organ failure is an all-too common sequel. Studies at necropsy reveal widespread tissue damage with particular involvement of the liver, lungs, kidneys and adrenal glands. Tissue lesions include edema, haemorrhage, inflammatory infiltrates, fibrin thrombi and areas of tissue necrosis. Identical physiological and pathological changes may be seen in experimental animals receiving lethal doses of endotoxin (Bayston and Cohen, 1990).

The attachment of large numbers of pathogenic E. coli to the mucosa of the small intestine has been observed in porcine colibacillosis. During bacterial growth in culture, LPS is continuously shed. A massive multiplication and invasion of the gut by E. coli, as easily happens during post weaning phase of the piglets, can lead to a moderate and sometimes severe toxic status after the release of endotoxin during mitosis. Post-weaning diarrhea is an expression of synergic effects of bacteria and their exotoxins with endotoxins. Early weaning enhances susceptibility to LPS. Adhesion factors play a crucial role in the pathogenesis of edema disease (Imberechts et al., 1992), which is more an expression of already abundant production of endotoxins during E. coli turnover. Characteristics of this syndrome are sudden death or nervous symptoms, such as blunting, staggering, ataxia, opisthotonus, subcutaneous edema particularly in nose, ears, eyelids and larynx (hoarse, squeaky voice).

Considerable mortality is associated with Gram-negative infections, especially when they are complicated by shock (Prins et al., 1994). The shock can also be a consequence of antibiotic administration as total endotoxin level has been reported to decrease after antibiotic treatment; whereas free endotoxin increased (free endotoxins are biologically more active than membrane-bound endotoxins). Endotoxin release is paralleled by deterioration of the parameters involved in disease severity assessment.

Several drugs have been investigated to counteract LPS.  Antibiotics differ in potential for endotoxin liberation according to their bacteriostatic or bactericidal effect. Antibiotics can also bind endotoxins, Polymyxin B or Colistin being the example, but were shown to be toxic themselves. The most remarkable adverse effects of these drugs are nephrotoxicity (chiefly acute renal failure) and neurotoxicity (Mendes and Burdmann, 2010). That is why a feed additive was tested for its positive effect on health and performance status of piglets exposed to endotoxins.

Effects of Mycofix® Plus against endotoxins associated with Gram-negative bacterial diseases in pigs

90 piglets chosen from 15 litters were used for this experiment. A 3 x 3 – trial design was employed, meaning 3 groups with 3 replications each.

Treatments were performed as follows:

  • Group A (control): standard piglet diet with an average natural load of endotoxins of 9.05 μg/g (average from 19 feed samples)
  • Group B (positive control): standard piglet diet with an average natural load of endotoxins of 9.05 μg/g (average from 19 feed samples) plus 100 mg Colistin/liter administered via drinking water for 21 days
  • Group C (treated): standard piglet diet with an average natural load of endotoxins of 9.05 μg/g (average from 19 feed samples) supplemented with 0.2 % of the feed additive formulation over the whole trial period.

Figure 1. Comparison of FCR (day 56) within the experimental groups.

Figure 2. Comparison of body weight on day 56 (end of trial) within the experimental groups.

Figure 3. Comparison of daily weight gain (DWG) - day 1-56 within the experimental groups.

Results

  • Application of Mycofix® Plus in pigs improved FCR (Figure 1).
  • Weight of pigs at day 56 and DWG (day 1-56) were significantly increased by the supplementation of Mycofix® Plus (Figure 2 and 3).
  • Mycofix® Plus reduced the incidence of diarrhea when in comparison with the control group and with the group supplied with the antibiotic Colistin.

Conclusion

The present study shows that Mycofix® Plus, composed of synergistically acting ingredients, ensures performance in the presence of an endotoxin challenge, resulting in improved final weight, DWG and FCR as well as in reduced diarrhea incidence. Results indicate that Mycofix® Plus supported the animals in the critical phase of weaning. The positive effects of the feed additive result from the binding of the toxins by clay minerals, from the action of yeast components which bind bacteria and also exert an anti-inflammatory activity which acts synergistically with the anti-inflammatory effects enabled by algae and plant extracts also present in the product.

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Mycotoxins Pigs Articles
news-2061 Wed, 25 Jul 2018 09:27:00 +0200 Solving Mycotoxin-Related Sow Fertility Problems http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/solving-mycotoxin-related-sow-fertility-problems/ Various mycotoxins can negatively affect a sow’s reproductive performance. Deoxynivalenol and zearalenone in particular tend to occur simultaneously and are known to have an outsized impact on pig fertility. Recent research shows how to protect your pigs’ reproductive health from the effects of mycotoxins.
Photo: iStockphoto_mady70

Sow fertility has a paramount effect on farm profitability. The number of pigs produced per sow per year defines the production cost per pig and other key metrics. The key to success is to sustain reproductive indices such as litter size, farrows per year and productive days at a high level.

Several parameters, such as management, genetics, nutrition, health status, and anti-nutritional factors, all affect herd fertility. Among the latter, mycotoxins are a major anti-nutritional factor known to affect reproduction—and pigs are particularly susceptible to the negative effects of mycotoxin exposure. (Watch ‘What is a Mycotoxin’).

Mycotoxins impair herd fertility

Zearalenone, T-2 toxin and ergot alkaloids are mycotoxins that are known to have a number of direct negative effects on pigs that contribute to herd infertility, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Direct effects of mycotoxins on reproduction performance. Source: BIOMIN
Direct effects of mycotoxins on reproduction performance. Source: BIOMIN

Zearalenone mimics estrogen, disrupts hormones

Among mycotoxins, the most notorious for its effects on reproduction is zearalenone (ZEN). ZEN blocks normal synthesis of hormones. It resembles the estradiol molecule and competes with the latter for estradiol (estrogenic) receptors. This estrogenic effect causes disturbances of the endocrine system, hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis and suppresses the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) secretion in ovaries.

Table 1. Effects of ZEN in swine. Source: BIOMIN
Table 1 provides an overview of the main effects of zearalenone in swine.

Deoxynivalenol (vomitoxin) lowers feed intake and alters immune response

Deoxynivalenol (DON) in feedstuffs compromises feed intake and may cause vomiting (Diekman and Green, 1992). In addition, DON inhibits protein synthesis and alters immune system response. It has been shown that DON causes reproductive effects by targeting oocyte and embryo development (Pestka et al.  2004, Alm et al. 2006).

The effects of DON and its relationship to reproduction in pigs has a more indirect effect. Feed intake reduction results in low nutrient availability and poses a threat on some metabolic pathways of the reproductive system.

In addition, any potential dysfunction of vital organs with a key role in metabolism such as liver and spleen would have an adverse effect on health. When health is compromised, animals’ metabolic priorities change. The immune response becomes the priority and consequently nutrients are allocated there, instead of the reproductive system (Kanora and Maes, 2009).

The DON + ZEN combination compromise follicle development, oocyte maturation, and embryo development

Deoxynivalenol and Zearalenone are both Fusarium toxins produced by mainly by F. graminearum, F.  culmorum, and F. roseum (Tiemann and Dänicke, 2007). Due to the fact that they are produced by the same species of fungi, they can and often do contaminate the same crop at the same time (co-occurrence). For the latest information on mycotoxin global occurrence, check out the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey.

This co-occurrence is dangerous because the interaction between mycotoxins can have synergistic (amplified) effects: negative consequences that are greater than expected from single mycotoxins alone, and are of great concern in livestock health and productivity. Research has documented the negative combined effects of deoxynivalenol and zearalenone on fertility, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Combined effects of ZEN and DON in fertility (Tiemann and Danicke, 2007)
Figure 2. Combined effects of ZEN and DON in fertility (Tiemann and Danicke, 2007)

In vitro studies on porcine oocytes have shown that presence of ZEN, DON or combination of them compromise the development of oocytes and they lose the ability to mature (Figure 3). This may compromise embryo survivability, pregnancy continuation and further birth weight. In addition, DON has the most potent effects on embryo development after fertilization, resulting in abnormal and reduced numbers of blastocysts.

Figure 3. Exposure to estradiol, ZEN, DON, ZEN+DON, significantly reduced the percentage of oocytes that reached the MII (metaphase II) stage and increased significantly oocytes nuclear abnormalities (Malelinejad et al., 2007)
Figure 3. Exposure to estradiol, ZEN, DON, ZEN+DON

DON and ZEN trial design

A recent trial contacted by BIOMIN and the University of Berlin evaluated the reproductive parameters of sows in the presence of DON and ZEN over a long-term period (three cycles). Sows were allocated in three different groups:

  • One group with no contaminated feed
  • A toxin group that received contaminated feed with DON at high levels and ZEN at medium levels
  • A trial group that received similarly contaminated feed as the toxin group and Mycofix® Plus

Trial results

The presence of mycotoxins impaired several reproductive and performance parameters, as shown in Figures 4 and 5.

Figure 4. Effects of ZEN and DON in reproductive indices. Yellow area represents the control group, presented as 100% of performance.
Figure 4. Effects of ZEN and DON in reproductive indices. Yellow area represents the control group, presented as 100% of performance.

Sow results

The most common index used to assess reproductive performance is weaned piglets per sow per year.

Farrowing rate and wean to estrus interval both affect the former index. The presence of mycotoxins, especially ZEN, increased the returns to heat and decreased farrowing rate.

Feed intake affected sows’ body condition at weaning and milk yield. Consequently, underweight sows needed more days to come in estrus after weaning.

This decreased the number of farrows, and depleted weaned piglets produced per sow per year. In addition, milk yield could compromise litter growth and weaning weights, resulting in lower weights to slaughter or/and more days in feed.

Piglet results

On the piglet side, the presence of mycotoxins compromised piglet quality. The percentage of underweighted piglets (< 1.2 kg) increased, implying a negative effect of mycotoxins on embryo development and maternal nutrition.

We could assess that the negative effect on piglet quality accompanied with a depletion of milk yield that resulted in higher pre-weaning mortality and lower weaning weights.

However, a sound recovery was observed with the application of Mycofix®.

Figure 5. Effects of ZEN and DON on reproductive indices. Yellow area represents the control group, presented as 100% of performance.
Figure 5. Effects of ZEN and DON on reproductive indices. Yellow area represents the control group, presented as 100% of performance.

Conclusion

Mycotoxin co-contamination of raw materials is more common than single mycotoxin contamination. Mycotoxins act in a concerted manner against the animal, affecting multiple tissues, organs and functions. In the case of sow fertility, DON and ZEN can be particularly harmful. Mycofix® offers a safe and effective way to overcome multiple mycotoxin contamination and protect sow reproductive performance.

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Mycotoxins Pigs Blog Posts
news-2060 Tue, 24 Jul 2018 09:06:00 +0200 How Poultry Housing Can Reduce Stress and Optimize Performance http://www.biomin.net/articles/how-poultry-housing-can-reduce-stress-and-optimize-performance/ In this guest blog, James Donald of the National Poultry Technology Center at Auburn University shares his thoughts on the role and importance of the poultry house and environmental control.
Photo: iStockphoto_DuxY

As an agricultural engineer who has specialized in poultry housing and environmental control for most of my career, one of the primary principles one learns is that the performance of birds has a tremendous amount to do with the physical environment surrounding the bird.

The value of stress minimization during all phases of production from the hatchery to the final shipping date is an important concept in antibiotic-free (ABF) and ‘no antibiotics ever’ (NAE) production. Stress allows many types of challenges to thrive in birds, weakening their immune systems, causing sickness and the need for treatment.

Proper air quality and air temperature have been two factors at the basics of good production and good environmental control.  However, the concept of minimizing stress needs to be expanded beyond just proper temperature and air quality. 

Tunnel housing has overturned old rules

Poultry scientists, veterinarians, primary breeders and others have long published and used ideal temperature curves for rearing their birds. And, until the mid-1980s when tunnel ventilated poultry houses began to become very popular in the United States, the idea of maintaining perfect target temperatures was one of the utmost guiding principles in rearing birds.  

To a lesser degree, humidity was considered an important factor, but being at the correct temperature seemed to be the first axiom of good environmental control with rearing temperature adjustments made for relative humidities that were above or below the ideal humidities of between 50 to 70%. In pre-tunnel ventilated poultry house rearing, an old rule of thumb often used was that if temperature (in degrees F) + relative humidity exceeded 160, birds were in heat stress. This old rule does not fit tunnel housing applications in use today.  

Understanding Thermal Neutrality

If one examines the methods of heat transfer to or from a bird, we know that convection, conduction, radiation and respiration are the four primary methods. In instances of good environmental control, conductive heat transfer is often negligible.  Birds must maintain thermal equilibrium if they are going to grow and gain or reproduce efficiently:

  • Convection
  • Conduction
  • Radiation
  • Respiration

Thermal equilibrium does not mean being at the correct target ambient air temperature. While ambient air temperature is a big factor, thermal equilibrium means that the amount of heat generated by the bird (primarily from the digestion of feed ) is released or dissipated in a manner to not cause the bird to experience stress or burn calories in doing so.

An ideal state of thermal equilibrium would mean that the bird’s heat generation and its dissipation were in balance, with the least amount of calories being burned for body maintenance functions. A panting bird can be dissipating the heat that is generated from within the body, but it won't be doing it efficiently and some of the ingested feed calories will be “wasted” by spending that energy on the panting process.  For cold birds to maintain equilibrium, calories are often burned to maintain warmth, thus robbing the bird from maximizing the number of calories available for growing and gaining or reproduction.  In both cases, the bird is likely to be in a stressed condition.

Example of accelerated convective heat removal

In many of our classes or lectures, we often use the example of what is a perfect temperature for a 5 lb (2.27Kg) bird. Some might say about 70F (21.1C). In still air in a humidity range of 50-70%, this bird could likely be at perfect thermal equilibrium with minimum calories utilized for body maintenance functions.

However, the same 5 lb bird at 86F (30 C) in a 400 fpm (2 m/s) breeze might also be at thermal equilibrium with very low calories for body maintenance functions, eating, growing, and gaining just the same as the 5 lb bird at 70 F in still air. Body maintenance calories are similar to the comfortable bird in still air. This is an extreme example, but this accelerated convective heat removal is the one tool that is at the bedrock of tunnel ventilation and environmental control.  It is a concept that is hard to grasp and hard to teach. 

A multitude of combinations

There are hundreds or even thousands of combinations of temperature, air velocity and relative humidity that might prove out to be very efficient for growing and gaining with minimum body maintenance, and thus minimum stress. 

Figure 1. Optimum Performance Temperature Zone

There is no exact formula, but an abundance of guidelines, and the final indicator is bird behavior through observation, and then the poultry house management to optimize this principle of optimum comfort zone, minimum body maintenance and minimum stress.  This principle of thermal neutrality can be used in brooding and in all phases of growing broiler, broiler breeder pullets and broiler breeder hens. 

Figure 1 is a graphic illustration of this concept, and is a concept that every poultry house flock manager must understand.

The environmental controller might be right on the target ambient air temperature setting put into the program, but it must be adjusted or tweaked for the highest level of growing, gaining, performance and stress minimization.  

Stress Minimization 24 Hours Per Day, Every Day

The maximum growth potential of the day-old chick is determined by the breed chosen and is part of the bird’s genetic programming. This maximum potential is etched in stone upon arrival at the farm. (Read The Importance of Day Old Chick Quality).

However, whether or how far this growth potential is actually realized depends largely on the quality of the broiler house and the quality of the broiler house environmental management. When birds are unstressed by temperature variations, poor air quality, wet bedding or disease, they are able to maximize their growth by taking in adequate feed and water.

Environmental management is the key to achieving the grower’s goal of achieving maximum flock live weight in the shortest time frame and at least cost.

Concept of Body Maintenance

Another key point to understand about the process of converting feed to broiler meat is that birds have a strict priority system dictating that feed nutrients always go first to satisfying body maintenance functions, such as maintaining internal body temperature.

The feed nutrients that can be used for growth and gaining weight are only the amounts left over after the bird’s survival needs are met. Under conditions such as severe heat or cold stress, feed/water deprivation, respiratory stress or disease, a broiler flock may divert feed entirely to maintenance and gain little or no weight during a 24-hour period.

If body maintenance functions cannot be met, the bird is open to infectious agents and sickness. So, in other words, for example, a forty-day old broiler must meet its maintenance requirements before it can become a 41-day broiler by weight. This is why we must strive to maintain an optimum stress-free environment for birds, in which they have to use the least amount of feed for maintenance, and can use the most feed nutrients for weight gain.

The poultry house design and the environmental control mechanism must be high precision tools to do this if we are going to extract the maximum genetic potential that is available. 

As mentioned above, the bird’s internal heat balance is the most critical factor in maximizing growth. When the surrounding air temperature is too cold, the bird has to use feed energy just to keep itself warm. If the air temperature is too warm and the air is still (no wind), the bird has to expend feed energy in panting or lifting its wings to shed excess internal heat and keep its own temperature from going too high.

Moving air over the bird (accelerated convective heat removal) helps carry heat away from the bird’s body. If still air is too warm for bird comfort, getting the air moving provides a wind-chill effect that creates a lower experienced or effective temperature. On the other hand, if still air is too cool for bird comfort, any wind (draft) will make the bird experience an even lower effective temperature and it will have to use more feed energy to stay comfortable. Bird growth is maximized only when the effective temperature — the temperature experienced by the bird — is within a certain optimum range, not too hot and not too cold, as shown in Figure 1.  Effective temperature cannot be measured.  

Bottom Line

Whenever two similar broiler flocks show a marked difference in overall performance, the bottom line is that the difference in performance will be the result of a difference in body maintenance requirements.

Figure 2. Feed Energy Birds Can Use for Growth vs. Body Maintenance During Growout

The specific causes might be identified as temperature extremes, drafts or chills, which drain heat away from the bird’s body, better or poorer air quality, different feeding/drinking patterns, infectious causes, etc. But always the flock with the lowest maintenance requirements will shift the most nutrients into growth, which will be reflected in better overall performance. (Figure 2).  

For more information on poultry housing and ventilation, visit www.poultryhouse.com

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Articles
news-2055 Mon, 23 Jul 2018 13:40:00 +0200 Mycotoxins Will Pose Greater Threat to Feed Safety, Hindering Industry Productivity and Sustainability http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/mycotoxins-will-pose-greater-threat-to-feed-safety-hindering-industry-productivity-and-sustainability/ 23 July 2018 – The expanding danger that secondary fungal metabolites pose to global feed safety, profitability and sustainability is becoming more apparent to the scientific community and agriculture sector. Dr Gunther Antonissen

Mycotoxins that contaminate crops and animal feed have been recognized as a risk to farm animals, and account for considerable economic costs to the feed and food industries. Their widespread occurrence and related threat has been documented consistently in the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey.

Dangers to feed safety, sustainability

“Mycotoxins are among the most important safety risks for the future livestock feed industry and security of the feed supply chain,” stated Dr Gunther Antonissen of Ghent University in Belgium.

Fungi-produced mycotoxins endanger more than feed safety and security. They also hamper productivity, adding additional cost to the feed and food industry while also affecting the environment.

Dr. Wulf-Dieter Moll

“Due to their negative effects on farm animal productivity and health, mycotoxins prevent the animal protein industry from achieving an efficient and sustainable use of natural resources,” observed Dr. Wulf-Dieter Moll of the BIOMIN Research Center.

Harmful mycotoxins do not have to contaminate feed in high concentrations to make their negative effects felt in farm animals. “At present, clinical mycotoxicosis caused by high doses is rare,” explained Dr Antonissen.

“However, also the ingestion of low to moderate levels of these toxins cause an array of metabolic, physiologic and immunologic disturbances, with the gastrointestinal tract as one of the major target organs,” he added.

Climate change accelerates mycotoxin production

Prof Naresh Magan

Higher atmospheric temperatures, elevated carbon dioxide levels and water stress associated with climate change may all contribute to higher mycotoxin contamination of crops in the future.

“Studies suggest that in staple commodities such as maize [corn], aflatoxin contamination may be stimulated, which has an impact on food/feed chains,” commented Prof Naresh Magan of Cranfield University in UK. “Other temperate cereals such as wheat, barley, and oats may also be less resilient under climate change conditions, increasing the risk of mycotoxin contamination pre- and post-harvest.”

“Climate change will increase aflatoxin contamination in staple crops and enlarge the contaminated area,” added Prof Paola Battilani of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Italy.

Prof Battilani

Historical data already provides examples in which mycotoxin occurrence patterns have shifted.

“Europe was first significantly impacted by aflatoxin in 2003, when around 40% of maize lots were highly contaminated,” noted Prof Battilani. “The same has occurred for each of the last 10 years.

Upcoming discussion

These experts will delve into further detail on the threat and future of mycotoxins at the Mycotoxin Session of the 2018 World Nutrition Forum in Cape Town, South Africa from 3 to 5 October, 2018.

Convening in Cape Town

Commonly known as the ‘Mother City’ and recognized as a top global destination, Cape Town offers a vibrant, multicultural setting and modern infrastructure well suited for meetings and conventions. Attractive sights, unmatched hospitality, an eclectic mix of cuisines and the world-class Cape Town International Convention Centre are just a few of many attributes that will make the 2018 World Nutrition Forum experience both eye-catching and eye-opening.

Visit Opens external link in new windowwww.worldnutritionforum.info or contact your local BIOMIN representative for more information.

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Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Press Releases
news-2058 Thu, 19 Jul 2018 16:26:00 +0200 WNF 2018 - S.C.O.P.E. http://www.biomin.net/videos/wnf-2018-scope/ The 2018 World Nutrition Forum held 3-5 October in Cape Town, South Africa will explore the theme of S.C.O.P.E. – Scientific Challenges and Opportunities in the Protein Economy. This video previews highlights of many key topics that will be addressed at the scientific conference, in plenary and breakout sessions for poultry, swine, ruminants and aquaculture.

What will be the next challenges and opportunities for the protein economy?

Join the discussion on social media. #WNFCapeTown

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Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Videos
news-2057 Thu, 19 Jul 2018 08:37:00 +0200 Short-term and Low Dose Deoxynivalenol Exposure Reduces Rainbow Trout Performance http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/short-term-and-low-dose-deoxynivalenol-exposure-reduces-rainbow-trout-performance/ A new scientific paper published in the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society reveals that even short or low level exposure to deoxynivalenol hinders the performance of rainbow trout.
Photo: istockphoto

Deoxynivalenol (DON), a mycotoxin produced by Fusarium fungi, exerts negative effects on an animal’s gastrointestinal tract. The replacement of expensive animal-derived proteins such as fishmeal with cheaper plant sources in aquafeeds means that the most common mycotoxin globally is now creeping into aquaculture rations.

In fact, deoxynivalenol is present in 68% of aquafeed samples analyzed worldwide according to the new study.

Effects of deoxynivalenol in trout

According to Gonçalves et al. 2018, groups of Oncorhynchus mykiss fed DON-contaminated diets showed several clinical signs, including:

  • lesions on the skin
  • protruding anal papilla
  • hemorrhages
  • necrosis
  • hemorrhages of internal organs
  • degradation of some: liver and spleen

Experimental design

Four lots of rainbow trout were observed. Each lot received an identical diet with a different level of deoxynivalenol. The control group diet did not include the addition of mycotoxins. Two groups diets received high DON levels over a short term (50 days): one diet had a DON concentration of 1166 ppb (μg/kg) and the other contained 2745 ppb of DON. The fourth diet contained a low DON level: 367 ppb over 168 days—a scenario that most closely represents real production conditions.

Level of DON contamination impacts growth

During a short-term DON exposure, rainbow trout is sensitive to DON contamination. This sensitivity increases with the level of contamination. Thus, in a highly contaminated environment (2745 ppb DON) we note a significant decrease of growth performance parameters compared to a control sample (Figure 1). Deoxynivalenol (2745 ppb DON) have an impact on the final weight, the specific growth rate and the feed intake. 

Figure 1. Growth performance parameters determined in the short-term/high deoxynivalenol dosage study
Adapted from Gonçalves et al. 2018

Figure 1: Growth performance parameters determined in the short-term/high deoxynivalenol dosage study

DON exposure time and rainbow trout

Based on the study, we can confirm that a short period of DON exposure can have negative effects on the fish growth. However, a longer exposure at low level of contamination seems to be more representative of farmed rainbow trout conditions.

While low level DON exposure did not show a serious impact on fish during the first days of the experiment, we can notice harmful effect by the end of it in terms of lower final weight, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Growth curve representing the average weight of the fish during the long-term experiment
Adapted from Gonçalves et al. 2018

Growth curve representing the average weight of the fish during the long-term experiment

Difficult to pinpoint problem

The main challenge for producers is that fish do not present reliable clinical signs of low level deoxynivalenol exposure, which makes it difficult to spot a mycotoxin contamination problem. The lower performance over the long-term means less profit from a crop, however.

Detection is crucial

The main takeaway for aquaculture producers is that regular testing of feed ingredients for mycotoxins is crucial for identifying mycotoxin contamination. (Read Why You Should Test Your Feed for Mycotoxins).

Only through regular testing can producers take the necessary steps to protect their aquatic species and profits from mycotoxins.

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Mycotoxins Aquaculture Blog Posts
news-2054 Tue, 17 Jul 2018 10:43:00 +0200 New BIOMIN website now available in Tamil http://www.biomin.net/news/new-biomin-website-now-available-in-tamil/ BIOMIN has now launched a Tamil version of the new corporate website www.biomin.net.

In an age of increased user mobility, the new BIOMIN website presents a fresh look with ease of navigation on all technology platforms—desktop and laptop computers, and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.

Strengthening visual appeal while preserving the content-rich structure that embodies the strong research and development core of BIOMIN, the revamped site comes with the following new features:

  • A new improved newsletter design that allows responsive mailings for optimized display on smartphones, particularly to meet the trend of increasing eMail use on smartphones
  • Large pictures and attractive visuals offer a modern look that combines both useability and appeal
  • A stronger species-focus to help users quickly navigate their way to the most relevant information
  • A new and improved search feature to support timely information search Major improvements in the Knowledge Center such as filters and a dedicated search allow users quick and easy access to articles, videos, magazine issues and more.

Have a look at the new website here: http://www.biomin.net/in-ta

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Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture News
news-2053 Thu, 12 Jul 2018 16:40:00 +0200 What’s Wrong With My Herd? Part 7: Mycotoxins and mastitis http://www.biomin.net/articles/whats-wrong-with-my-herd-part-7-mycotoxins-and-mastitis/ A handy diagnostic checklist of symptoms, causes and remedies.

Mastitis, a costly disease affecting the dairy industry worldwide, is a complex disease with many factors influencing its occurrence. Mycotoxins can increase the risk of mastitis and negatively impact milk production and milk quality.

Mastitis is an inflammation of the mammary gland, typically caused by an intramammary infection. Bacteria are the most common cause of mastitis in dairy cows, but other microorganisms have been isolated from the milk of quarters with mastitis including yeast, fungi, mycoplasmas, algae, and viruses. Physical trauma or chemical irritation can also cause mastitis.
There are multiple ways to classify cases of mastitis. The first major classification is the source of the pathogen (Table 1). Major contagious pathogens include Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus agalactiae, and Mycoplasma spp. Common environmental pathogens include Escherichia coli and Klebsiella spp. as well as environmental Streptococci including S. uberis and S. dysgalactiae. A third group exists, ‘skin flora opportunists’, which consists of the coagulase negative Staphylococci (CNS) species that colonize healthy teat skin.
The second classification of clinical vs. subclinical mastitis deals with the presentation of the disease. Clinical cases result in visible abnormalities of the milk and/or quarter, and range from mild to severe. Subclinical infections do not cause overt changes in the milk or quarter. Both mastitis types cause increases in somatic cell count (SCC). An elevated SCC often signals subclinical mastitis.
A third classification is acute vs. chronic mastitis. This has to do with the timing and duration of the disease. Acute cases are characterized by their sudden onset, but are often quickly resolved. Chronic cases continue over a longer period of time.

Table 1. Contagious and environmental mastitis

Contagious mastitisEnvironmental mastitis
ReservoirInfected mammary glandsThe cow’s environment including bedding/stalls/soil, manure, water and feedstuffs
ExposureSpread from cow-tocow via milking equipment, milkers’ hands or towels, flies and other vectorsConstant exposure exacerbated by heat and humidity


Costs

Economic losses stem from reduced milk production and decreased milk quality. Farmers must discard milk from cows with clinical cases of mastitis and from cows undergoing antibiotic treatment (according to withdrawal periods). Treatment and veterinary costs rise, as do labor costs.

Mycotoxins

Some of the main consequences of mycotoxin contamination in dairy cows in relation to udder health and milk production are: 

  • Reduced milk yield and quality
  • Toxic contaminants in milk, especially Aflatoxin M1
  • Increased risk of intramammary infections and mastitis
  • Altered milk composition

Reduced milk yield results from several factors, including a decrease in feed intake or feed refusal associated with certain mycotoxin contamination of the feed. Additionally, mycotoxins can alter rumen function, reducing nutrient absorption and impairing metabolism, which ultimately leads to reduced availability of the precursors needed for milk synthesis.

Addressing predisposing factors

Proper milking parlour management and milking routines are essential to limiting the risk of mastitis in a herd. The milking system must be well maintained, ensuring that properly functioning, clean equipment is used to harvest milk.
Good hygiene is critical. Clean sand is considered the gold standard bedding material, as inorganic materials do not support the growth of pathogens. The environment also influences mammary health as increased temperature and humidity better support pathogen growth in the cow’s surroundings. Additionally, heat stress reduces the cow’s resistance to infection.
Cows in negative energy balance, especially transition cows, are more susceptible to infection. Diets must meet vitamin and mineral requirements to support proper immune function. Coordinating the delivery of fresh feed while cows are in the parlour will entice cows to eat once they return to the pen after milking. This provides time for the teat ends to close while the cows remain standing at the feed bunk and limits exposure to pathogens following milking. Finally, feed should be monitored for the presence of mycotoxins and an effective mycotoxincounteracting product should be incorporated into the feed.
Many factors influence the development of mastitis, making mastitis control and prevention a constant challenge for dairy producers striving to produce high quality milk for consumers.

download checklist

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Mycotoxins Feed Preservation Ruminants Articles
news-2052 Thu, 12 Jul 2018 16:04:00 +0200 Get More Out of Your Corn Silage with BioStabil® Mays http://www.biomin.net/articles/get-more-out-of-your-corn-silage-with-biostabilr-mays/ Corn silage is successfully grown around the world in most climates, but timely harvesting and correct ensiling procedures are required to ensure the highest quality is achieved. Adding BioStabil® Mays to harvested material will ensure protection against a wide range of pathogens, maintaining forage quality and delivering animal performance.
istockphoto/jess311

On most dairy and beef farms today, we see corn silage in the ration. Why is corn silage so popular in milk and meat production?

In many different geographical regions around the world, corn silage is the main ingredient of cattle diets. It provides an excellent source of energy along with fiber to stimulate chewing activity. It has a high value not only from the animal’s perspective in terms of a high nutrient content to support production, but also from the profitability and economic point of view of the farmer, as it is able to improve feed efficiency and achieve high levels of animal performance. The maize plant, although originally from Central Mexico, has adapted and grows well in a wide range of climates and on many different types of soil. Even in regions with unpredictable rainfall, corn for ensiling grows and remains a more reliable source of nutrients than other forages. However, in order to become a valuable and palatable diet ingredient, it must be harvested in a timely manner and preserved appropriately. If the ensiling process of a very good corn crop is poorly executed, problems will arise for the farm manager and the animals at feed-out.

What could farmers do better when managing corn plants for silage?

The best methods for growing corn and preserving silage come from the very good farms. However, in practice, crop management looks very different from farm to farm. Some farms manage silage perfectly well and others not so well. It often happens that a good crop brought in from the field dramatically loses its nutritional value during storage in pits and silo bunkers, and during feeding out. Heating of the silage in storage and on the feeding table is very common. Small changes due to improper management of the fermentation stage happen very often, leading to complaints about reduced feed intakes.

Why is harvest time so important in silage production?

In practice, the maize harvest for silage takes place in one of two ways. It either falls in the very busy time of late summer, when there is increased workload and a shortage of time, machinery and people due to all the other necessary work that must be carried out, resulting in the maize harvest being delayed. Alternatively, harvest falls in early autumn as one of the last fieldwork tasks of the year, in the period of lower temperatures, shortening days and frequent rainfall, which hinder or prevent the entry of machines into fields. Neither of these situations is ideal. If late summer harvesting happens in southern countries, the undesired drying of leaves, stems and kernels promotes the development of fungi and other harmful microorganisms. These are then transported with the plants and stored in the silo. Over time, starch in the kernels changes into a less available form. The dried leaves and stalks become less digestible for the animals and more difficult to cut down into short pieces for proper compaction. There is likely to be a high level of mycotoxin contamination, causing further problems when the contaminated silage is fed. With early autumn harvesting more popular in cooler regions located further north, maize has a very slow start after planting due to the reduced soil temperature. In many cases, the corn must be harvested before the grain is fully matured, due to the high risk of early frost. In those regions with prolonged periods of coolness accompanied by abundant, long-lasting rains, the harvest of immature plants is further hindered by poor field conditions, preventing the use of harvesting machines. Both scenarios cause further problems with ensiling and feeding out.

What kind of problems can we expect with delayed harvest or harvest of immature plants?

Any delay to the silage harvest will increase the risk of contamination with fungi, molds and yeast. This causes both aerobic and anaerobic instability of the ensiled material, leading to a significant reduction of nutrients. Dried plants are more difficult to cut and many leaves are left uncut, having slipped through the knives of the harvester, making them resistant to compaction. Proper compaction of such a material is almost impossible; a lot of oxygen will remain hidden in the stems, which will cause further problems with yeast activity and a general instability of the ensiled material due to heating. Plants harvested with a relatively low dry matter content in rainy, wet conditions are exposed to significant soil pollution with high risk of Clostridia, Listeria and Enterobacteriaceae contamination.
All pathogens that are present on plants will also be present in the storage silo, competing for nutrients including carbohydrates and proteins. During their growth, microorganisms will also carry out their own fermentation. For example, the presence of Clostridia leads to higher levels of butyric acid, and alcohol is a result of yeast fermentation in the silage. The result is not only a significant reduction in the nutrient content of the stored material but also poor palatability. Listeria is responsible for abortion and mastitis problems on farms. Enterobacteriaceae, which is very common in wet silage, converts plant sugars into acetic acid, ethanol and CO2 with high nutrient loses, a bad smell and compromised palatability.

Is there a method to prevent these undesirable microorganisms from getting into the ensiled material or to kill them before storage?

Unfortunately, there is no such method. We cannot shake or wash them out of the plants prior to ensiling. Nor can we use a chemical treatment as the forage needs to be safe and palatable for the high-producing animals it is being fed to. The only way to reduce the microorganism content is by creating conditions in the ensiled material that will quickly stop or at least limit their growth. Unfortunately, this is not an easy task. When the growth of Clostridia and Enterobacteriaceae limit the rapid reduction in pH, yeast and Listeria can still cope with only slightly acidic conditions. Compaction and elimination of oxygen will also not always work as yeast and Clostridia are not affected by oxygen reduction. Yeast can survive under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions and Clostridia needs anaerobic conditions for growth and reproduction. Table 1 shows some methods of controlling microorganisms.

Table 1. Control of harmful microorganisms present in silages

Table 1. Control of harmful microorganisms present in silages

Is there a method that will limit the growth of harmful microorganisms in such a complicated situation?

BioStabil® Mays from BIOMIN is a new solution for ensiling corn with such a wide range of pathogens. BioStabil® Mays is an inoculant with a broad spectrum of protection covering a wide range of harvested corn dry matter contents. BioStabil® Mays contains a unique combination of the strains that effectively fight the pathogens during the ensiling process of maize plants (Table 1).

This unique combination of strains includes:

  • L. kefiri, a novel hetero-fermentative bacterial strain that works very efficiently against aerobic yeast, causing secondary fermentation in high dry matter silages.
  • L. brevis, also a hetero-fermentative strain that works very effectively in low dry matter silages, with strong pH reduction and high efficiency in reducing Clostridia and Listeria in ensiled materials.
  • L. plantarum, a strong homo-fermentative strain leading the fermentation process, limiting Enterobacteriaceae and other coliforms.

Does using BioStabil® Mays on silage guarantee the best quality corn silage for efficient milk and meat production?

In the past, different methods have been tried with varying results. The search for even better results is still ongoing but today, BioStabil® Mays offers the best solution for silage production.
Forage is the main component of the ration. In order to reduce costs on farm, forage quality needs to be high. With high-quality, well-preserved forage, we can expect high dry matter intakes and better digestibility of nutrients, followed by enhanced feed conversion, and ultimately higher farm profitability.

Proper silage management consists of

  1. Proper harvest and timely storage of the harvested material
  2. Adequate cutting length of the material with crushing of the kernels
  3. Uniform application of BioStabil® Mays on harvested material
  4. Compaction, compaction, compaction
  5. Timely covering of the compacted material
  6. Ongoing silage face management 
In Brief:
  • Corn silage is used in ruminant diets globally as an excellent source of energy and fiber.
  • While corn is able to grow in many climates, the quality of corn silage is greatly affected by time of harvest and the ensiling procedures used.
  • The silage harvest typically occurs when either plant condition or harvesting conditions are compromised, increasing the likelihood of the silage being contaminated with pathogens.
  • Adding BioStabil® Mays to harvested material will protect against pathogens before ensiling, ensuring that silage quality and subsequent animal performance are as high as possible.
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Feed Preservation Specialized Solutions Ruminants Articles
news-2051 Thu, 12 Jul 2018 15:16:00 +0200 Should We Trust Our Feed To Deliver Dairy Cow Performance? http://www.biomin.net/articles/should-we-trust-our-feed-to-deliver-dairy-cow-performance/ Rising demand for milk and milk products is putting increasing pressure on each individual animal in the dairy herd. Technological and genetic advances have raised potential milk yields, but does our feed help or hinder performance? Feed Preservation Specialized Solutions Ruminants Articles news-2050 Thu, 12 Jul 2018 14:50:00 +0200 Science & Solutions No. 57 - Ruminants http://www.biomin.net/magazines/science-solutions-no-57-ruminants/ In this issue: Should we trust our feed to deliver dairy cow performance?; Get more out of your corn silage with BioStabil® Mays; What is wrong with my herd? Part 7 Are you ready to switch to summer management?

For the majority of people, summer means going on holiday, resting from work and spending time with family and friends.

For dairy farmers, summer is a challenging time with intensification of fieldwork and helping animals overcome the problems associated with heat stress. All farm staff –including the nutritionist, veterinarian and agronomist– are on high alert to manage potential problems. In summer, high performing animals require more attention.
Over the past two decades, intensive genetic selection to enhance efficiency and milk production has resulted in high-performing dairy cows that require a lot of attention. This is even more necessary with increasing environmental temperatures, often coupled with higher humidity levels. It is important to avoid mistakes like animal sorting, improper feeding or lack of ventilation. We know that mistakes made in the summer have long-lasting, costly consequences on the health status and performance of animals. The first article in this issue of Science & Solutions offers suggestions on how to support your high-performing herd using proper nutrition.
As summer is also a very intensive time for agronomists, this issue will review a number of challenges faced when growing corn for silage in different geographical regions together with some success factors.
You will also learn why it is so important to properly preserve harvested forage material with the use of the unique bacteria strain L. kefiri in Biostabil® Mays from BIOMIN.
Finally, Paige Gott gives a short overview of the factors influencing mastitis, which are often related to an increase in environmental temperatures. She offers some practical advice on how to prevent this costly disease.

All of the topics were prepared especially for you so please enjoy reading this issue of Science & Solutions, keeping you naturally informed.

IN THIS ISSUE:

Science &amp; Solutions No. 57 - RuminantsShould We Trust Our Feed To Deliver Dairy Cow Performance?
Rising demand for milk and milk products is putting increasing pressure on each individual animal in the dairy herd. Technological and genetic advances have raised potential milk yields, but does our feed help or hinder performance?

Get More Out of Your Corn Silage with BioStabil® Mays
Corn silage is successfully grown around the world in most climates, but timely harvesting and correct ensiling procedures are required to ensure the highest quality is achieved. Adding BioStabil® Mays to harvested material will ensure protection against a wide range of pathogens, maintaining forage quality and delivering animal performance.

What Is Wrong With My Herd? Part 7 – Mycotoxins and Mastitis
Mastitis, a costly disease affecting the dairy industry worldwide, is a complex disease with many factors influencing its occurrence. Mycotoxins can increase the risk of mastitis and negatively impact milk production and milk quality.

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Feed Preservation Specialized Solutions Ruminants Magazines
news-2048 Wed, 11 Jul 2018 09:46:00 +0200 Phytogenics: A Tool to Reduce the Impact of Beak Trimming on Pullet Performance http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/phytogenics-a-tool-to-reduce-the-impact-of-beak-trimming-on-pullet-performance/ Management practices such as beak trimming may affect bird performance in the field. Scientific developments have given rise to important tools such as phytogenics that modulate the impact of stress caused by these management procedures, minimizing their negative effects on performance.
Photo: istockphoto/mschowe

Certain poultry field activities can trigger physiological processes leading to loss in performance parameters.

Where allowed and done correctly, beak trimming is a tool for:

  • Preventing birds from causing harm to each other
  • Stopping cannibalism
  • Removing abnormalities that may lead to social stress and an increase in mortality. 

Scientific developments have resulted in the addition of phytogenic products to poultry diets to alleviate the impact beak trimming has on performance.

Background

Beak trimming is used to eliminate feather peaking and cannibalism in the poultry industry (Cloutier et al., 2000), even though it causes feed intake depression and losses in body weight gain and uniformity. Body weights may be 2 or 3% lower in beak-trimmed birds compared to their body weight prior to beak trimming.

This body weight loss may increase depending on the age of the bird, the extent of trimming, and other environmental conditions such as heat stress, high humidity, or housing density. A number of countries have begun to limit or phase out beak trimming (BHWT, 2018). Additionally, activists consider beak trimming a mutilation given that this practice touches on animal welfare—a topic gaining importance among consumers nowadays.

Phytogenic feed additives

Phytogenics are plant extracts with biological activity. Science Scientific research has demonstrated biological activity of plants and plants extracts to produce positive consequences including anti-inflammatory, digestibility enhancing, antioxidant, and antimicrobial effects. The main objective of the science in developing products with these substances is to support gut performance and subsequently the response of the immune system against frequent challenges faced by birds in the field.

Phytogenics as a complementary strategy to diminish beak-trimming effects on performance

Beak trimming leads to an inflammatory process. The cardinal signs of all inflammatory processes are discomfort, increased temperature, redness, and poor function of the organs involved which triggers the inflammatory processes. As a consequence of these effects, birds may reduce their feed intake, negatively affecting growth and live weight gain.

Phytogenics are able to diminish the impact of this management practice through their anti-inflammatory and gut protective effects and ability to enhance feed digestibility. The anti-inflammatory effect is due to an influence on the regulation of chemokines secretion leading to modulation of the immune response in the bird. It has been broadly demonstrated that essential oils can positively influence the digestibility of feed ingredients and nutrient extraction through enhancing digestive enzyme activity (Lee et al., 2003; Jang et al., 2007), improving liver function and fat digestibility (Lee et al., 2004a,b), and increasing the concentration of digestive enzymes coming from pancreas (Al-Kassie, 2009).

Case study results

One commercial study was carried out in Colombia with female Lohmann Brown birds from one day old day to 17 weeks of age were split into two groups. Average temperatures throughout the trial were 24oC. There were two groups, control group (65000 birds) and the Digestarom® group (72000 birds).

The birds in both groups had their beaks trimmed but only those in the Digestarom® group received Digestarom® Poultry additive at a dose of 150g/ton of feed. Body weight (Figure 1) and mortality (Fig 2) were measured at 17 weeks of age.

The average body weight of the birds in the Digestarom® treatment group was 73 g heavier at 17 weeks of age compared to those in the control group. In addition, mortality was nearly one percentage point lower in the Digestarom® treatment group.

Figure 1. Body weight at 17 weeks of age

Figure 1. Body weight at 17 weeks of age

Figure 2. Total mortality at 17 weeks of age

Figure 2. Total mortality at 17 weeks of age

Figures 3 and 4 illustrate the average body weight and feed intake of the two groups over the duration of the trial respectively. Both graphs show that the Digestarom® treatment group had higher average body weights, and higher feed intake levels for the majority of the trial.

Figure 3. Body weight over time

Figure 3. Body weight over time

Figure 4. Feed intake over time

Figure 4. Feed intake over time

Summary

Management practices such as beak trimming may cause feed intake depression and a reduction in body weight and body weight uniformity. Science has discovered plant extracts with biological compounds, called phytogenics, which may help to reduce the negative impact of these management practices on the performance of pullets. Using these scientific developments, it is possible to modulate the inflammatory response, to enhance gut integrity, and to reduce poor feed intake after beak trimming. These effects result in higher absorptive surface (due to less damage and cell turnover) leading to feed efficiency increased and a general better performance compared to untreated flocks.

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Phytogenics Poultry Blog Posts
news-2035 Fri, 06 Jul 2018 09:37:00 +0200 BIOMIN at International Pig Veterinary Congress 2018 http://www.biomin.net/news/biomin-at-international-pig-veterinary-congress-2018/ BIOMIN displays expertise in mycotoxin risk management and gut performance management at International Pig Veterinary Congress 2018 BIOMIN recently participated in the four-day International Pig Veterinary Congress 2018 (IPVS) in Chongqing, China, which ran from 11-14 June 2018. To showcase its commitment to the swine industry, BIOMIN participated with a gold sponsorship at this event, allowing the company to also exhibit its products and services at a 36sqm booth space.

Siyeong Choi, Regional Technical Sales Manager – Swine

The 25th edition of IPVS was organized by the International Pig Veterinary Society, in collaboration with the Chinese Association of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University and Beijing Boyar Communications. This event also marks the Congress’ debut show in China after 50 years of history.

Through active participation in the International Pig Veterinary Congress (IPVS), BIOMIN demonstrated its capabilities in scientific research and development. In the 2017 BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey, 71% of total collected samples were tested and found to have more than one mycotoxin present, further confirming the message on the high prevalence of mycotoxins worldwide, and especially so in Asia. The BIOMIN team was on site to explain to visitors about the importance of the Mycofix® product line in decreasing the risk of mycotoxins.

Alexandro Marchioro, Regional Product Manager – Mycotoxin Risk Management

Siyeong Choi, Regional Technical Sales Manager – Swine, represented BIOMIN in her presentation of “Compounds of organic acids, cinnamaldehyde and Permeabilizing Complex™ (PC) impact on growth performance and modulation of gut microbiome in weaning piglets”, showcasing the BIOMIN expertise in the enhanced acidifier product range Biotronic®.

Alexandro Marchioro, Regional Product Manager – Mycotoxin Risk Management, and Elisabeth Mayer, Research Team Leader, also displayed their technical expertise in their poster presentations on “Biotransformation of Deoxynivalenol by enzymes produced by bacteria of the Coriobacteriaceae family in pigs" and “In the presence of deoxynivalenol (DON), CD4+ T cells with a pro-inflammatory cytokine profile are enriched in the porcine liver” respectively.

The sales team from China and other parts of Asia also used this opportunity to touch base with visitors, to demonstrate how the Biomin® Solutions will allow sustainable growth in the swine industry.

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Mycotoxins Probiotics Acidifiers Pigs News
news-2034 Thu, 05 Jul 2018 15:18:00 +0200 Managing endotoxin risks in pigs http://www.biomin.net/articles/managing-endotoxin-risks-in-pigs/ Endotoxins, which are structural components of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria, are invisible, odourless and cannot be detected by smell or taste, but can significantly reduce immune status and pig’s performance. Dr SIYEONG CHOI and MICHELE MUCCIO* discuss how to bind these endotoxins in the gut and therefore reduce the negative effects on pigs.

Endotoxins and their negative effects in animals

Lipopolysaccharides, also commonly known as endotoxins, are cell wall components of Gram-negative bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella, which are released upon bacterial replication or death (lysis).  Lipopolysaccharides vary according to originating bacteria, being more or less harmful or toxic, according to variability happening in the O-specific polysaccharide chain. They also serve as a potential barrier to antimicrobials from entering the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria. Pigs are continuously exposed to lipopolysaccharides throughout their lives. While the main route for lipopolysaccharide exposure in pigs is the gastrointestinal tract, the concentration of endotoxins in the air and dust should not be overlooked: endotoxins are a major component of biological dust.

  In healthy animals, the intestinal epithelium and other epithelia such as that found on the skin or lungs, represent an effective barrier that prevents the passage of lipopolysaccharides into the bloodstream. Endotoxins can elicit strong immune responses, weakening immune systems and impairing performance. In the body of the animal, endotoxins cause an inflammatory cascade that increases a pig’s maintenance requirements (due to fever) that, coupled with anorexia, means less energy available for growth. Moreover, a severely pronounced immune response can lead to septic shock. Endotoxins also impair feed efficiency. A recent study of common challenges in pig farms reported a reduction in feed intake of 3% due to parasitic infections, 4.1% due to poor housing conditions, 10.2% due to digestive bacterial infections, 17.3% caused by respiratory diseases, 25.2% due to mycotoxicosis (mycotoxin-induced diseases) and 26.8% due to lipopolysaccharides (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Metabolic consequences of an activated immune system due to different challenges.

Prevention and management of endotoxin risks

In recent years, new concerns have emerged on nutritional, environmental and social factors that may disrupt the barrier function and/or increase exposure to lipopolysaccharides. The gut is the first line of defense against endotoxins and, if compromised due to nutrition, stress or metabolic state, endotoxin transport can increase, for example, heat stress, mycotoxins, inflammation, etc. In several livestock species, it is well established that a 1 to 2°C increase in body temperature causes the intestinal tight junction proteins to be affected, increasing intestinal permeability and allowing more lipopolysaccharides to enter the blood stream. High caloric and high fat diets increase serum endotoxin concentrations and induce acute low grade inflammation. Starvation depresses the expression and function of intestinal alkaline phosphatase (IAP), a brush–border enzyme that detoxifies lipopolysaccharides.

The Biomin solution for managing endotoxins

Mycofix is a state of the art, market leader product for the deactivation of mycotoxins, that utilises three strategies to provide a 360° counteraction:

  • adsorption
  • biotransformation
  • bioprotection

The product demonstrated efficacy against endotoxins as well, combining the strength of the only EU registered adsorbent existing on the market, with Biomin bioprotection mix: a combination of carefully selected plant and algae extracts that support the gastrointestinal tract, immune system and the liver. The performance of Mycofix on endotoxins was recently evaluated in two trials conducted at Iowa State University (USA) and at the Centre for Applied Animal Nutrition (CAN) in Austria. The aim of the trials was to evaluate the effects of Mycofix on endotoxin permeability and inflammation response in piglets under heat stress conditions. In the Iowa State University trial, 32 one-week post weaning gilts were assigned to two treatments: a control feed with no additive and a group where 2.5 kg of Mycofix per tonne of feed was included. The duration of the trial was 28 days. Several parameters were evaluated, including average daily weight gain and ileal endotoxin permeability (Figures 2 and 3).

In the second trial conducted at CAN, 36 piglets (21 days-old) were assigned to two treatments: a control diet with no additive; and a diet containing 2.5 kg of Mycofix per tonne of feed for 56 days. Several parameters were evaluated including performance (average daily weight gain in kg/d) over the whole feeding period, gut permeability during heat stress, measured via the sugar permeability assay (lactulose/rhamnose or L:R ratio), and endotoxin concentration (Units/mL) in the blood during heat stress (Figures 4, 5 and 6).

Figure 6. Endotoxin concentration in serum of pigs receiving either control feed or Mycofix on the first day of the heat stress.

Conclusion

Results of both trials demonstrate that Mycofix at a concentration of 2.5 kg per tonne of finished feed was able to counteract the negative effects of increased intestinal permeability induced by heat stress in weaning pigs; and to decrease endotoxin concentration in the blood. All results suggest a counteraction of the triggering effects by endotoxins, which lead to an increased performance during heat stress when Mycofix is used.

This article originally appeared in Asian Pork.

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Mycotoxins Pigs Articles
news-2032 Wed, 04 Jul 2018 13:52:00 +0200 An Alternative Way to Boost Egg Production in Layers http://www.biomin.net/articles/an-alternative-way-to-boost-egg-production-in-layers/ The top three issues in the layer industry are disease, suboptimal management practices and decreased egg production, all of which can result in lower profits for producers. Preventing these factors will improve egg production and profitability in layer units.
Photo: iStockphoto_Monticelllo

When chickens are not well fed, egg production will decrease. This is mostly caused by a lack of drinking water and low feed intake levels. Chickens tend to eat less when the feed is not tasty or when they are stressed due to environmental factors, especially when it gets too hot. Therefore, clean drinking water and high quality feed should be available at all times.

Management and lighting

On the management side, as an example, good biosecurity practices and lighting management are important for in-housed chickens. When the lights are off, chickens do not eat and this results in low egg production. Lights should be checked regularly so that they do not get dimmer. Exposure to light for less than the minimum time required results in a drop in egg production. On the other hand, when chickens are exposed to too much light, they reach sexual maturity at an early stage and they lay very small eggs.

Need for efficiency

Predictions suggest that in 2050, 9 billion people will need to be fed worldwide. Planet Earth is a limited system in terms of natural resources e.g. arable land. So, the challenge is to get more food from the same limited system. The answer is greater efficiency. Efficiency must consider all the stages in the food production chain. Genetic companies are focused on continuously improving laying efficiency. In 1998, a layer was able to lay 310 eggs in 72 weeks. Today, twenty years later, it is 320 eggs in the same period.

Feed is another key factor for layers’ efficiency. Since feed represents between 60% and 70% of the total cost of egg production, a lot of attention is paid to improving feed efficiency. Selected phytogenic feed additives (PFAs) are capable of supporting layer performance in these ways.

The power of phytogenics

Phytogenics have traditionally been used as flavors and spices in human nutrition and medicine or even for food preservation. The incredible biodiversity of the plant kingdom provides a large variety of different herbs and spices with an enormous number of active substances exerting different effects in the organism. These effects range from stimulating endogenous enzyme secretion, influencing gut microbiota and enhancing gut protection.

Their mechanism of action depends on the chemical structure of the active substances or constituents. Spices, herbs, essential oils or extracts exert different effects. For example, phenols such as thymol, carvacrol and eugenol (often derived from thyme, oregano and clove) and their methyl ethers have a very strong antiseptic effect. Species of the families of Apiaceae such as caraway and fennel and Lamiaceae (e.g. rosemary and peppermint) have strong antioxidative properties. Other plant compounds support better digestibility by boosting digestive secretions such as bile, mucus and saliva, as well as enhancing enzyme activity. Constant and reliable results in animals, however, can only be achieved with a well-defined formulation of a phytogenic blend, including standardized raw material with continuous quality control. 

Digestarom® for better efficiency and egg production

A study conducted at a research facility in Thailand confirmed the positive effects of a precisely formulated phytogenic feed additive (Digestarom®, BIOMIN Holding GmbH, Austria) on egg production, feed intake, egg weight, egg mass and feed conversion ratio (FCR). The study showed increased egg production (+2.12%), feed intake (+6.33 g/day), egg weight (+0.42 g) and egg mass (+1.68 kg). FCR was -0.07 lower in the treatment group compared to the control group (Table 1).

Table 1. Effect of Digestarom® on performance parameters

Conclusion

Future population growth and limited resources will be key drivers for looking at solutions to improve efficiency in animal production. In the animal, impaired feed conversion results in decreased performance. The significant influence of precisely formulated phytogenic feed additives improved feed efficiency and egg performance.

This article originally appeared in Livestock and Feed Business.

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Phytogenics Poultry Articles
news-2013 Mon, 02 Jul 2018 14:48:00 +0200 Can Poultry Probiotics Withstand Heat Treatment? Pelleting? Extrusion? http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/can-poultry-probiotics-withstand-heat-treatment-pelleting-extrusion/ A frequent customer question reveals several options for overcoming the thermostability challenge.
Photo: istockphoto_springtime78

One question that we often receive from customers is whether probiotics can withstand the heat treatments being used in normal feed production practices.

Some probiotic companies claim that sporulated bacteria such as Bacillus spp. and Clostridium spp. are less heat sensitive than non-sporulated bacteria such as lactic acid producing bacteria and Bifidiobacterium spp. This in itself is true, but it is not a complete answer.

Protection from oxygen sometimes required

Bifidiobacterium spp. are obligate anaerobes, meaning they cannot grow in the presence of oxygen, and therefore need to be protected from air in order for them to survive. Certain coating technologies offer protection against the normal heat and steam treatments currently used in feed manufacture, which can have additional stabilizing effects for survivability of obligate anaerobic bacteria. However, these protective coatings need to be adapted to the species, and even the specific strain’s needs, in order to warrant proper protection during the pelleting process.

Extreme processing and application options

Some feed mills and farmers use exceptional heat treatments such as high temperatures and time conditioning, expansion and even extrusion. Extrusion is being utilized more and more due to increasing awareness and requirements in food safety. Under these circumstances, the viability of any probiotic, sporulated, encapsulated or not protected, is severely challenged, but the microorganism is usually not completely destroyed.

In this case, the use of water-soluble probiotics in the hatchery or on arrival at the rearing farm, can be an effective way to deliver beneficial bacteria to birds’ gastrointestinal tracts. An alternative for the future is the development of post-pellet probiotic application, similar to technology already being used for enzyme coatings at feed mills. These represent the most sophisticated methods for delivering live probiotic microorganisms in modern poultry production systems; further investigation and development in these methods is likely to continue to ensure the benefits of probiotics are reaching the birds.

The easier-yet-less-advanced direction is to move to non-viable probiotic microbe containing additive products. Here, pelleting stability is the big advantage. However, not all beneficial characteristics of the live probiotic, for example competitive exclusion through colonization, can be achieved with a non-viable probiotic organism in poultry feed.

Looking for a heat stable in feed or water application poultry probiotic?

PoultryStar® is a well-defined, poultry-specific, multi-species synbiotic product with EU authorization that promotes a beneficial gut microflora, and is available in both water application and a microencapsulated form for feed application which allows the product to withstand high temperatures used in pelleted feed.

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Probiotics Poultry Blog Posts
news-2020 Wed, 27 Jun 2018 15:35:00 +0200 Impact of Mycotoxins on Poultry Gut http://www.biomin.net/articles/impact-of-mycotoxins-on-poultry-gut/ Mycotoxins, Silent killers

Mycotoxins, secondary toxic metabolites produced from fungi, are present in poultry feed all the time. Even when analysis results show that mycotoxin contamination is below guideline levels suggested by major agriculture countries, there can still be cause for concern. So what does it mean if mycotoxins are present in feed at low levels? Any mycotoxins present in feed are delivered straight to the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of the birds, the organ most affected by mycotoxins. The GIT is the most important organ for converting feed into energy, and its ability to function properly is directly linked to poultry productivity. The GIT is the biggest immune organ in the body system. Among the major mycotoxins, DON (deoxynivalenol), ZEN (zearalenone) and FUM (fumonisins) are often overlooked when considering their impact on poultry health and productivity since their clinical symptoms are not usually obvious or visible. However, there have been a number of scientific and commercial trials that prove these Fusarium mycotoxins are closely related to some important poultry diseases.

Figure 1. Mycotoxin contamination throughout Asia

Figure 1. Mycotoxin contamination throughout Asia

Mycotoxin Contamination Situation in South Asia

BIOMIN has conducted the Mycotoxin Survey Program annually since 2004. The accumulated number of samples is already over 75,000, which makes the program the largest worldwide data pool for mycotoxin analyses. In 2017, the analysed number of samples hit a record high. Overall, 2017 was another high-risk year for mycotoxins in Asia, similar to 2016. The infographic (Figure 1) shows where the major mycotoxins were found throughout Asia in 2017. Taking a closer look at the results from South Asia or India, Aflatoxin (Afla) is still the biggest threat if we also consider the percentage contamination above the risk threshold. The prevalence of FUM and Ochratoxin A (OTA) in South Asia was the highest of all the Asian sub regions (Figure 2). However, Afla has been always the centre of attention that it is relatively well counteracted.

Figure 2. Mycotoxin Occurrence in India in 2017

Figure 2. Mycotoxin Occurrence in India in 2017

Figure 2. Mycotoxin Occurrence in India in 2017

Impact of DON and FUM on the poultry gut

More problematic mycotoxins are rather FUM and DON. Unfortunately, in India the awareness of these Fusarium mycotoxins is low. DON is a known protein synthesis inhibitor and can interfere with the metabolism of high turn-over cells such as skin cells (epithelial cells), hepatic cells, immune cells and intestinal epithelial cells. Some of the most frequent sub-clinical symptoms of DON contamination in feed are the reduction in feed intake, wet-droppings and a reduction in vaccine efficacy. On the other hand, FUM blocks the synthesis of complex sphingolipids that play a pivotal role in protecting nerves, muscles and membranes.

Figure 3. Effects of mycotoxins in poultry

Figure 3. Effects of mycotoxins in poultry

Several poultry feeding trials clearly show that Fusarium mycotoxins such as DON and FUM lead to an up-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the gut. Seventy percent of immune system is located in the gut, promoting a rapid mucosal inflammatory response, even when mycotoxins are present at low concentrations in feed. Tight junction proteins in the intestinal epithelium are also regulated by such cytokines. Loosened tight junctions can cause “leaky gut syndrome” resulting in pathogens and toxins entering the blood stream and moving to target organs. As a result, the permeability of intestine is increased and the frequency of intestinal disorders and disease outbreaks can consequently increase as well (Figure 4).

Impaired immunity at low mycotoxin contamination levels

DON and its co-occurrence with FUM are known to modulate the immune function. One good example is the reduction in the number of antibody titres against vaccine programs in poultry. Several research results have shown that DON and FUM reduce antibody response to Newcastle Disease (ND) and Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV). In one experiment conducted in Austria, the feeding of a DON-contaminated diet decreased serum antibody titres against the IBV vaccine (Figure 4) compared to the control diet.

Figure 4. Consequences of mycotoxin contamination on gut condition

Figure 4. Consequences of mycotoxin contamination on gut condition

However, the antibody titres for IBV improved when the DON-contaminated diet group was fed with Mycofix® Select (MSE), a mycotoxin deactivator that includes the DON-biodegrading bacteria, BBSH 797.

Mycotoxin risk management in poultry

When it comes to counteracting mycotoxins, the poultry industry tends to think of “toxin-binders” first. However, clay mineral binders are not an effective answer to all major mycotoxins. Especially not against Fusarium mycotoxins since their structures are not suitable for adsorbing by binders. Biotransformation using microbes and enzymes is the most effective strategy. It provides reliable protection for birds against Fusarium mycotoxins by biodegrading mycotoxins into non-toxic metabolites. The transformation is fast, specific and irreversible.
In addition to biotransformation, a bioprotection strategy is also important. Variety of feed additives is available that contains plant and algae extracts to provide a hepato-protective effect and to overcome the immune suppression caused by mycotoxins. A combination of different strategies can counteract the negative effects of mycotoxins in poultry more completely, especially in cases of multi-mycotoxin contamination with the poorly absorbed Fusarium mycotoxins in poultry feed.

Figure 5. Effect of DON and Mycofix® Select on IBV antibody titres in broiler chickens

Figure 5. Effect of DON and Mycofix® Select on IBV antibody titres in broiler chickens

This article originally appeared in Benison Media.

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Mycotoxins Poultry Articles
news-2017 Wed, 27 Jun 2018 13:11:00 +0200 BIOMIN Releases 2018 Phytogenic Feed Additives Survey Results http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/biomin-releases-2018-phytogenic-feed-additives-survey-results/ 27 June 2018 – BIOMIN announces the publication of new survey results on the use of phytogenic feed additives (PFAs, or botanicals) in farm animal diets worldwide. Michael Noonan, Global Product Line Manager Phytogenics at BIOMINThe recently published 2018 BIOMIN Phytogenic Feed Additives Survey report, available on www.biomin.net, reveals insights on the views of more than 700 nutritionists, business owners, veterinarians and consultants located in over 80 countries who are involved in the animal protein industry.

Key findings

  • 51% of respondents use phytogenic feed additives.
  • 60% of respondents report that their PFA use will increase over the next 12 months.
  • The digestibility enhancement and antimicrobial effects of phytogenics continue to rank as the two top reasons for the application of PFAs in animal diets.

Strong interest

“We’ve seen an extraordinary response from this initiative,” commented Michael Noonan, Global Product Line Manager Phytogenics at BIOMIN. “The interest in how plant-based substances can contribute to better health and performance of farm animals remains strong among the feed and animal protein industries in all sectors and geographies, as evidenced by the latest findings.”

This is the second consecutive year that BIOMIN has commissioned a market research survey of agribusiness professionals in the global protein industry.

Reaping scientific rewards

Though attention on plant-based compounds in animal nutrition has surged, phytogenic feed additives are not new. “Since Digestarom® was first commercialized in 1989, the scientific understanding of precisely-defined PFAs and their effects in animals has expanded exponentially,” stated Mr Noonan.

“The ‘-omics’ technologies have revealed quite a lot in recent years. With advanced next-generation sequencing (NGS) tools, we can now measure the changes in gene expression that result from PFA application,” he observed.

Coping with industry trends

A large majority of respondents face stable or rising feed costs while simultaneously looking to reduce the level of antibiotic use in their operations, according to the survey.

“Whether your aim is to optimize feed costs, nutrient digestibility of raw materials or to reduce antibiotic use, phytogenic feed additives have a role to play,” explained Mr Noonan. “The key to success is to adopt a 360-degree approach that includes biosecurity, management, nutrition, health and good gut performance.”

 

About phytogenic feed additives

Plant-based phytogenic feed additives – specifically essential oils, plant extracts, herbs and spices – are known to have a range of biologically active properties that can be applied to modern animal production. These include anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and digestion enhancing effects.

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Phytogenics Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Press Releases
news-2019 Tue, 26 Jun 2018 10:02:00 +0200 2018 BIOMIN Phytogenic Feed Additives Survey - Webinar Recording http://www.biomin.net/videos/2018-biomin-phytogenic-feed-additives-survey-webinar-recording/ On 26 June 2018, BIOMIN hosted live webinar to gain an insight into the recent results of the 2018 BIOMIN Phytogenic Feed Additives Survey, the inclusion of phytogenic feed additives - PFAs or botanicals - in farm animal diets and the ever-present need to optimize feed costs.

Speakers

  • Michael Noonan, MBA (Global Product Line Manager Phytogenics at BIOMIN)
  • Ryan Hines (Moderator)

Key points

  • Approximately 5% of global feed tonnage is supplemented with phytogenics.
  • 51% of 2018 BIOMIN Phytogenic Feed Additive Survey respondents use phytogenic feed additives.
  • 60% of the survey respondents report that their PFA use will increase over the next 12 months.
  • The digestibility enhancement and antimicrobial effects of PFAs continue to rank as the two top reasons for the application of PFAs in animal diets. Read the full 2018 BIOMIN Phytogenic Feed Additive Survey results here. 

Read the full 2018 BIOMIN Phytogenic Feed Additive Survey results here.

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Phytogenics Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Videos
news-2018 Mon, 25 Jun 2018 14:07:00 +0200 2018 BIOMIN Phytogenic Feed Additives Survey http://www.biomin.net/articles/2018-biomin-phytogenic-feed-additives-survey/ The views of more than seven hundred agribusiness professionals on the use of phytogenic feed additives (PFAs) reveal a number of interesting insights regarding motivations for using PFAs. Respondents from over 80 countries provided their views on the use of phytogenic feed additives (PFAs) in livestock within the framework of the 2018 BIOMIN Phytogenic Feed Additives Survey. Views from nutritionists, veterinarians, business owners, CEOs and consultants accounted for more than half of the completed questionnaires (Table 1). In total, 758 respondents from 87 countries across the world (Figure 1) answered the survey in December 2017. The sample group included many key decision-makers. More than three-quarters (82%) of respondents played a role in selecting feed ingredients for their organization. The feed industry and consultants accounted for 42% of responses, followed by those working in the poultry sector (21%), including broiler and egg producers, integrators, breeders/hatcheries and turkey farms. Respondents from academic and research institutions accounted for 13%, as shown in Figure 2. Opinions were gathered from respondents representing the poultry, swine, ruminant and aquaculture industries.

Table 1. Role of respondents

Veterinarian18.9%
Nutritionist17.7%
Scientist/Researcher/Academic14.1%
Sales/Marketing9.6%
CEO/Owner/Managing Director9.4%
Consultant8.7%
Grower/owner6.7%
Live production manager5.9%
Other5.4%
Quality Assurance/Quality Control/Procurement3.6%

n = 758 Source: BIOMIN Phytogenic Feed Additives Survey, 2018


Figure 1. 
Survey respondents by region

Figure 1. Survey respondents by region

Figure 2. Businesses represented by respondents

Figure 2. Businesses represented by respondents

User base

Just over half the respondents (51%) indicated that they currently used PFAs as part of their poultry or livestock feeding program. 11% of the respondents had used PFAs in the past but were no longer using them, while 38% had never used PFAs (Figure 3).
Respondents in Asia Pacific showed the highest rate of PFA use of any region at 65%. In South America, the majority of respondents (53%) indicated that they currently used phytogenics, followed by the North and Central America (47%). Respondents in Europe, the Middle East and Africa were least likely to use PFAs, but 43% of respondents still indicated current use.
By job profile, nutritionists were supporters of PFA use, with 65% of nutritionists identifying themselves as current users, followed by veterinarians (56%) then business owners, CEOs and managing directors (55%).
By business type, feed manufacturers and feed millers reported current PFA use with 70% and 63% answering yes, respectively.

Figure 3. Do you currently use phytogenic feed additives?

Figure 3. Do you currently use phytogenic feed additives?

For context, PFAs are applied to approximately 3% to 5% of global livestock feed tonnage each year. This suggests that the respondent group was not a fully representative sample of all feed and livestock producers around the world. However, the roughly equal split of users and non-users provides a useful comparison of the motivations and views between the two groups.

Motivations for PFA use

The antimicrobial effect of PFAs was the most popular reason given for their use, cited by 50.1% of respondents (Figure 4). Digestibility enhancement was another important reason for PFA use cited by 49.6% of respondents. Respondents also used PFAs for growth promotion (46.3%), within an antibiotic-growth promoter (AGP) replacement strategy (38.9%), for their anti-inflammatory effects (38.9%) and for improving feed conversion ratio (FCR; 30.2%).

Figure 4. Top reasons that respondents gave for PFA use

Figure 4. Top reasons that respondents gave for PFA use

Antimicrobial effect

Phytogenic ingredients are known for their antimicrobial properties, particularly against Gram-positive bacteria. Respondents in South America were most strongly convinced by the antimicrobial properties of PFAs at 53.8%, followed by Europe, the Middle East and Africa (50.6%), North and Central America (48.7%) and Asia Pacific (44.8%).

Digestibility enhancement

Specific plant compounds can improve digestibility by supporting digestive secretion of bile, mucus and saliva, as well as enhancing enzyme activity. Respondents from North and Central America and those from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said they used PFAs for the digestibility enhancement effects, with 56.4% and 56.8% of respondents in each region respectively. Those in Asia Pacific and South America selected digestibility improvement at an equal rate of 44.8%.

Growth promotion

The growth promoting effects of PFAs stem from a combination of antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative and digestion-enhancing properties. The growth promoting effects of PFAs received the highest recognition from professionals in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, at 55.6%, followed by North and Central America (48.7%), Asia Pacific (44.8%) and South America (40.7%).

AGP replacement strategy

PFAs can play a role in a holistic approach to antibiotic reduction that incorporates biosecurity, vaccination, farm management and nutrition improvements. A full 62% of survey respondents indicated that they expected to decrease the use of antibiotics in farm animals over the next 12 months. Respondents in Asia Pacific cited the use of PFAs in AGP replacement more than any other region, at 51.7%, followed by Latin America (43.4%), North and Central America (32.1%) and finally Europe, the Middle East and Africa (23.5%).

Improvement in FCR

Application of a properly formulated PFA may deliver an FCR improvement of up to 5 points.
Overall, an improved FCR found moderate support across all regions. An improvement in FCR was chosen as the main reason for PFA use by professionals in North and Central America (33.3%), followed by Europe, the Middle East and Africa (32.1%), South America (29%) and Asia Pacific (27.6%).

Anti-inflammatory effects

Considerable energy may be wasted because of inflammation: energy that would otherwise be used for growth and performance. Application of plant-derived substances such as PFAs that counter inflammation are therefore a viable, nonantibiotic method to promote growth in farm animals. The anti-inflammatory effects of PFAs were cited much more frequently by respondents in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (55.6%) compared to other regions. Respondents in North and Central America cited anti-inflammatory effects 38.5% of the time, followed by those in Asia Pacific (33.3%) and South America (33.1%).

Higher feed intake

Phytogenics can improve the palatability of feed and thereby improve feed intake, which is particularly desirable in young animals or when feeding less palatable or medicated feed. Improving feed intake was more highly appreciated by respondents in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (27.2%) and North and Central America (23.1%) compared to those in Asia Pacific (19.5%) and South America (15.2%).

Environmental emission reduction

As PFAs improve feed efficiency and digestibility, less feed is needed per unit of output (meat, eggs or milk), meaning that the environmental footprint of farm animals is lower. Interestingly, this factor was most appreciated by respondents in Asia Pacific (28.7%), followed by North and Central America (23.1%), South America (18.6%) and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (9.9%).

Meat quality and carcass improvements

PFA application can be beneficial in terms of meat quality characteristics that are additional to the digestibility and feed efficiency improvements.
The use of PFAs to improve meat or carcass quality found the greatest favor among respondents in Asia Pacific (26.4%) and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (24.7%), followed by South America (15.2%) and North and Central America (14.1%).

Use in combination with AGPs

Respondents in South America were most likely to use PFAs in combination with antibiotic growth promoters, at 26.9%, compared to those in Asia Pacific (18.4%), North and Central America (12.8%), and Europe, the Middle East and Africa (7.4%)

Good past experience

Industry professionals in North and Central America gave greater weight to good past experience of PFA use (21.8%) compared to their counterparts in other regions, such as Europe, the Middle East and Africa (17.3%), Asia Pacific (14.9%) and South America (11%).

Nutrient sparing

The use of PFAs as a tool to support the down specification of diets was most popular in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (17.3%), followed by South America (15.9%), North and Central America (12.8%) and Asia Pacific (8%).

Commercially mixed products widely favored

Of the respondents who currently used PFAs, 86% purchased commercially mixed products available from feed additive producers, while 20% applied their own blend of oils and herbs and another 3% were unsure of the provenance of the PFA products used (Figure 5). Respondents were able to select more than one answer and the results indicate that some respondents combine commercially available PFA products with their own blends of oils and herbs.

Figure 5. Which type of phytogenic product do you use?

Figure 5. Which type of phytogenic product do you use?

Application methods

Respondents preferred applying PFAs via the feed (61%) compared to water application (8%), although many respondents chose both (25%) (Figure 6).

Figure 6. PFA application method preferences

Figure 6. PFA application method preferences

Extent of PFA use and production stage

Respondents were asked what percentage of their animals received PFAs at some stage in the production cycle. Responses indicated that the extent of phytogenic use is evenly spread, as shown in Figure 7. Nearly 40% of respondents indicated that the majority of their animals received PFAs, while more than one quarter of respondents applied PFAs to between 20% and 49% of their animals. Another quarter of respondents applied PFAs to less than 20% of their animals. PFA application was most common in the first seven days of broiler production, during the pullet phase of layer/breeder production, in nursery to weaning piglets, and in lactating dairy cows as well as in calves and beef cattle.

Figure 7. What percentage of your herd/flock receive PFAs?

Figure 7. What percentage of your herd/flock receive PFAs?

Intention to increase PFA use

When asked about their future plans, the majority of respondents (60%) indicated that they planned to increase their PFA usage over the next 12 months. 21% expected to maintain their current level of PFA use, while 18% were unsure. Only 1% planned to decrease PFA use (Figure 8).
These expectations support the strong growth in demand for PFAs for farm animals globally, and are in line with projections that the PFA market will surpass the US$1 billion threshold by 2023.

Figure 8. PFA use intentions for the next 12 months

Figure 8. PFA use intentions for the next 12 months

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Phytogenics Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Articles
news-2005 Mon, 25 Jun 2018 13:49:00 +0200 Science & Solutions Special Issue: PFA Survey 2018 http://www.biomin.net/magazines/science-solutions-special-issue-pfa-survey-2018/ June 2018 - Phytogenics - English Phytogenic use set to flourish

Phytogenic feed additives (PFAs) are a relatively new addition to the animal feed market. Bringing such novelty to the market takes years of research and development. BIOMIN has been committed to the improvement of phytogenic products for the past thirty years, and that commitment continues every day. Research and development is ongoing to ensure the Digestarom® product line is the best it can possibly be.

What really matters is how a feed additive performs in the field. BIOMIN recently conducted the second Phytogenic Feed Additives Survey, which gathered responses from feed industry professionals around the world on PFA use and experiences. The most notable result was that 60% of respondents reported an intention to increase their use of PFAs in the coming 12 months. Not only does this reinforce the importance of PFAs in the animal feed industry, but it also shows how much more awareness there is about the range of benefits PFA inclusion can deliver.
Phytogenic products are plant-based compounds with a range of biological properties that deliver a number of advantages in the animal. The top two reasons for PFA use as reported by survey respondents were their ability to enhance the digestibility of feed, and their antimicrobial effects. In addition, PFAs were also cited as an important part of a strategy to reduce the amount of antibiotics used in feed. We expect this to be of particular interest to those in certain regions of the world where antibiotic use for growth promotion will be prohibited.
In this special issue of Science & Solutions magazine, as well as sharing the results of the 2018 PFA Survey, we also highlight some results from recent field trials with Digestarom® in poultry diets. The trials show a number of benefits when Digestarom® is added to the diet, including improvements in FCR, body weight gain, productivity index and laying rate. Similar success has been documented in the numerous trials with Digestarom® in swine, ruminant and aquatic farmed species.
BIOMIN is committed to continually improving the Digestarom® product line to fully address customer needs. Sharing the information we have gathered in order to make that happen will keep you naturally ahead.

Finally, we would like to thank everyone who took part in the survey, and we wish our customers around the world continued success.

IN THIS ISSUE:

Science &amp; Solutions Special Issue: PFA Survey 20182018 BIOMIN Phytogenic Feed Additives Survey
The views of more than seven hundred agribusiness professionals on the use of phytogenic feed additives (PFAs) reveal a number of interesting insights regarding motivations for using PFAs.

What Dozens of Poultry Trials Tell Us About Phytogenics and Profitability
Performance and meat quality improvements stemming from phytogenic feed additive application are key to better economic results.

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Phytogenics Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Magazines
news-2016 Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:48:00 +0200 Natural Feed Additives as Alternatives to In-Feed Antibiotics in Nursery Pigs http://www.biomin.net/articles/natural-feed-additives-as-alternatives-to-in-feed-antibiotics-in-nursery-pigs/ Intensive pig production puts additional stress on the weaned piglet at a time of already heightened vulnerability to infections. With a global trend towards the reduction and elimination of antibiotics for growth promotion from pig diets, can natural alternatives really close the performance gap?  Natural Feed Additives as Alternatives to In-Feed Antibiotics in Nursery Pigs

Commercial pig production has changed dramatically in the last decades. A transition from extensive housing systems with low animal density to intense production systems with a high degree of confinement was driven by the need to increase meat production and satisfy the demands of a growing population. The production cycle of a pig is divided into stages, each with different housing systems, management styles and challenges.

Intensive production adds stress to piglets

Within swine production, the weaner unit represents a big challenge. Under natural conditions, the sows wean their litters gradually over the first 17 weeks of lactation, yet in intensive production, the weaning process is abrupt and can start as early as 3-4 weeks. Weaning at this young age often means that the piglets are not physiologically, immunologically or behaviorally ready. And at the same time, they suffer a large variety of stressors including abrupt separation from the mother, transport, handling and social stress caused by regrouping several litters, changes in environment, change of water supply, change of feed source from a milk-based diet to solid feed with high levels of protein from plant origin, and exposure to pathogens among others. A fasting period is commonly observed immediately after weaning due to adaptation to dietary changes; this weaning anorexia might contribute to gastrointestinal inflammation.

Consequently, the weaned piglet is both vulnerable to infections and weaker to fight them. All this affects piglet health, leading to decreased performance and, in extreme cases, mortality. During the weaning process, a dysbiosis in the gut microbiota leads to post-weaning diarrhea and gastrointestinal infection where colibacillosis diarrhea is of greatest concern. Antibiotics are used in the swine industry for their growth promotion effects, prophylaxis or metaphylaxis and therapeutic purposes.

Regulation of antibiotic usage

Overuse of antibiotics is linked to an increase in antimicrobial-resistant agents which concerns animal and human health authorities. The use of antibiotics as growth promoter agents has been banned in Europe since 2006 and the ban is gradually being extended to other regions. Nevertheless, in-feed antibiotics are still used in some regions as a prophylaxis / metaphylaxis measure to prevent a drop in growth performance and health issues in weaned piglets. In the United States (USA), carbadox is commonly used in the weaner phase to control enteric disease (colibacillosis). It is usually alternated among dietary phases during the weaner period because it does not require veterinary feed directive. However, research suggests that carbadox inhibits bacteria by intercalating DNA and causing mutation in bacteria. This mutagenic property has led to its ban in Europe and Canada, and might influence the USA regulations in the near future. The combination of oxytateracycline and neomycin is used to treat bacterial enteritis and bacterial pneumonia. The use of sub-therapeutic doses of oxytateracycline and neomycin for growth promotion are banned in many countries including the USA, because the overuse has led to higher antibiotic resistance gene levels and prevalence.

Antibiotic alternatives

Therefore, it has become critical to find antibiotic alternatives to support growth performance and maintain piglet health during the weaning period. Producers are opting for the use of natural feed additives to prevent bacterial infections such as organic acids and phytogenics. However, the alternatives are evaluated directly against the effects of antibiotics on growth performance as a benchmark to overcome. The effect of antibiotics on growth performance enhancement is linked to their antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory effects.

The aim of this article is to present the results of a study where weaners were fed different antimicrobial programs (Table 1): a control diet (C) containing no antibiotic or antimicrobial feed additives, a positive control (PC) with antibiotic added to promote growth, an antibiotic reduction treatment (C-OA) containing antibiotics for the first phase and a natural feed additive for the second phase, and a holistic approach (OA-EO) where only natural feed additives were added to the diet.

Table 1. Study design

GroupsDescription
Control (C)Standard Nursery Formulation (SNF) no additives included
Positive control (PC)SNF + Carbadox (50 ppm) in phase 1 and Neomycin (50 ppm) + Oxytetracycline (50 ppm) in phase 2
Treatment 1 (C-OA)SNF + Carbadox (50 ppm) in phase 1 and Biotronic® Top3 (1000 ppm) in phase 2
Treatment 2 (OA-EO)SNF + Biotronic® Top3 (1000 ppm) + Digestarom® P.E.P. (125 ppm) in both phases

Table 2. Diet composition

Calculated compositionPhase 1 (D0-8)Phase 2 (D9-22)
ME Mcal/kg3.453.42
SID Lys, %1.501.40
g SID Lys/Mcal ME4.354.10
Analyzed compositionPhase 1 (D0-8)Phase 2 (D9-22)
Crude Protein, %21.8122.52
Crude Fat, %4.734.43
Crude Fiber, %2.552.12
Ash, %5.576.49
Moisture, %11.1410.34

ME = metabolizable energy, SID Lys = standardized ileal digestible lysine.

Study design

A total of 480, 22-day-old weaned piglets (body weight (BW) = 6.22 ± 1.4 kg) of PIC 280 X 1050 breed were used. Pigs were allocated to one of 48 pens (ten animals per pen) and assigned within weight blocks to one of four dietary treatments (12 pens per diet) as described in Table 1. The pigs were fed a corn-soybean meal based diet formulated in two phases as described in Table 2. Body weight (Figure 1) and feed intake were measured at day 8, 15 and 22. Average daily gain (Figure 2), average daily feed intake (Figure 3) and gain:feed ratio (Figure 4) were calculated. A mixed model was used to examine the effect of diet, weight block was used as the random effect, and multiple comparisons were evaluated using a t-test method.

Figure 1. Average body weight (kg)

Figure 1. Average body weight (kg)

Figure 2. Average daily gain (kg/d)

Figure 2. Average daily gain (kg/d)

Figure 3. Average daily feed intake (kg/d)

Figure 3. Average daily feed intake (kg/d)

Figure 4. Gain:feed ratio data

Figure 4. Gain:feed ratio data

Results

Pigs in the PC group had a greater BW (11.19 kg, P=0.001) compared to the C group (10.53 kg), but it did not differ between the C-OA group (11.03 kg, P=0.382) or the OA-EO group (10.85 kg, P=0.074). Body weight did not differ between the OA-EO and C groups (P=0.100).

Conclusion

The results of this experiment showed that it is possible to reduce or replace in-feed antibiotics with natural alternatives and enhance performance parameters in weaned piglets. Pigs fed carbadox followed by a Biotronic® Top3 (C-OA) did not differ in performance compared to pigs fed carbadox followed by neomycin and oxytetracycline (PC). In addition, the combination of Biotronic® Top3 (a blend of formic, propionic, and acetic acids combined with cinnamaldehyde and Permeabilizing Complex™ mixture) and Digestarom® P.E.P. (a phytogenic blend of oregano, anise, and citrus oil, and fructo oligosaccharide with antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties) provided a viable natural alternative to in-feed antibiotics. A more extensive approach is necessary in order to replace antibiotics in animal production. Consideration has to be taken for improvements in production management and animal welfare, feeding systems and feed quality, biosecurity and vaccination programs, improvement of facilities and a more responsible use of the resources we have available.

In Brief
  • Intensive pig production adds stress to piglets, especially at the time of weaning.
  • This stress causes a period of fasting after weaning, meaning the piglet is weaker for fighting off infections.
  • It is possible to reduce or replace in-feed antibiotics with natural alternatives such as acidifiers and phytogenics, which enhance performance parameters in weaned piglets.
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Phytogenics Probiotics Feed Preservation Acidifiers Pigs Articles
news-2014 Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:27:00 +0200 Life After Zinc Oxide – 3 Tips for Tackling Post-Weaning Diarrhea http://www.biomin.net/articles/life-after-zinc-oxide-3-tips-for-tackling-post-weaning-diarrhea/ Post-weaning diarrhea is a problem for pig producers all around the world that has a big impact on future pig performance. With both antibiotics and now zinc oxide being removed from piglet diets in the EU, the pig industry is shifting its attention to new strategies to overcome this problem in young pigs. Life After Zinc Oxide – 3 Tips for Tackling Post-Weaning Diarrhea
Photo: shutterstock_krumanop

During weaning, the piglet is changed from a liquid diet to dry feed. The animal also has to adapt to new housing, often with new pen mates. This period of multiple stressors results in a dramatic decrease in feed consumption, leading to a nutrient deficit known as the post-weaning gap. Nutrient deficiency compromises the functionality of the gastrointestinal tract and its morphology, allowing pathogens to grow and thrive. In pig production units around the world, closing the post-weaning gap is a constant challenge. One of the most common pathogenic strains is enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC), which causes post-weaning diarrhea (PWD).

The rising popularity of zinc

Previously, PWD was commonly prevented by using in-feed antibiotics as growth promoters as well as antimicrobial agents. However, the increasing occurrence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and the importance of some antibiotics to human medicine forced the European Union to ban antibiotics used as growth promoters. The ban came into effect on 1 January 2006. Today, other countries around the world have also followed this policy.

The first academic research into the efficacy of zinc oxide (ZnO) for use against PWD was presented in 1989 at the 40th annual meeting of the European Association for Animal Production held in Dublin. Although it was the first publication, the on-farm use of pharmaceutical levels of ZnO for avoiding PWD was already being practised across Europe at that time.

By the early 1990s, the use of ZnO to control PWD was common practice worldwide. Zinc oxide probably played a role in allowing the smooth transition away from antibiotic growth promoter use. Zinc oxide is currently permitted for use in the European Union under veterinary prescription. However, due to environmental concerns, the European Union was considering a ban on the medicinal use of ZnO. Manure rich in zinc can cause accumulations in the soil, posing a risk of run-off into underground water.

EU bans ZnO by 2022

At end of 2016, the European Medicines Agency Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use found that the environmental risks of using ZnO outweighed the benefits of diarrhea prevention in piglets. The committee recommended a refusal on future authorizations for medicinal products containing zinc, and a withdrawal of approvals for existing products that contain zinc. From 21 June 2017, the EU gave all its member states up to five years to phase out ZnO at medicinal levels in piglet feeds. Any use of ZnO must be kept to 150 parts per million advised as the nutritional requirement for zinc in pigs; some publications state a lower level of 75 parts per million. Zinc is often used together with copper sulphate (CuSO4) which has a moderate constipating effect, decreasing the symptoms of diarrhea.

Treating PWD without antibiotics or zinc

Antibiotic use in animal production is more likely to be replaced with multiple substitute products or combined approaches (Allen et al., 2013). According to Pluske (2013), future alternatives to antibiotics and ZnO include acidifiers, enzymes, fermentation and inoculation of feed, and prebiotics. The best results will be achieved when producers and stockpersons are trained and fully responsible for ensuring the quality of drinking water, providing the necessary immunizations, delivering high-quality colostrum and encouraging high feed intake post-weaning, maintaining high levels of hygiene, adopting all-in-all-out production processes, and enforcing biosecurity (Figure 1).

Figure 1. 7 key factors for optimal piglet performance

7 key factors for optimal piglet performance 

Colostrum and weaning

Colostrum is the feed of life. Each piglet must ingest a minimum of 3000 ml of colostrum to successfully face the challenges of the first weeks of life and weaning. First farrowing gilts have fewer antibodies and produce less colostrum, thus piglets born from these gilts receive less protection, they are the first to surrender to challenges at weaning, and they can compromise the growth of stronger piglets. Segregation of piglets from gilts at weaning is advantageous for the whole weaning batch.

BIOMIN solutions

Feed additive solutions are available and proposed to pig producers using a variety of management practices via local BIOMIN technical sales representatives. Including a mix of mycotoxin deactivators (Mycofix® product line), Gram-negative modulators (Biotronic® product line) and phytogenics (Digestarom® product line) in the diet will help to regulate the gut microbiome and achieve high levels of animal performance.

3 tips for tackling PWD without ZnO

  1. Reduce stress as much as possible. Weaning is a very stressful time for piglets as their environment and diet change significantly. Where possible, minimize stress by gradually introducing change to the diet, and making the environment as comfortable as possible for them.
  2. Train staff. Make sure that staff are fully trained on how to achieve optimal piglet performance. This includes ensuring clean and plentiful water is available, ensuring colostrum intake and monitoring post-weaning feed intake, administering immunizations, and upholding high standards of hygiene and biosecurity.
  3. Use dietary supplements. Mycotoxin deactivators, Gram-negative modulators and phytogenic products added to the diet can alleviate dietary stress and support optimal development of the gastro-intestinal tract.
In Brief
  • The post-weaning gap is caused by a decrease in feed intake when the diet is switched from liquid to dry feed. This usually results in PWD.
  • PWD was commonly treated with antibiotics or with ZnO.
  • Antibiotic use in feeds is decreasing, driven by consumer demand. And due to environmental concerns, the EU has banned medicinal levels of ZnO.
  • There is no single product available as a substitute for antibiotics and ZnO. Combining various feed additives including mycotoxin deactivators, acidifiers and phytogenics will support the gut microbiome and maintain pig performance levels.
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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Pigs Articles
news-2015 Thu, 21 Jun 2018 14:14:00 +0200 Science & Solutions No. 56 - Swine http://www.biomin.net/magazines/science-solutions-no-56-swine/ In this issue: Life After Zinc Oxide – 3 Tips for Tackling Post-Weaning Diarrhea; Natural Feed Additives As Alternatives to In-Feed Antibiotics in Nursery Pigs; 8 Steps for Taking the Perfect Sample For Mycotoxin Analysis Pork production in a new context

Animal production is a dynamic environment. A continuous trade-off occurs between meeting increasing demands, environmental impacts, welfare concerns, producing a safe product, and respecting consumer preferences. The risk of antibiotic resistance, regulatory pressure and consumer demand for antibiotic-free products have spurred the reduction of antibiotic usage globally. The environmental impact of therapeutic levels of zinc in piglet feeds has dictated a search for alternatives.

There is no “silver bullet” for solving these challenges. Instead, a holistic approach focusing on different aspects of production like management, health, biosecurity and nutrition is required. However, natural feed additives can be a piece of the puzzle. BIOMIN is a pioneer of naturally ahead thinking, developing products and services in this context.
In this issue of Science & Solutions, we consider the postweaning challenge in an antibiotic- and zinc-free context. We use different perspectives to build on the holistic approach.
A review of the history of zinc oxide use in pig production is followed by the main factors affecting post-weaning diarrhea, concluding with useful tips in order to control it. The BIOMIN product portfolio is reviewed for alternatives to antibiotics and we share recent trial results in weaning piglets that show the potential and added value of using both Biotronic® Top3 and Digestarom® P.E.P.

Finally, an eight-step guide on sampling for mycotoxins is presented. Considering the inhomogeneous mycotoxin distribution pattern in feeds, preparing a representative sample from a feed batch is of paramount importance when implementing an efficient mycotoxin management program.

Enjoy reading this issue of Science & Solutions, keeping you naturally informed.

IN THIS ISSUE:

Science &amp; Solutions No. 56 - Swine

Life After Zinc Oxide – 3 Tips for Tackling Post- Weaning Diarrhea
Post-weaning diarrhea is a problem for pig producers all around the world that has a big impact on future pig performance. With both antibiotics and now zinc oxide being removed from piglet diets in the EU, the pig industry is shifting its attention to new strategies to overcome this problem in young pigs.

Natural Feed Additives As Alternatives to In-Feed Antibiotics in Nursery Pigs
Intensive pig production puts additional stress on the weaned piglet at a time of already heightened vulnerability to infections. With a global trend towards the reduction and elimination of antibiotics for growth promotion from pig diets, natural alternatives can be used to close the performance gap.

8 Steps for Taking the Perfect Sample For Mycotoxin Analysis
BIOMIN guides you through the sampling process in eight simple steps, ensuring that the results obtained from your final sample represent the mycotoxin levels in your whole batch.

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Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Pigs Magazines
news-2008 Tue, 12 Jun 2018 15:55:00 +0200 15 Factors to Consider When Evaluating and Using Alternative Ingredients http://www.biomin.net/articles/15-factors-to-consider-when-evaluating-and-using-alternative-ingredients/ A list of considerations for feed formulators to evaluate alternative or novel feed ingredients when the availability or price of conventional ingredients prove constraining. Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Articles news-2004 Mon, 11 Jun 2018 09:41:00 +0200 Strategies to Overcome Antimicrobial Resistance in Turkey Production http://www.biomin.net/articles/strategies-to-overcome-antimicrobial-resistance-in-turkey-production/ Antimicrobial use in poultry leads to high resistance prevalence in poultry. Antimicrobial use in turkey production can be reduced as the national monitoring of poultry association from Austria show. Reduction of antimicrobial use is the main tool in order to reduce the resistance rates of bacteria. A combination of proper nutrition, biosecurity, hygiene, genetics, health and good farm management practices may contribute to reduction of antimicrobial use on farms.

Acid based feed additives may contribute to reduction of the prevalence of antimicrobial resistant E. coli. In the presented study with broilers, treatment with enrofloxacin increased (P ≤ 0.05) the number of E. coli resistant to ciprofloxacin, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole and tetracycline in the cecum. Supplementation with an acid-based feed additive (FA) contributed to better growth performance and a decrease in ampicillin- and tetracyclin-resistant E. coli in the cecum of broilers compared to control and antibiotic enrofloxacin group (AB).

ANTIMICROBIAL USE IN TURKEY

The application of antibiotics for the treatment of disease, disease prevention and growth promotion in food-producing animals provides favorable conditions for the selection, persistence and spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and their resistance determinants at the farm level (Burow, et al., 2014; da Costa, et al., 2011; Diarra, et al., 2007; Diarrassouba, et al., 2007; Furtula, et al., 2010; Miranda, et al., 2008). Increasing antibiotic resistance is a major public health concern.

Quantitative national data on antimicrobial use in turkey is barely available. However, there are possibilities to reduce the use as recent data on antimicrobial use in poultry from Austria show. The amount of consumed antimicrobials in turkey production has been almost halved since 2013.

Figure 1. Use of antimicrobials in poultry in Austria from 2013 to 2016, tonnes

Figure 1. Use of antimicrobials in poultry in Austria from 2013 to 2016, tonnes

Source: QGV antibiotic monitoring report 2017

OCCURRENCE OF ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE IN TURKEY

Any kind of antibiotic use in people, animals or plants can promote the development and spread of antibiotic resistance (WHO Regional Office for Europe, 2011). The increase in antibiotic resistance is a global concern for human and animal health. Resistant microorganisms can move between food-producing animals and humans by direct contact, through the food chain or in the environment. Poultry is one of the world´s fastest growing sources of meat production. The prevalence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria in turkey vary a lot depending on the country. Figure 2 shows that 3.4% E. coli in Sweden were resistant to ciprofloxacin and in Spain this number was 86%.

Figure 2. Spatial distribution of ciprofloxacin resistance among indicator E. coli from fattening turkeys in 2014

Figure 2. Spatial distribution of ciprofloxacin resistance among indicator E. coli from fattening turkeys in 2014

Source: The European Union summary report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from humans, animals and food in 2014

Figure 3. Frequency distribution of E. coli isolates completely susceptible and resistant to one to 12 antimicrobials in fattening turkeys in European countries, 2014

Figure 3. Frequency distribution of E. coli isolates completely susceptible and resistant to one to 12 antimicrobials in fattening turkeys in European countries, 2014

Source: The European Union summary report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from humans, animals and food in 2014

Also the number of multi resistant E. coli is high (Figure 3), in France, Poland, UK, Italy, Hungary, Portugal, Spain and Romania. Less than 20% of tested E. coli were susceptible to antimicrobials. In fattening turkeys, E. coli with three multi resistant patterns (including a common core pattern of resistance to ampicillin, ciprofloxacin/nalidixic acid and tetracyclines) accounted for approximately 40.0% of the total number of multiresistant E.coli isolates for which data were available (EFSA and ECDC, 2016).

REDUCTION OF ANTIMICROBIAL RESISTANCE

Reduction of antimicrobial use is the key point in order to achieve lower resistance rates of bacteria. An approach that combines proper nutrition, biosecurity, hygiene, genetics, health and good farm management practices is needed. Innovative feed additives can play a key role.

For example acid-based products would keep the gut environment hostile to Gram-negative bacteria. A study with broilers was evaluating the effect of an acid-based feed additive, as well as fluoroquinolone antibiotics, on the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant E. coli. To study the emergence of antibiotic resistance in Gram-negative bacteria, E. coli are widely accepted as indicator bacteria. A total of 480 broiler chickens (Ross 308) were randomly assigned to three treatments (8 replicates per group): a control group receiving a basal diet; a group receiving a feed additive (FA) based on formic acid, acetic acid and propionic acid; and an antibiotic enrofloxacin (AB) group given the same diet, but supplemented with enrofloxacin in water. A pooled fecal sample of one-day-old chicks was collected upon arrival at the experimental farm. On day 17 and day 38 of the trial, cecal samples from each of the eight replicate pens were taken, and the count of E. coli and antibiotic-resistant E.coli was determined.

Table 4. E. coli count in caecum on day 38, log CFU/g

ControlFAABP-value
E. coli8.25±0.208.24±0.128.46±0.160.59
Ampicillin-resistant E. coli7.08±0.31a5.28±0.41b6.91±0.31a0.002
Cefotaxime-resistant E. coli 3.09±0.87a1.04±0.52ab0.24±0.24b0.018
Ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli5.83±0.28b5.68±0.12b7.36±0.33a0.001
Streptomycin-resistant E. coli5.42±0.235.05±0.276.12±400.07
Sulfomethoxazole-resistant E. coli5.62±0.36ab5.16±0.28b6.48±0.34a0.034
Tetracycline-resistant E. coli6.18±0.27a5.28±0.23b6.91±0.35a0.003
ESBL-producing E. coli3.09±0.91a1.15±0.58ab0.30±0.20b0.007

FA - feed additive based on organic acids; AB – enrofloxacin; amount of antimicrobial in the media: ampicillin 32 µg/ml, cefotaxim 4 µg/ml, ciprofloxacin 4 µg/ml, streptomycin 64 µg/ml, sulfamethoxazol 512 µg/ml and tetracycline 16 µg/ml; a,bmeans in the same row with no common superscripts are significantly different (P ≤ 0.05); means represent 8 pens per diet (3 birds/pen); ± standard error.

The results of the study showed a high prevalence of antibiotic-resistant E. coli in one-day-old chicks. Supplementation of the diet with FA and treatment of broilers with AB did not have a significant influence on the total number of E. coli in the cecal content on day 17 and day 38 of the trial. Supplementation with FA contributed to better growth performance and to a significant decrease (P ≤ 0.05) in E. coli resistant to ampicillin and tetracycline compared to the control and AB groups, as well as to a decrease (P ≤ 0.05) in sulfamethoxazole and ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli compared to the AB group at the end of the trial. Treatment with AB increased (P ≤ 0.05) the average daily weight compared to the control group and increased (P ≤ 0.05) the number of E. coli resistant to ciprofloxacin, streptomycin, sulfamethoxazole and tetracycline.

CONCLUSION

Reduction of antimicrobial use is the main tool in order to reduce the resistance rates of bacteria. Combination of proper nutrition, biosecurity, hygiene, genetics, health and good farm management practices may contribute to reduction of antimicrobial use on farms. Acid based feed additives may contribute to reduction of the prevalence of resistant E. coli.

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Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Articles
news-1997 Wed, 06 Jun 2018 15:28:00 +0200 2018 BIOMIN Phytogenic Feed Additives Survey [WEBINAR] http://www.biomin.net/news/2018-biomin-phytogenic-feed-additives-survey-webinar/ The inclusion of phytogenic feed additives - PFAs or botanicals - in farm animal diets continues to grow, driven by the animal protein industry’s acceptance of natural, non-antibiotic growth promoters and the ever-present need to optimize feed costs.

Join us on 26 June 2018 for a live webinar with Michael Noonan, Global Product Line Manager Phytogenics at BIOMIN, to gain an insight into the recent results of the 2018 BIOMIN Phytogenic Feed Additives Survey.

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Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture News
news-1998 Mon, 04 Jun 2018 13:53:00 +0200 BIOMIN Hosts Successful Indonesian Seminar on Gut Performance in AGP-Free Farm Animals http://www.biomin.net/news/biomin-hosts-successful-indonesian-seminar-on-gut-performance-in-agp-free-farm-animals/ BIOMIN Indonesia and PT Romindo Primavetcom recently held a successful roadshow on "Improving Gut Performance in AGP-free Animal Production" with 1-day events in Surabaya, Jakarta, and Medan on 10-12 April 2018. BIOMIN Hosts Successful Indonesian Seminar on Gut Performance in AGP-Free Farm AnimalsYatie Setiarsih, Managing Director for BIOMIN Indonesia, emphasized the importance of improving gut performance in the livestock sector’s AGP-free era. A representative of Romindo echoed the value of the topic, which was met with enthusiasm by participants. Mr. Simon Ginting moderated the event.

The role of gut health

Dr. Hilde Van Meirhaeghe, Poultry Consultant for Vetworks, Academic Adviser Faculty of Veterinary Medicine - University of Ghent, Department of Virology, Parasitology and Immunology, and President of the Belgian Hatcheries Association, was the first speaker.

Dr. Hilde Van Meirhaeghe highlighted the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in the poultry production –which underscores the need to reduce antibiotic use— and the role of gut health in improving poultry performance. (Read Antibiotic Resistance Key to Understanding Efforts to Curtail Antibiotics in Poultry).

She touched on several key messages, including 1) how good feed composition and feed additives can improve intestinal health, and 2) how early feeding enhances enteric development in young animals.

Poultry probiotics

Dr. Justin Tan, Regional Sales & Marketing Director of BIOMIN Asia, spoke on the role of poultry probiotics to improve intestinal health to reduce AGP use. (Watch the video What is a Poultry Probiotic).

Dr. Tan conveyed the multiple benefits of probiotic application in poultry diets, namely:

 

  • Fast establishment of beneficial microflora
  • Less carcass contamination
  • Less ammonia and urea excretion
  • Lower mortality rate
  • Better growth and production performance
  • Anti-inflammatory and immuno-modulatory effects
  • Less incidence of bacterial translocation & lameness 

Holistic approach to AGP-free poultry

Dr. Gannon, Dr. Neil Gannon, Regional Product Manager - Gut Performance, BIOMIN Asia, outlined BIOMIN Solutions for AGP-Free poultry production.

“There are several potential strategies and combinations available to reduce the use of antibiotics,” he explained. “A combination of management-related actions, improving the quality of feed and using feed additives are all part of the solution to maintaining high performance without AGPs,” Dr. Gannon concluded. (Read The Importance of Gut Health in Antibiotic-Free Production).

Then the event continued with a question and answer session. The enthusiasm of participants was evidenced by the many questions raised related to the material presented.

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Poultry Aquaculture News
news-1996 Mon, 04 Jun 2018 10:57:00 +0200 What is a Poultry Probiotic? http://www.biomin.net/videos/what-is-a-poultry-probiotic/ Probiotics can speed up maturation of day old chicks’ developing immune systems and can be applied throughout a bird’s life in order to support gut health—a key driver of good flock health and performance. Probiotics Poultry Videos news-1987 Mon, 04 Jun 2018 08:31:00 +0200 BASF and BIOMIN to introduce new phytase to unlock vital nutrients for Vietnam’s feed industry http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/basf-and-biomin-to-introduce-new-phytase-to-unlock-vital-nutrients-for-vietnams-feed-industry/ Da Nang, Vietnam – June 4, 2018 Agreement Signing Ceremony

Seated: Stephen Crisp, Regional Sales Head, BASF Animal Nutrition Asia Pacific, and Marc Guinnement, Managing Director, BIOMIN Asia Pacific, signing the partnership agreement. Standing from left to right: Jan Vanbrabant, Chairman of Executive Board, CEO; Le My Lien, Sales Executive; Jessie Sie-Tho, Senior Manager - Product Management, BASF Animal Nutrition Asia Pacific; Nguyen Quang Phuong, Managing Director BIOMIN Vietnam; Erich Erber, Founder and President; Nguyen Thao Suong Sales Executive;

  • New phytase Natuphos® E helps swine, poultry and aquaculture better utilize phosphorous, amino acids and energy, resulting in economic and environmental benefits
  • Unprecedented enzyme stability has set new benchmark for feed phytase technology globally
  • BIOMIN Vietnam, as key distributor, will be responsible for the distribution of Natuphos E in the Vietnamese market

Da Nang, Vietnam – June 4, 2018 – BASF, the first company to market a phytase for feed almost 30 years ago, has once again set a new standard in phytase technology with Natuphos® E. As a new generation phytase which helps pigs, poultry and aquaculture better utilize phosphorous and other key nutrients, Natuphos E ensures more productive and sustainable output for the animal feed industry and local farmers. BASF will be launching the product in Vietnam, and BIOMIN Vietnam will be responsible for the distribution in the country.

“BIOMIN is honored and excited to bring Natuphos E to the Vietnamese market with BASF. This cooperation has been built on a strong relationship and trust that we developed over time. Innovation and quality are our focus and we look forward to building our partnership and further developing the business footprint of both BIOMIN and BASF in the region,” said Marc Guinnement, Managing Director, BIOMIN Asia Pacific.

“High quality products, good access to the market and sound technical support are the keys to success in any market,” said Stephen Crisp, Regional Sales Head, BASF Animal Nutrition Asia Pacific. “BIOMIN is a multinational company with a strong market presence and penetration in Vietnam. Through our partnership with BIOMIN, feed manufacturers and farmers will benefit from considerable cost savings through a more efficient diet. Natuphos E releases phosphorus, amino acids and energy which can be utilized by the animal. This makes Natuphos E the most efficient choice available in the market.”

The majority of phosphorous in grains and oilseeds is bound to phytic acid, an anti-nutritive factor found in feed. Phytate-bound phosphorous cannot be absorbed well by animals such as pigs and poultry, and is therefore excreted and lost as a potential nutrient. As a result, manufacturers need to supplement the feed with either inorganic phosphates or very effective phytases to make sure the animals are supplied adequately with the required amounts of the essential phosphorous.

Natuphos E also releases other valuable nutrients, making animals generally more efficient at digesting their feed. This leads to less excretion of undigested phosphate, which, as a result, helps reduce water pollution.

In addition to Natuphos E, BIOMIN Vietnam will also be responsible for the distribution of Natugrain® TS, a feed enzyme containing highly purified NSP-degrading enzymes, in the Vietnamese market.

The two companies officially announced the partnership as part of the 20th anniversary celebration of BIOMIN Vietnam.

Manufactured by BASF in Germany, Natuphos E delivers superior pelleting and premix stability in challenging environments and feed-production processes, in addition to a long-term shelf life stability. To date, the new phytase has been launched in some 10 countries in Asia Pacific and recently in the European Union market.

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Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Press Releases
news-1989 Tue, 29 May 2018 16:06:00 +0200 12 Biosecurity Tips to Achieve Peak Efficiency and Use Antibiotics Responsibly http://www.biomin.net/articles/12-biosecurity-tips-to-achieve-peak-efficiency-and-use-antibiotics-responsibly/ Mark Beghian, owner of Unitec SRL, highlights how biosecurity can play a role in antibiotics reduction while keeping production efficient within a holistic approach that favors gut health—along with 12 take-home messages. Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Articles Videos news-1974 Sat, 26 May 2018 09:39:00 +0200 BIOMIN Vietnam Celebrates 20-Year Anniversary Serving Clients http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/biomin-vietnam-celebrates-20-year-anniversary-serving-clients/ BIOMIN Vietnam celebrates two decades of innovation, growth, and pioneering business philosophies. The two-day celebration from 25-26 May was held on the idyllic shores of Da Nang, Vietnam. BIOMIN Vietnam Celebrates 20-Year Anniversary Serving Clients26 May 2018 -- Through its innovative Biomin® Solutions, BIOMIN has helped customers in the animal nutrition industry throughout Vietnam to improve their day-to-day business operations, enhanced regulatory compliance objectives while realizing significant operating cost efficiency.

Two decades of success

BIOMIN opened its first factory in Vietnam in 1998, located in Hanoi, which underwent a full upgrade in 2017. In 2013, the firm opened its second premix facility—a state-of-the-art fully-automated production system in Binh Duong, Vietnam. The BIOMIN Aquaculture Center for Applied Nutrition (ACAN), a collaboration with the Nong Lam University in Ho Chi Minh City, opened in 2015. The BIOMIN suite of product offerings have expanded over the last two decades in response to customers’ evolving business expectations and industry regulatory demands, offering solutions spanning from mycotoxin risk management to gut performance management.

Guiding principles

Phuong Nguyen Quang, Managing Director, BIOMIN Vietnam & Cambodia, reflected on the company’s 20th anniversary, saying, “The past two decades have been a very rewarding experience, and an incredible journey for us. We started out with a philosophy of listening to the market, delivering quality products like Mycofix®, and we are producing our Biomin® Premix locally, all while providing the best services to customers. These beliefs continue to drive us as our top priorities today, and because of that, our company remains viable, strong and growing. A big thank you to our valued customers, partners, and my team in Vietnam, who have had faith in BIOMIN right from the start.”

Commitment to quality

Marc Guinnement, Managing Director, BIOMIN Asia Pacific, agrees. He added, “We are very proud to celebrate this milestone. The fact that we are the first premix-producing company in Vietnam to be certified according to the international quality standards of GMP+ B1, reflects the robustness of our feed safety system. We are dedicated to the high quality and safety of our products, and against the backdrop of our 20th anniversary in Vietnam, we are confident of our continued ability to deliver quality products to our customers.”

Research is a cornerstone

BIOMIN stays at the forefront of scientific knowledge through significant proprietary research and development and through partnerships with more than 200 respected laboratories, academic and research institutions worldwide.

“Our commitment to scientific research and cutting-edge R&D stretches back more than three decades,” explained Erich Erber, Founder and President, ERBER AG and Founder of BIOMIN. “We have established an in-house research arm, the BIOMIN Research Center, with more than 120 scientists and researchers.

Science. Service. Speed.

“While each innovation takes years to go from discovery to field application, we have always been fervently committed to delivering the most effective, cutting-edge products to customers. It is part of our value proposition, the 3 S’s, enshrined across ERBER GROUP, of which BIOMIN is a part. Science. Service. Speed. As we look back the past two decades, we reaffirm our commitment to delivering the best products and best services to customers in order to help them stay naturally ahead—meaning profitable and sustainable for the long term.”

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Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Press Releases
news-1982 Thu, 24 May 2018 08:57:00 +0200 Regional Results of Global Mycotoxin Occurrence through March 2018 http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/regional-results-of-global-mycotoxin-occurrence-through-march-2018/ Results of the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey conducted from January to March 2018 indicate that deoxynivalenol (DON) and fumonisins (FUM) are again the most common mycotoxins found in feedstuffs. The BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey constitutes the longest running and most comprehensive survey of its kind, using advanced analytic tools. It details the incidence of the main mycotoxins occurring in agricultural commodities, which include: aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 toxin (T-2), fumonisins (FUM) and ochratoxin A (OTA).

The survey focuses on components that are used for feed such as corn, wheat, barley, rice, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, dried distillers grains (DDGS) and silage, among others.

From January to March 2018, 16,231 analyses were conducted on 3,857 finished feed and raw commodity samples sourced from 60 countries.

Top threats

Overall, deoxynivalenol and fumonisins were detected in 68% and 67% of all samples at average levels of 878 ppb and 1,791 ppb, respectively. Out of all samples, 53% are contaminated by ZEN, whereas Afla, T-2 and OTA are present in less than 20% of samples; 17%, 18% and 17%, respectively (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Occurrence of mycotoxins worldwide through Q1 2018. Average of all samples collected by BIOMIN.

Figure 1. Occurrence of mycotoxins worldwide through Q1 2018. Average of all samples collected by BIOMIN.

Co-contamination

A full 90% of all samples contained at least one mycotoxin, and 68% of all samples contained two or more mycotoxins (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Co-occurrence of mycotoxins worldwide through Q1 2018. Average of all samples collected by BIOMIN.

Figure 2. Co-occurrence of mycotoxins worldwide through Q1 2018. Average of all samples collected by BIOMIN. 

Europe

With 6 mycotoxins above the risk threshold, Europe faces a severe contamination risk. The most prevalent mycotoxin in this region was DON, detected in 63% of the samples, followed by FUM, detected in 59% of the samples. The highest contamination found in a single sample was 40,700 ppb for ON and 26,144 ppb for FUM.

Asia

In Asia the average concentration of 6 mycotoxins is above the risk threshold, hence this region is facing a severe contamination risk. The most prevalent mycotoxin was FUM, detected in 78% of samples, followed by DON, detected in 63% of samples analyzed. The incidence of Afla was rather low with 34% of samples analyzed contaminated with this mycotoxin, and it has been decreasing compared to the previous years. The average concentration of FUM in this region represents a threat to piglets and finishing pigs (1244 ppb). The maximum FUM concentration recorded was 27,352 ppb.

North America

North America faces a severe risk of mycotoxin contamination as well. DON and FUM were the most prevalent mycotoxins in feed samples, detected in 62% and 49% of samples respectively. The average concentrations of FUM and DON in this region maybe a problem for pigs and poultry. Maximum concentrations of DON and FUM were very high in this region (9,133 and 50,734 ppb respectively).

South and Central America

These regions face a high contamination risk having 5 mycotoxins average concentrations above the risk threshold. DON is the highest prevalent mycotoxin and was found in 73% of samples, followed by FUM and ZEN, identified in 71% and 58% of samples respectively. Afla, T-2 and OTA were detected in 14%, 23% and 7% of samples respectively. South America shows the highest maximum concentration of FUM and DON worldwide (70,418 and 24,880 ppb respectively).

Middle East

With 4 mycotoxins average concentrations above the risk threshold, the Middle East faces a high contamination risk. The most prevalent mycotoxins in this region were FUM, followed by ZEN and DON, detected in 93%, 65% and 64% of samples respectively. The highest maximum concentration detected in Middle East was 4,161 ppb FUM.

Africa

With 3 mycotoxins above the risk threshold South Africa faces a moderate contamination risk. DON, FUM and ZEN were the most prevalent mycotoxins detected in 79%, 78% and 78% of samples respectively. The highest FUM concentration in a single sample was 14,427 ppb.

Conclusion

These BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey findings show that recent mycotoxin occurrence is quite high. The mycotoxin problem can be addressed through valid farm management strategies and the use of a registered mycotoxin deactivator whose efficiency is scientifically proven.

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Mycotoxins Species Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Blog Posts
news-1980 Tue, 22 May 2018 10:59:00 +0200 New BIOMIN website now available in Bahasa http://www.biomin.net/news/new-biomin-website-now-available-in-bahasa/ BIOMIN has now launched a Bahasa version of the new corporate website www.biomin.net.

In an age of increased user mobility, the new BIOMIN website presents a fresh look with ease of navigation on all technology platforms—desktop and laptop computers, and mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.

Strengthening visual appeal while preserving the content-rich structure that embodies the strong research and development core of BIOMIN, the revamped site comes with the following new features:

  • A new improved newsletter design that allows responsive mailings for optimized display on smartphones, particularly to meet the trend of increasing eMail use on smartphones
  • Large pictures and attractive visuals offer a modern look that combines both useability and appeal
  • A stronger species-focus to help users quickly navigate their way to the most relevant information
  • A new and improved search feature to support timely information search Major improvements in the Knowledge Center such as filters and a dedicated search allow users quick and easy access to articles, videos, magazine issues and more.

Have a look at the new website here: http://www.biomin.net/id

 

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Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture News
news-1976 Thu, 17 May 2018 15:45:00 +0200 Why Fusarium mycotoxins pose a serious threat to poultry health http://www.biomin.net/articles/why-fusarium-mycotoxins-pose-a-serious-threat-to-poultry-health/ Invisible hazards in feed: Mycotoxins, secondary toxic metabolites produced from fungi, are present in poultry feed all the time. Even when analysis results show that mycotoxin contamination is below guideline levels suggested by major agriculture countries, there can still be cause for concern. So what does it mean if mycotoxins are present in feed at low levels? Any mycotoxins present in feed are delivered straight to the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) of the birds, the organ most affected by mycotoxins. The GIT is the most important organ for converting feed into energy, and its ability to function properly is directly linked to poultry productivity. The GIT is the biggest immune organ in the body system. Among the major mycotoxins, DON (deoxynivalenol), ZEN (zearalenone) and FUM (fumonisins) are often overlooked when considering their impact on poultry health and productivity since their clinical symptoms are not usually obvious or visible. However, there have been a number of scientific and commercial trials that prove these Fusarium mycotoxins are closely related to some important poultry diseases.

Figure 1. Effects of mycotoxins in poultry. Source: BIOMIN

 

Impact of DON and FUM on the poultry gut DON is a known protein synthesis inhibitor and can interfere with the metabolism of high turn-over cells such as skin cells (epithelial cells), hepatic cells, immune cells and intestinal epithelial cells. Some of the most frequent sub-clinical symptoms of DON contamination in feed are the reduction in feed intake, wet droppings and a reduction in vaccine efficacy. On the other hand, FUM blocks the synthesis of complex sphingolipids that play a pivotal role in protecting nerves, muscles and membranes. According to the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey Program 2017 report, 74% of corn samples from the United States were contaminated with DON at an average level (for positive samples) of 893 ppb. Sixty five percent of the same corn samples were contaminated with FUM at an average level of 2,563 ppb. Eighty three percent of the soy bean samples from South America were contaminated with DON at an average level of 1,258 ppb (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Average contamination levels of DON and FUM in US Corn and South American Soybean in 2017.
Source: BIOMIN

US Corn (440 samples)

74% contaminated with DON (average = 893 ppb)
65% contaminated with FUM (average =2563 ppb)

South America Soybean (1166 samples)

83% contaminated with DON (average = 1258 ppb)

Several poultry feeding trials clearly show that Fusarium mycotoxins such as DON and FUM lead to an up-regulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the gut. Seventy percent of immune system is located in the gut, promoting a rapid mucosal inflammatory response, even when mycotoxins are present at low concentrations in feed. Tight junction proteins in the intestinal epithelium are also regulated by such cytokines. Loosened tight junctions can cause “leaky gut syndrome” resulting in pathogens and toxins entering the blood stream and moving to target organs. As a result, the permeability of intestine is increased and the frequency of intestinal disorders and disease outbreaks can consequently increase as well (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Consequences of mycotoxin contamination on gut condition.

 Figure 3. Consequences of mycotoxin contamination on gut condition.

Impaired immunity at low mycotoxin contamination levels

DON and its co-occurrence with FUM are known to modulate the immune function. One good example is the reduction in the number of antibody titres against vaccine programmes in poultry. Several research results have shown that DON and FUM reduce antibody response to Newcastle Disease (ND) and Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV). In one experiment conducted in Austria, the feeding of a DON-contaminated diet decreased serum antibody titres against the IBV vaccine (Figure 4) compared to the control diet. However, the antibody titres for IBV improved when the DON-contaminated diet group was fed with Mycofix® Select (MSE), a mycotoxin deactivator that includes the DON-biodegrading bacteria, Biomin® BBSH 797.

Figure 4. Effect of DON and Mycofix® Select (MSE) on IBV antibody titres in broiler chickens. Figure 4. Effect of DON and Mycofix® Select (MSE) on IBV antibody titres in broiler chickens.

Mycotoxin risk management in poultry

When it comes to counteracting mycotoxins, the poultry industry tends to think of “toxin-binders” first. However, clay mineral binders are not an effective answer to all major mycotoxins. Especially not against Fusarium mycotoxins since their structures are not suitable for adsorbing by binders. Biotransformation using microbes and enzymes is the most effective strategy. It provides reliable protection for birds against Fusarium mycotoxins by biodegrading mycotoxins into non-toxic metabolites. The transformation is fast, specific and irreversible. In addition to biotransformation, a bioprotection strategy is also important. Mycofix® Select contains plant and algae extracts to provide a hepato-protective effect and to overcome the immune suppression caused by mycotoxins. A combination of different strategies can counteract the negative effects of mycotoxins in poultry more completely, especially in cases of multi-mycotoxin contamination with the poorly absorbed Fusarium mycotoxins in poultry feed. 

This article originally appeared in Asian Poultry.

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Mycotoxins Poultry Articles
news-1966 Thu, 17 May 2018 10:12:00 +0200 3 in 5 Livestock Producers Expect To Use More Phytogenic Feed Additives This Year http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/3-in-5-livestock-producers-expect-to-use-more-phytogenic-feed-additives-this-year/ Many in the livestock industry expect to increase their use of phytogenic feed additives (PFAs) in 2018. According to a recent survey of more than seven hundred agribusiness professionals, a full 60% of respondents reported that their PFA use would increase over the next 12 months. Michael Noonan, Global Product Line Manager Phytogenics at BIOMINPlant-based feed additives – specifically essential oils, plant extracts, herbs and spices – are known to have a range of biologically active properties that can be applied to modern animal production. These include anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and digestion enhancing effects.

Increasing interest

“We continue to see strong demand for PFAs from all sectors of the animal protein industry,” commented Michael Noonan, Global Product Line Manager Phytogenics at BIOMIN. “As the awareness and understanding of the benefits of scientifically tailored PFAs such as Digestarom® is growing, their commercial application becomes more widespread.”

Scientific findings underscore the fact that phytogenic feed additives can reduce the microbial threat and promote intestinal health, which is imperative for optimal performance and profitability.1

Furthermore, reported results of market research in various countries suggest that consumers look favourably on the addition of phytogenic feed additives to animal feed.

These industry expectations, coupled with consumer acceptance, indicate the strong growth in demand for phytogenic feed additives for farm animals globally, in line with projections that the PFA market will reach the US$1 billion threshold by 2023.

Turning science into solutions

The upcoming BIOMIN Phytogenic Feed Additives Survey builds on similar work published in 2017.

“As a leading global supplier of PFAs, we are in constant contact with clients, researchers, valued distributors and our skilled sales and client support teams throughout the globe,” noted Mr. Noonan.

“Through discussions with clients, trials and scientific research, we are continually highlighting the advantages that PFAs offer to the feed and livestock industries,” explained Mr. Noonan.

BIOMIN has conducted hundreds of trials with phytogenic feed additives over the years. “Our scientific knowledge of PFAs and on-the-ground customer support throughout the world provide us the means to help our clients achieve the best outcomes,” Mr. Noonan concluded.

Upcoming publication

More than 700 nutritionists, business owners, veterinarians and consultants located in over 80 countries provided their views on the use of phytogenic feed additives in livestock in the recent BIOMIN Phytogenic Feed Additive survey.

The full results of the actual BIOMIN Phytogenic Feed Additives Survey will be published in June 2018.

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Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Press Releases
news-1972 Tue, 15 May 2018 11:21:00 +0200 Mycotoxin Survey in US corn: May 2018 update http://www.biomin.net/articles/mycotoxin-survey-in-us-corn-may-2018-update/ Mycotoxins, fungal metabolites produced by common molds capable of infecting almost all types of grains, are toxic to animals and humans. As part of the Biomin® PROcheck mycotoxin risk management program, annual surveys are conducted to assess the occurrence of mycotoxins in the new corn crop from the United States of America. Design

For the 2017 corn harvest, a total of 642 samples sourced from 32 states were analyzed in 3 different labs (Romer Labs Inc., USA; Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Iowa State University, USA; Activation Laboratories, Canada) to characterize the presence and potential risk posed to livestock animal production by six major mycotoxin groups: aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), Type B Trichothecenes (B-Trich), fumonisins (FUM), Type A trichothecenes (A-Trich), and ochratoxin A (OTA). Samples included corn (388, 60%), corn silage and fresh corn chop (189, 29%), and corn byproducts (65, 10%).

Occurrence

A total of 91% of samples tested positive for mycotoxins compared to 96% in 2016. Type B trichothecenes such as deoxynivalenol continue to pose a major threat to livestock this year, with an occurrence at 78%, average contamination level of 1,027 ± 122 ppb (all values are presented as an average ± SEM), and maximum of 54,149 ppb. Both occurrence and average level are decreased for B-Trich compared to 2016 (85% occurrence with an average of 1682 ± 96 ppb, maximum of 30,440). FUM for the current sample pool is less than 2016 with a prevalence of 45%, an average contamination level of 2343 ± 294 ppb, and a maximum of 64,500 ppb. This is compared to 70% and an average of 3878 ± 410 ppb in 2016. However, the current sample pool is skewed towards Midwestern corn, and those in Southern areas should be mindful of FUM contamination of the 2017 crop from corn grown in these regions.

Table 1. Summary of mycotoxin analysis

ParametersB-TrichFUMZENAflaA-TrichOTA
Positive samples (%)7845324<1<1
Mean of positives [ppb]1027234224712114600
SEM1 of positives [ppb]12229436334*NA
Maximum contamination [ppb]54,14964,5005,55667207600

1Standard error of mean

Figure 1. Prevalence (%) and average contamination level (ppb) of positive samples for Afla, ZEN, B Trich, and FUM from 2012 to 2017. OTA and A Trich are not represented due to low number of samples

Prevalence (%) and average contamination level (ppb) of positive samples  

The prevalence of ZEN in the 2017 harvest was 32%, with an average of 247 ± 36 ppb, and maximum of 5556 ppb. Average sample contamination level and prevalence is lower for ZEN compared to 2016 (2016: prevalence at 56% with a mean of 339 ± 62 ppb). Prevalence and average contamination levels of B-Trich, FUM are less than 2016, and appear similar to 2015 while prevalence of ZEN is greater than 2015. Contamination levels of B-Trich and FUM remain above 2015 levels. The overall trend has been increasing prevalence of B-Trich and ZEN contamination since 2013, with a decreasing trend of FUM. Afla prevalence in the sample pool appears to have decreased since 2012, but this year due to weather during the harvest and out-door storage of bumper crop corn, producers should remain vigilant of corn quality and storage conditions throughout the calendar year.

Risk level

Figure 2. Threat of mycotoxin-related risks to livestock based upon threshold levels according to FDA and EU regulatory and guidance values. States from which samples with levels of contamination representing a high risk are illustrated in red. States with positive samples below high threshold levels are illustrated in pink, without positive samples are illustrated in dark grey, and without samples submitted are illustrated in light grey. State information was not available for all samples. The maximum level does not preclude specific, severe instances of mycotoxin contamination in farm or fields locally, nor does it account for the negative impacts of multiple mycotoxin presence. OTA and A-Trich maps are not included due to small number of positive sample

Risk Level

The contamination of samples with B-Trich above 900 ppb and FUM above 2000 ppb was observed in 16 and 19 states, respectively. Zearalenone levels exceeding 100 ppb were detected in samples from 21 states. The occurrence of samples above threshold levels for Afla, T-2 and OTA were sparse, and found in samples from single sources. Samples of Afla above 20 ppb were detected in South Carolina and Alabama, A-Trich at levels above 100 ppb was found in New York, and OTA above 100 ppb was found in Ohio.

Distribution

Figure 3. Distribution of contaminated samples

Distribution

Detected occurrence above the risk level of 100 ppb was 62% for ZEN (73% in 2016) while it was 29% for B-Trich above 900 ppb (51% in 2016), and 28% for FUM above 2,000 ppb (42% in 2016). This 2017 harvest, B-Trich, ZEN, and FUM present the main threats in the US corn, consistent with previous years.

Co-occurrence

With more than ten-years of experience monitoring the occurrence of mycotoxins in livestock feeds, BIOMIN has shown that co-occurrence of mycotoxins (the presence of more than one mycotoxin) is the rule and not the exception. As illustrated in Figure 4, 43% of US corn samples harvested in 2017 were contaminated with just one mycotoxin while 48% showed co-contamination with more than one mycotoxin, a decrease from 2016 and similar to 2015. Of the co-contaminated samples, 18% were positive for all three fusarium toxins (B-Trich, FUM, and ZEN), while co-contamination with B-Trich and FUM, and B-Trich and ZEN were 14% and 13%, respectively.

Figure 4. Co-occurrence of mycotoxins from 2012-2017.

Co-occurrence of mycotoxins from 2012-2017.

Summary

Overall, B-Trich such as deoxynivalenol present the highest threat in the US corn harvest samples due to its high prevalence and number of samples above the FDA recommended level.

In terms of occurrence, FUM ranks second among the six major mycotoxins analyzed in these samples.

As a result of its co-occurrence with other toxins, ZEN continues to be a concern in US corn.

While occurrence and co-occurrence levels in 2017 have decreased compared to 2016, data suggests fusarium toxins in combination remain a threat to the livestock industry.

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Mycotoxins Species Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Articles
news-1964 Tue, 08 May 2018 15:15:00 +0200 Prevention is Better than Cure: Reducing Salmonella Challenges in Broilers http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/prevention-is-better-than-cure-reducing-salmonella-challenges-in-broilers/ Results show that Biotronic® Top3 can deliver a 50% reduction in Salmonella counts.

One of the most common foodborne infections are enteric diseases caused by Salmonella bacteria, and the most common source of infection with these specific bacteria are meat and eggs derived from poultry. In fact, Salmonella is an enduring problem in the poultry industry and the complete eradication of Salmonella spp. from production facilities is a hard task to achieve because of the many various bacterial transmission routes. (Watch the video: The Current Challenge for Salmonella Control in the Global Poultry Industry).

For this reason, the industry already started looking into tools that can be applied in order to contain Salmonella problems in poultry production. In addition to proper feed and farm management, vaccination, biosecurity and hygiene, the use of feed additives such as organic acids can play an important role in reducing Salmonella challenges in poultry production.

Efficacy of organic acids

Until very recently, the use of organic acids or single chain fatty acids (SCFA) mainly focused on their efficacy outside of the gastrointestinal tract. An increasing number of studies have been published focusing on the use of SCFA as supporters of gut health and as preventive tools to avoid an uncontrolled proliferation of pathogenic bacteria. The exact mode of action of SCFA as gut performance promoters are not yet clear. However, it has been demonstrated that organic acids have a direct antimicrobial activity against pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella, and they might contribute to gut health indirectly by improving digestibility. This ensures a proper feed digestion—meaning that less non-digested feed reaches the lower part of the intestine where it could feed opportunistic bacteria, leading to pathogen proliferation.

In order to improve the effects of the organic acids as gut health promoters, BIOMIN combines them with cinnamaldehyde and a blend of substances able to permeate the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria (Permeabilizing Complex™) in the product Biotronic® Top3. This ensures a maximized effect especially against Gram-negative pathogens. By using this product broiler feed, beneficial effects in modulating a positive microbiota could be observed both in the field and in scientific trials. Generally, the addition of Biotronic® Top3 to the diet of broilers reduces the total number of E. coli and Salmonella while creating a favorable environment for the proliferation of beneficial bacteria (Figure 1).

Figure 1: Bacterial counts (logCFU/g) of cecum microbiota in broilers at age 42.
Animals were fed a control diet without the addition of any additive (grey) or the same diet supplemented with 1 kg/T of Biotronic® Top3 (green). a,b Means with different superscripts differ significantly (P<0.05)

 Figure 1: Bacterial counts (logCFU/g) of cecum microbiota in broilers at age 42.

Source: BIOMIN, 2015

Prevention against Salmonella Enteritidis gut colonization: Biotronic® Top3

In a trial performed in cooperation with the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia Romagna (ISZLER – Italy), Biotronic® Top3 was evaluated as a tool to prevent gut colonization by Salmonella Enteritidis in experimentally infected broilers. The group partitioning is listed in Table 1.

Table 1: Group partitioning and diet description.

GroupTreatmentNo of animals
ControlStandard feed20
Group 1Standard feed + Biotronic® Top3 at 1.0 kg/T20
Group 2Standard feed + Biotronic® Top3 at 2.0 kg/T20

Diets were fed from day 1 to day 25

At 15 days of age all the specific pathogen free animals were eye-drop infected with 1x105 CFU Salmonella enteritidis, a field strain isolated in Italy. At 5 days post infection, 10 animals per group were sacrificed and cecum was subjected to bacteriological analysis for the recovery of Salmonella enteritidis. Results are shown in Figure 2, and clearly indicate that in both treatment groups the counts of S. enteritidis were significantly reduced on both day 5 and day 10 post infection. Converting log reduction in percentages both trial groups had between 50% and 70% lower Salmonella counts compared to the control group.

Figure 2. Salmonella Enteritidis counts (logCFU/g) in the cecal content of broilers on day 5 and 10 post infection.
Animals were fed a control diet without the addition of any additive or the same diet supplemented with 1 or 2 kg/T of Biotronic® Top3. a,b Means with different superscripts differ significantly (P<0.05)

Figure 2. Salmonella Enteritidis counts (logCFU/g) in the cecal content of broilers on day 5 and 10 post infection.

Source: BIOMIN, 2013

Prevention is better than cure

The complete eradication of Salmonella from poultry production is an incredibly difficult goal. The need for the combination of proper management, biosecurity, proper vaccination protocols and together with many other aspects can help to take the first steps in the right direction. The use of feed additives like the enhanced acidifier Biotronic® Top3 can be a helpful tool to prevent disease outbreaks by ensuring a healthy gut and deliver good performance levels. Biotronic® Top3 is effective in supporting the suppression of an uncontrolled pathogen proliferation while creating favorable conditions for the establishment of a balanced gut microbiota.

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Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Blog Posts
news-1961 Thu, 03 May 2018 09:45:00 +0200 Farm Management Using A Holistic Approach to Pig Production Without Antibiotics [Summary] http://www.biomin.net/articles/farm-management-using-a-holistic-approach-to-pig-production-without-antibiotics-summary/ Veterinary practitioners use their experience and expertise to administer antibiotics only where they are necessary. Yet governments and lawmakers are deciding to reduce or restrict the use of antibiotics on farms in order to tackle rising levels of antimicrobial resistance. Farm management must adapt to a future without antibiotics. Pigs Articles Videos news-1936 Thu, 03 May 2018 08:56:00 +0200 Science & Solutions No. 55 - Poultry http://www.biomin.net/magazines/science-solutions-no-55-poultry/ In this issue: The impact of mycotoxins in turkeys; Using beneficial bacteria to improve antibiotic-free turkey performance; Reducing E. coli challenges in turkeys despite antibiotic resistance Turkey production – gaining momentum

EU turkey production in 2016, the most recent data available, surged with a 6.8% growth in production.

This was led by Poland and Spain but with a significant rate of growth in many of the other major turkey-producing countries. Despite this, per capita consumption remains below 4 kg.
A decline in overall EU production is likely for 2017. This is due to the impact of avian influenza in the second half of the year. The AVEC (Association of Poultry Processors and Poultry Trade in the EU) reported bird culling as a result of avian influenza in several countries, including the largest turkey producer in the EU, Germany.
Markets outside the EU are growing with increases in Russia, Ukraine and the North African countries of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. However, North America remains the major producing country whilst Brazil continues to increase production. Despite this global growth, turkey consumption remains well below that of chicken.
With a demand for high-density rations, the success of turkey producers is reliant on stable protein commodity prices, which have been present for the past two years. However, with high-density diets there is always a risk of feeding both the birds and some of their less desirable gut inhabitants at the same time. Pathogenic E. coli are one of the major concerns in turkey production and can result in losses in performance as well as further economic losses in terms of the veterinary costs required for control. Therefore, maintaining a healthy gut structure and microbial balance is important in order to achieve economic productivity.
In this issue of Science and Solutions, we look at some ways of reducing the incidence of colibacillosis, keeping you naturally ahead with enhanced organic acid products where the addition of a permeabilizing agent enhances antimicrobial activity, resulting in improved efficacy and turkey performance. Similarly, the use of probiotics is gaining acceptance as a way of improving overall gut health through immune stimulation and competitive exclusion of pathogens, thereby reducing the need for antibiotic intervention.
With a long growing cycle, there is a high chance that the birds will be fed mycotoxin-contaminated feed. Mycotoxins have a direct effect on intestinal structure and synergistic effects when combined with some pathogenic challenges. Minimizing their effects can also aid in reducing the need for veterinary interventions.

Enjoy reading this issue of Science and Solutions, keeping you naturally informed.

IN THIS ISSUE:

Science &amp; Solutions No. 55 - PoultryImpact of Mycotoxins in Turkeys
Mycotoxins are present in nearly all raw materials used to make turkey feed. They have a huge impact on the production performance of the flock, but using a mycotoxin deactivation product in the diet can mitigate these negative effects.

Using Beneficial Bacteria to Improve Antibiotic-Free Turkey Performance
Turkey production comes with its own challenges including enhancing growth rates, increasing nutrient absorption and decreasing enteric bacterial diseases. Reduced antibiotic usage amplifies these challenges, but the addition of PoultryStar® to the diet can deliver beneficial bacteria to restore performance levels.

Reducing E. coli Challenges in Turkeys by Adopting the Right Strategy
The majority of the bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract can inhabit the host without causing any harm. But there are certain strains that cause diseases, resulting in significant economic losses for producers. Managing these bacterial diseases, while also reducing the use of antibiotics in turkey production, requires a considered, strategic approach.

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Mycotoxins Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Magazines
news-1939 Thu, 03 May 2018 08:53:00 +0200 Reducing E. coli Challenges in Turkeys Despite Enrofloxacin Resistance http://www.biomin.net/articles/reducing-e-coli-challenges-in-turkeys-despite-enrofloxacin-resistance/ The majority of the bacteria found in the gastrointestinal tract can inhabit the host without causing any harm. But there are certain strains that cause diseases, resulting in significant economic losses for producers. Managing these bacterial diseases, while also reducing the use of antibiotics in turkey production, requires a considered, strategic approach.
Photo: iStockphoto_Anna Usova

The gastrointestinal tract of birds is intensively populated by many different microorganisms. Recent analytical technologies, such as next-generation sequencing, have made it possible to characterize this microbiome thoroughly. In general, the microbiota is a very important component for the host as it can influence the development and function of the digestive and immune systems. While there are lot of studies available on the chicken microbiome, not many have been published regarding the microbiome of turkeys. The importance of species-specific studies was highlighted by Pan and Yu (2014) who showed that chickens and turkeys have only 16% similarity in their intestinal microbiome. Wilkinson et al. (2017) showed that Firmicutes, Bacteroidetes, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria were the dominant phyla in the microbiota of turkeys across age and location. Escherichia coli belong to the Proteobacteria phylum and are common inhabitants of the gastrointestinal tract of turkeys, but they can also be found in other birds and also in mammals. E. coli predominantly inhabit their host without causing any harm.

However, there are certain E. coli strains that possess specific virulent genes which are able to cause diseases in birds (avian pathogenic E. coli – APEC). Avian colibacillosis is one of the most common diseases in poultry. Colibacillosis can occur in many different clinical forms, causing considerable economic losses to producers worldwide. To counteract colibacillosis, antimicrobials need to be used. However, the misuse or incorrect application of antibiotics can contribute to the spread of antimicrobial resistance, which poses a threat both for animals and humans. In relation to the latest trends and pressure coming from the market, the need for alternatives to be used as preventive tools to avoid colibacillosis has become crucial.

Organic acids: an alternative solution

Organic acids or single chain fatty acids (SCFA) have been proven to be toxic for many microorganisms. This toxicity is primarily associated with the ability of the undissociated acids to freely diffuse across the membranes of bacteria. Once inside the cell, the acids will dissociate into anions and protons and the resulting anions can affect cell growth in many different ways. In order to support and facilitate the passage of the acids across the bacterial membrane, the use of SCFA can be combined with the use of permeabilizers that destabilize the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria (like E. coli and Salmonella spp.) and hence ease the passage of the acids into the cells. Such a formulation has been considered for the development of the enhanced acidifier Biotronic® Top liquid: a combination of substances able to permeate the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria (Permeabilizing Complex™) with a well-studied blend of organic acids. Such a product can be added to the water supply as a preventive tool to reduce the replication of pathogenic E. coli in birds.

Biotronic® Top liquid: prevention against E. coli replication

In a trial performed in cooperation with the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale della Lombardia e dell’Emilia- Romagna “Bruno Ubertini”, 80 one-day-old female turkeys (Big 6 Aviagen®) where fed three different diets (Table 1). Feed and water administered to the birds was tested for the absence of E. coli, Enterobacteriaceae, Clostridium spp. and Salmonella spp. before it was offered. The diets were administered from day 4 onwards after the birds were preventively treated with colistin at the dose recommended by the manufacturer. On day 11 of the trial, all the birds were challenged with 1.38x108 CFU of E. coli O78 serotype, an APEC which was isolated during an incidence of colisepticemia in a turkey flock in Italy, 2014. The strain was found to be resistant to enrofloxacin. On day 4 of the trial, one animal per group was sacrificed by cervical dislocation in order to confirm the absence of the E. coli O78 as well as any other E. coli strain. All other animals were left in the pens to grow. On day 20 and 30 of the trial, ten birds from each group were sacrificed by cervical dislocation and examined by bacteriological analysis and lesion score assessment.

Table 1. Experimental diets

Negative control (NC)Standard diet
Positive control (PC)Standard diet + enrofloxacin supplemented in the water at 0.50 mL/L (from day 11 to day 20 of the trial)
Biotronic® Top liquid (BTR)Standard diet + Biotronic® Top liquid supplemented in the water at 1.25 mL/L (during the whole period)

Source: BIOMIN

Table 2. Lesion scores and their descriptions

Lesion ScoreDescription
0No lesions
0.5One yellow or brown pin-head sized inflammatory spot
1Two or more pin-head sized inflammatory spots
2Thin layer of fibrinous exudate in various locations
3Thick and extensive fibrinous exudation

Adapted from Van Eck and Goren, 1991.

Lesion scores

Liver lesions of the sacrificed animals were scored using a slightly modified version of that described by Van Eck and Goren (1991) (Table 2). The mean lesion score was calculated for each group. There were no signs of lesions on day 20 in the Biotronic® Top liquid (BTR) group. However, results were not found to be significantly different from the negative control (NC) or positive control (PC). On day 30, the lesion score for the BTR group was significantly different (p<0.05) from both the PC and NC (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Average lesion score of the liver 

Average lesion score of the liver content

E. coli count

E. coli were isolated from both the intestinal tract and the liver, and were further enumerated using appropriate buffers and agar. Biotronic® Top liquid supplemented to the water reduced E. coli counts in the intestinal tract and liver of turkeys. On day 20 and day 30, E. coli counts in the intestinal tract of turkeys in the BTR group were significantly reduced (p<0.05) compared to NC and PC as shown in Figure 2. On day 20 and day 30, no E. coli counts were found in the liver samples of the BTR group, whereas the NC and the PC groups were both found to be positive for E. coli. On day 30, the E. coli count in the liver was significantly lower (p<0.05) in the BTR group compared to NC and PC (Figure 3).

Figure 2. Average E. coli count of the intestinal content

Average E. coli count of the intestinal content

Figure 3. Average E. coli count of the liver

Average E. coli count of the liver

Biotronic® Top liquid: a profitable solution

The treatment of colibacillosis in poultry should take into consideration the costs of treating flocks with the correct dosage for a sufficiently long period, and the rising percentage of isolated E. coli that are resistant to antibacterial drugs. The diagnosis of colibacillosis is mainly based on the clinical features and the typical macroscopic lesions. But in order to confirm infection, E. coli need to be isolated and identified. Further, bacterial resistances need to be excluded. All these steps take time, leading to losses in production when the analysis needs to be outsourced. They can also lead to wrong decisions being made when it comes to selecting the right therapy to be adopted. In this case, treatment with a commonly used antibiotic (enrofloxacin) would not have been effective, as highlighted by the results, because the bacteria used for the challenge was resistant to this specific drug. This is why it is important to work on a prevention strategy against colibacillosis rather than relying on therapy alone.

Conclusion

A holistic approach that includes proper management, proper vaccination measures and the right nutritional design are needed in order to prevent the spread of E. coli and hence colibacillosis in turkeys but also in poultry. The use of feed additives like the enhanced acidifier Biotronic® Top liquid can support the replication reduction of pathogenic bacteria in the animal, and the product can play a crucial role in reducing environmental E. coli contamination.

In Brief
  • The gastrointestinal tract of turkeys contains a complex microbiome of bacteria, most causing no harm to the host
  • Some bacterial strains cause diseases leading to economic losses
  • The downward trend in antibiotic use has driven the rise of alternative disease management strategies
  • Biotronic® Top liquid can reduce the E. coli count in turkeys when used as part of a holistic approach to turkey production
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Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Articles
news-1958 Thu, 26 Apr 2018 09:53:00 +0200 Farm Management Using A Holistic Approach to Pig Production Without Antibiotics http://www.biomin.net/articles/farm-management-using-a-holistic-approach-to-pig-production-without-antibiotics/ Veterinary practitioners use their experience and expertise to administer antibiotics only where they are necessary. Yet governments and lawmakers are deciding to reduce or restrict the use of antibiotics on farms in order to tackle rising levels of antimicrobial resistance. Farm management must adapt to a future without antibiotics. Pigs Articles Videos news-1954 Wed, 25 Apr 2018 11:30:00 +0200 What is a Phytogenic Feed Additive? http://www.biomin.net/videos/what-is-a-phytogenic-feed-additive/ Phytogenic feed additives, known as PFAs or botanicals, are substances of plant origin added to animal diets at recommended levels with the aim of improving animal performance. Essential oils, herbs and spices all serve as sources for bioactive ingredients, e.g. phenols and flavonoids. Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Species Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Videos news-1953 Tue, 24 Apr 2018 15:27:00 +0200 How endotoxins aggravate heat stress in broilers http://www.biomin.net/articles/how-endotoxins-aggravate-heat-stress-in-broilers/ Heat stress can increase gut permeability, opening the door for lipopolysaccharides to exacerbate immune response and impair performance. Higher ambient temperatures in poultry housing have an influence on birds’ behavior, physiology and immune system, making them more susceptible to endotoxins with negative consequences on welfare and performance. Heat stress costs the U.S. poultry industry alone it thought to cost approximately US$128-165 million each year.

Heat stress impairs gut barrier function

In a healthy bird, tight junction proteins seal the spaces between intestinal epithelial cells, ensuring an intact gut barrier that helps to prevent pathogens or toxins from entering the blood stream (Figure 1a). However, during heat stress, tight junction proteins can be disrupted (Figure 1b) which allows pathogens or toxins to enter the circulatory system.

An impaired gut barrier due to different stress events

Heat stress increases a bird’s gut permeability by two-fold, work conducted at the BIOMIN Research Center confirms.

Twenty-eight day old birds were either kept at thermoneutral conditions (23°C) or at heat stress conditions (36°C) for 10 hours. A marker molecule (FITC-Dextran) was administered orally and later measured in the blood to assess gut permeability. The gut permeability of the heat stressed animals doubled compared to that of birds in thermoneutral conditions.

Endotoxins harm broilers and laying hens

Endotoxins, also known as lipopolysaccharides (LPS), are part of the outer membrane of the cell wall of Gram-negative bacteria (e.g. E. coli, Salmonella). LPS are released from bacterial cell walls by shedding or through bacterial lysis. There are many natural sources of endotoxins including air, dust, food, water, and feces, but the major source is the gastrointestinal tract.

Poultry are exposed to LPS throughout their lives. In healthy birds, the intestinal and other epitheliums such as skin or lungs, represent an effective barrier that prevents the passage of LPS into the bloodstream. Once there, however, endotoxins can elicit strong immune responses, weakening birds’ immune systems and impairing performance. Severely pronounced immune response can lead to septic shock.

LPS raise intestinal immune response during heat stress

A study was conducted at the BIOMIN Research Center to assess the influence of endotoxins on inflammation response of the intestine in heat-stressed birds.

The combination of heat stress and LPS led to an increase of the expression of various genes related to heat stress and inflammation (Table 1). The expression of heat shock protein (HSP70) was increased up to 90-fold when the oral dose of LPS was applied. In addition, the cytokines interleukin 1beta and interleukin 6 –all indicative of inflammatory processes— showed a more prominent effect when both stressors were present.

DuodenumJejunumIleum
Heat shock protein↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑
Interleukin 1beta↑↑
Interleukin 6↑↑↑↑↑↑

< 5 fold increase
> 5 fold increase
> 50-fold increase
*Red indicates a significant increase compared to the negative control

Need for endotoxin control

The presence of endotoxins can cause birds to waste energy on activation of the immune system, leaving less energy available for growth and performance. This underscores the importance of proper endotoxin risk management. Table 2 highlights several ways to reduce the impact of heat stress and endotoxin contamination. When combined with good farm practice and the reduction of other stressors such as heat stress or mycotoxin contamination, the threat of endotoxins on bird performance can be eliminated.

EndotoxinsCorrective action
Adapt diet to birds' needs according to production status (e.g. switch to corn-based diet instead of rye-wheat-barley diet
Implement stress reduction measures (e.g. temperature control, welfare enhancement)
Verify hygiene management e.g. reduce dust, ensure proper and regular cleaning of barns
Enhance liver support and strengthen gut permeability through feed additives that provide bioprotection
Apply a mycotoxin binder with demonstrated ability to capture endotoxins
Reduce or eliminate the subtherapeutic use of antibiotics

  

Heat stressProvide adequate ventilation for number of birds housed
Reduce stocking densities
Insulate sheds sufficiently to avoid solar heat gain
Position fans to optimize wind speed an air circulation
Use evaporative cooling pads or atomizing nozzle
Maintain water-electrolyte balance
Vitamin supplementation
Apply a phytogenic feed additive to reduce the effects of heat stress

This article originally appeared in Poultry International.

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Mycotoxins Poultry Articles
news-1948 Thu, 19 Apr 2018 10:21:00 +0200 Continuous higher threat for DON and FUM in Asia: 2017 BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey Results for Asia http://www.biomin.net/articles/continuous-higher-threat-for-don-and-fum-in-asia-2017-biomin-mycotoxin-survey-results-for-asia/ BIOMIN has conducted the Mycotoxin Survey Program annually since 2004. The accumulated number of samples is already over 75,000, which makes the program the largest worldwide data pool for mycotoxin analyses. In 2017, the analysed number of samples hit a record high (Table 1). Table 1. BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey statistics

201520162017
Number of analyses31,00063,63073,692
Number of samples8,27116,51118,757

Overall, 2017 was another high-risk year for mycotoxins in Asia, similar to 2016. The infographic (Figure 1) and graph (Figure 2) show where the major mycotoxins were found throughout Asia in 2017. The most severely contaminated sub region was East Asia, including China, Korea and Japan. In East Asia, deoxynivalenol (DON) was the most prevalent mycotoxin, followed by fumonisin (FUM) and zearalenone (ZEN). All are produced by Fusarium species of fungi, normally abundant in cooler climates but prevalent in East Asia because of trading. Over 90% of the raw feed materials used in Korea and Japan are imported. The 2017 figures look different in South East Asia where Aflatoxin (Afla) as well as FUM were both a problem. ZEN and DON were found in 52% and 50% of the samples respectively. The trend shows that a large percentage of integrators and feed mills are using imported raw materials so the contamination levels of Fusarium mycotoxins are reflecting trends from North and South America. Taking a closer look at the results from South Asia, Afla is still the biggest threat if we also consider the percentage contamination above the risk threshold. The prevalence of FUM and Ochratoxin A (OTA) in South Asia was the highest of all the Asian sub regions.

Figure 1. Mycotoxin contamination throughout Asia

Figure 1. Mycotoxin contamination throughout Asia

Figure 2. Prevalence of mycotoxins detected in all samples from Asia (risk threshold determined for the most sensitive species)

Figure 2. Prevalence of mycotoxins detected in all samples from Asia (risk threshold determined for the most sensitive species)

The majority of samples analyzed contained at least one mycotoxin type above the risk level (Figure 3), which would have an effect on most animals. The main mycotoxins are identified by each region, and more detail of each mycotoxin type is given in Table 2. This is based on the following risk thresholds for the six main mycotoxin types analyzed; Afla at 2 ppb, ZEN at 50 ppb, type B trichothecenes (e.g. DON) at 150 ppb, type A trichothecenes (e.g. T-2 toxin) at 50 ppb, FUM at 500 ppb and OTA at 10 ppb.

Figure 3. Co-contamination of mycotoxins in all samples – samples tested for at least three mycotoxins

Figure 3. Co-contamination of mycotoxins in all samples – samples tested for at least three mycotoxins 

Table 2. Detailed Mycotoxin Survey results for Asian Sub regions in 2017

Table 2. Detailed Mycotoxin Survey results for Asian Sub regions in 2017

In addition, the 2017 North American Corn harvest had a high FUM risk (FUM was detected in 65% of samples with an average level of 2563 ppb) as well as a significant DON risk (DON was detected in 74% of samples with an average level of 893 ppb). Soybeans are usually considered cleaner than corn, but wet weather conditions leading up to the 2017 harvest in South America resulted in a higher than normal risk level (83% of samples were found to be contaminated with DON at an average level of 1258ppb).

In conclusion, the 2017 BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey Program for Asia found three main trends:

  • East Asia was the most contaminated sub region in Asia, where up to 90% of the raw materials for feed included corn from North America and soybeans from Latin America.
  • South East Asia is becoming more contaminated with DON and ZEN, reflecting the fact that bigger feed mills use more imported raw materials.
  • In South Asia, Afla is still the biggest threat. However, the prevalence of FUM and OTA was the highest in the whole Asian region. 

This article originally appeared in Livestock & Feed Business.

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Mycotoxins Species Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Articles
news-1947 Wed, 18 Apr 2018 11:38:00 +0200 BIOMIN India provided guidance to choose the right career path http://www.biomin.net/news/biomin-india-provided-guidance-to-choose-the-right-career-path/ In an effort to help the veterinary students choose the right career path, BIOMIN India provided guidance to the students of Veterinary College and Research Institute, Namakkal in Tamil Nadu on April 9, 2018. BIOMIN India provided guidance to choose the right career pathRajan Seralathan, Sales Director, South India & Sri Lanka, BIOMIN India gave a presentation on ‘Career Opportunities in Feed Additives Sector’ explaining about the growth of feed additives and specialty feed additives sector, and the career opportunities available for the veterinary graduates.

The Career Orientation Program for students, jointly organized by the institute and CLFMA of India was attended by both undergraduate and postgraduate veterinary students as well as research scholars. 

By actively participating in such career guidance programs, BIOMIN educates the students about the importance of specialty feed additives in ensuring healthy and safe animal nutrition, while motivating the future veterinarians to pursue a career in the feed additive sector.

Working for BIOMIN means leaving 'foodprints' for a better world!

Open positions

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News
news-1940 Wed, 18 Apr 2018 07:51:00 +0200 BIOMIN displays strong aquaculture expertise at APA 2018 http://www.biomin.net/news/biomin-displays-strong-aquaculture-expertise-at-apa-2018/ BIOMIN will participate in the upcoming Asia Pacific Aquaculture (APA) 2018, held from 24 to 26 April, at the Taipei International Convention Centre in Taipei, reinforcing its commitment to the aquaculture industry. Visit BIOMIN at booths 35/36/43/44 and learn how we harness the power of science to support the aquaculture industry!

Find out about the latest results of the BIOMIN World Mycotoxin Survey, and the leading mycotoxin risk management product Mycofix®. Also, discover our innovative solutions AquaStar®, a multi-strain probiotic product specifically designed for aquatic species, Biotronic® Top3, an enhanced acidifier, and Digestarom®, a specifically formulated phytogenic product.

BIOMIN experts from Europe and Asia warmly welcomes you to the BIOMIN booth for engaging discussions over a cup of freshly brewed coffee by our baristas.

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Aquaculture News
news-1938 Tue, 17 Apr 2018 11:06:00 +0200 Using Beneficial Bacteria to Improve Antibiotic-Free Turkey Performance http://www.biomin.net/articles/using-beneficial-bacteria-to-improve-antibiotic-free-turkey-performance/ Turkey production comes with its own challenges including enhancing growth rates, increasing nutrient absorption and decreasing enteric bacterial diseases. Reduced antibiotic usage amplifies these challenges, but the addition of PoultryStar® to the diet can deliver beneficial bacteria to restore performance levels.
Photo: iStockphoto_Mark Kokkoros

The poultry industry has gone through some tremendous changes recently, including genetic improvements, preventive disease control, increased biosecurity measures and the introduction of modern intensive production methods. The changes have been implemented due to increased demand for animal protein. From 1990 to 2005, the consumption of poultry meat increased by 35 million tons in developing countries (Narrod et al., 2007). In some countries where the production of red meat is not suitable, turkey meat has been a well-accepted replacement. However, its production, as with any other livestock sector, comes with complex challenges such as the need to enhance growth performance, nutrient absorption and to reduce enteric bacterial diseases.

Doing more with less antibiotics

Enhanced growth and feed efficiency are relevant topics for any turkey grower. In many places, reliance on nonmedically important poultry antibiotics has been essential to keep up with rising demand for safe and affordable animal protein. However, increasing pressure from consumers, food retailers and regulators has spurred the reduction of antibiotic usage in farm animals. Furthermore, the development of resistant pathogenic bacterial strains to certain antibiotics may jeopardize the effectiveness of antibiotics when treatment is needed. Already, an increase in susceptibility to some infections through immunosuppression or through the alteration of the gut microbiota has been observed (National Research Council, 1980).

A boost from beneficial bacteria

To counteract the undesired effects of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) and to reduce the use of antibiotics overall, novel feed additives and preventive drugs have been developed, such as phytogenics, organic acids, probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics (combined probiotic plus prebiotic), and vaccines, that offer alternatives to promote animal performance and prevent health issues. PoultryStar® is a well-defined, multi-species synbiotic product that promotes a beneficial gut microflora through the combined action of carefully selected species-specific probiotic microorganisms and prebiotic fructooligosaccharides derived from inulin. It was designed to improve gut health and make chicks more resistant to pathogenic infections, while also achieving enhanced performance.

Antibiotic-free turkey trial in the US

In a scientific experiment in the United States with 540 poults (Koch's turkey hybrid) conducted over 98 days, the synbiotic PoultryStar® sol from BIOMIN was used in drinking water at a dose of 20g/1000 birds/day in combination with the commercial antibiotic-free (ABF) diet. The additive was applied in days 1-3, 7, 13-15, 21, 28, 35, 41-43, 49, 56, 63, 69-71, 77, 84 and 91 (first three days, every three days, around feed change and once a week). The control flock was administered only the commercial ABF diet, devised to support the marketing of “naturally fed” turkeys whose organic diets were free from animal protein products and antibiotics.

Trial results

The results of the trial show that PoultryStar® sol improved turkey performance. Final live weight was significantly higher (P<0.05) in the PoultryStar® group compared with the negative control (Figure 1). At 98 days of age, the supplemented birds achieved 9.120kg compared to 8.604kg in non-supplemented birds, a significant difference of 516g. Feed intake was 8% greater in the supplemented group, which may partly explain the achieved weight at the end of the trial (Figure 2). The feed conversion ratio (FCR) was not statistically different between the two groups.

Figure 1. Body weight per hen

Body weight per hen

Figure 2. Compilation of overall feed intake and FCR

Compilation of overall feed intake and FCR 

Related findings in chicken

These findings have also been confirmed in multiple scientific, commercial and field trials in broilers. A recent study found that the synbiotic PoultryStar® was able to improve intestinal histomorphology (Palamidi et al., 2016), which in turn improves digestibility due to an improved digestive function. Probiotics may induce enhancements in intestinal architecture forming an increased surface area, which may contribute to a greater absorption of nutrients (Awad et al., 2009). However, this must be confirmed specifically for turkeys with further studies.

Furthermore, trials in chickens have shown that the early prophylactic supplementation of PoultryStar® improves immune response of the birds, evidenced in peer reviews. PoultryStar® considerably reduced the incidence of pathogenic diseases, such as Salmonella Enteritidis in cecal content (Sterzo et al., 2007), decreased lameness attributable to bacterial chondronecrosis (Wideman et al., 2012) and enhanced performance and provided an additional protective effect against a mixed Eimeria challenge (Ritzi et al., 2016).

Conclusion

Scientific studies and trials have highlighted the benefits of using natural growth promoters, such as a synbiotic that includes a mix of probiotic strains and a prebiotic. This makes them an interesting tool in antibiotic-free feeding programs or in conventional operations as feed supplements to improve gut health and achieve better overall flock performance.

In Brief
  • Pressure from consumers is fueling the reduction of antibiotic use in turkey production
  • Without antibiotics, a performance gap opens up
  • Supplementing the diet with feed additives can help to close the performance gap
  • Feed intake and final body weight increased when PoultryStar® was added to the diet

Note: At time of writing, PoultryStar® has EU authorization for use in feed or water for chickens for fattening, chickens reared for laying and minor avian species to the point of lay. PoultryStar® is under evaluation for EU authorization for use in turkeys.

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Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Articles
news-1937 Tue, 17 Apr 2018 10:52:00 +0200 Impact of Mycotoxins in Turkeys http://www.biomin.net/articles/impact-of-mycotoxins-in-turkeys/ Mycotoxins are present in nearly all raw materials used to make turkey feed. They have a huge impact on the production performance of the flock, but using a mycotoxin deactivation product in the diet can mitigate these negative effects.
Photo: iStockphoto_Alphotographic

Turkey and poultry species in general are sensitive to a broad array of mycotoxins. Aflatoxins, type A trichothecenes (T-2 and HT-2 toxin), type B trichothecenes (deoxynivalenol (DON), nivalenol (NIV), or diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS)), fumonisins (FUM) and ochratoxins are among the groups that can impair production the most. Aflatoxins are potent liver carcinogens; they can influence animal production by triggering severe immunosuppression, cancer of the liver and spleen, feed refusal and carry-over into tissues and eggs. Contamination of feed with subclinical doses of aflatoxins can negatively influence intestinal histology and reduce the adsorption of crude proteins from the feed. Trichothecenes are protein synthesis inhibitors; hence, they are highly toxic to cells. Type A trichothecenes such as T-2 and HT-2 produce visible lesions on the beak and in the gut, leading to feed refusal. The most detrimental effects of trichothecenes are observed in the gastrointestinal tract, where they can compromise the integrity of the gut by disrupting the tight junctions – thus favoring the passage of pathogens and other toxic entities into the bloodstream. Trichothecenes such as DON have repercussions on villi histology as well: villi atrophy, decreased villi height and crypt depth have been observed in birds fed subclinical doses (below EU regulation guidelines) of DON. The effects of DON are enhanced by the presence of FUM. These mycotoxins act synergistically, rendering the immunosuppressive and cytotoxic effects of DON and other trichothecenes more severe. Moreover, DON and FUM are predisposing factors for the development of necrotic enteritis and coccidiosis.

When it comes to mycotoxin exposure, it is important to bear in mind the synergistic effects. Synergism is when the toxicity of one mycotoxin is greatly increased by the presence of others. The most relevant synergistic interactions in poultry are reported in Figure 1. The toxicity of mycotoxins depends on the dosage and the exposure time. Consequences to production can be detrimental whether the animals are exposed to subclinical doses over a prolonged time, or short-term high-level exposure.

Figure 1. Synergistic effects of mycotoxins in poultry

Figure 1. Synergistic effects of mycotoxins in poultry 

As reported by the BIOMIN mycotoxin survey, animals are always exposed to cocktails of mycotoxins – the 2017 survey data reported an average of 31 metabolites per sample (Figure 2). As mycotoxins can greatly differ in their physiochemical proprieties, an efficacious mycotoxin deactivation product needs to work in several different ways to counteract them all. Adsorption can only help against a small number of mycotoxins (mostly aflatoxins, ergots and ochratoxins).

Figure 2. Co-occurrence of mycotoxins in samples worldwide, Jan. - Nov. 2017

Co-occurrence of mycotoxins in samples worldwide, Jan. - Nov. 2017 

One of the major challenges for mycotoxin deactivation is to prove the effectiveness in vivo. According to the official EU registration protocol, this has to be accomplished with biomarkers, as they are the proof of mycotoxin deactivation at a molecular level. In fact, to register a product in the EU, in vitro results are not enough. Mycofix® is the only EU registered multi-strategy product available on the market and its state-of-the-art mode of action, based on adsorption and biotransformation, has been tested in turkeys against aflatoxins, trichothecenes and fumonisins in three different trials.

Mycofix® is able to counteract high concentrations of aflatoxin

The efficacy of Mycofix® to counteract aflatoxins (Afla) was tested on 210 one-day-old turkey poults exposed to relatively high amounts of Afla for 42 days. Different parameters were measured during the experiment including performance parameters (individual weight, feed intake, feed conversion ratio (FCR)), organ health measurements (relative organ weights, liver enzymes (AST and LDH), and strength of the immune response. The results showed that Mycofix® counteracted the adverse effects on turkey performance and on selected toxicopathological parameters, and completely overcame the negative effects of mycotoxins, including mortality, which has important economic implications for the poultry producer. The results are shown in Figures 3 and 4.

Figure 3. Body weight at day 21 and at the end of the experiment

 Body weight at day 21 and at the end of the experiment

Figure 4. LDH (a) and AST (b) levels at day 35

 LDH (a) and AST (b) levels at day 35

FUMzyme®, the breakthrough in FUM deactivation

The ability of FUMzyme® to detoxify FUM in the gastrointestinal tract of turkeys was assessed in a field trial.

Fifteen hybrid turkeys at ten weeks of age were fed 15 ppm of FUM (specifically FB1 was used in the trial). FUMzyme® converts FB1 into the hydrolyzed non-toxic metabolite HFB1. A way to assess the activity of the enzyme is to measure the gradual disappearance of FB1 and appearance of HFB1. To do so, fecal samples were collected after 14 days. As shown in Figure 5a (green bar), FUMzyme® significantly lowered the FB1 content in the feces compared to the FB1 contaminated group without additive (red bar). The metabolite HFB1 was significantly elevated in the FUM + FUMzyme® treatment (Figure 5b, green bar), showing effective biotransformation of FB1 to HFB1.

Figure 5a. FB1 in turkey feces day 14 (μg/g)

FB1 in turkey feces day 14 (μg/g)

Figure 5b. HFB1 in turkey feces day 14 (μg/g)

HFB1 in turkey feces day 14 (μg/g)

Another biomarker assay that is commonly used to assess FUM deactivation is the sphinganine (Sa): sphingosine (So) ratio. The mode of action of FUM is the inhibition of the enzyme ceramide synthase that coverts free Sa and So (molecules that are precursors of sphingolipids) into complex sphingolipids, important structural components of cell membranes. Once the enzyme is inhibited, the free Sa and So molecules start accumulating in the cell with Sa being the predominant metabolite. This accumulation is measurable; specifically the ratio between free Sa and So. The higher the ratio, the more severe the FUM intoxication. In one trial, the Sa:So ratio (Figure 6) in serum at day 14 was significantly elevated in the FUM contaminated group compared to the control group without FUM and FUMzyme®. The addition of FUMzyme® significantly lowered the ratio, indicating FUM inactivation in vivo.

Figure 6. Sa:So ratio

Sa:So ratio

Trichothecenes detoxification by BIOMIN BBSH 797

BIOMIN BBSH 797 catalyzes the cleavage of the epoxy group of trichothecenes by producing a specific enzyme called de-epoxidase during its metabolic activity in the gastrointestinal tract, which results in metabolites of no toxicological concern. The main metabolite of DON, the most prominent and prevalent mycotoxin among the group of trichothecenes, is DOM-1 (de-epoxy-deoxynivalenol). As reported in the literature (Wan et al., 2014), DON-3-sulfate is the major metabolite of DON in poultry. The resulting de-epoxy metabolite of BIOMIN BBSH 797 activity is DOM-3-sulfate. DON, DOM-1, DON-3- sulfate and DOM-3-sulfate were used as biomarkers in the feces. In this trial, 15 female ten-week-old turkeys (Hybrid Converter) were randomly allocated to three experimental groups using three double pens with five birds per double pen of the poultry trial facility. Birds were kept for six days in floor pens on wood shavings with free access to feed and water. After the first six days of accustomization, the trial period started for two consecutive days. The diets were artificially contaminated with 1.5 ppm DON, and BIOMIN BBSH 797 was administered via the feed as well. Fecal samples were taken five times per day from each pen. A pooled fecal sample per day and pen was analyzed for toxin residues and metabolites at the Christian Doppler laboratory at IFA-Tulln, Austria. The recorded parameters were the concentration of DON, DOM-1, DON-3-sulfate and DOM- 3-sulfate in feces (μg/day). DON was only present in small amounts below the limit of quantification and only in the group receiving the toxin without the additive (results not shown). BIOMIN BBSH 797 significantly lowered the load of DON-3- sulfate (Figure 7a; green bar) and significantly raised the amount of DOM-3-sulfate detected (Figure 7b; green bar). It was clearly demonstrated that the de-epoxidation reaction only took place in the BIOMIN BBSH 797-treated group.

Figure 7a. DON-3-sulfate in turkey feces (μg/g)

DON-3-sulfate in turkey feces (μg/g)

Figure 7b. DOM-3-sulfate in turkey feces (μg/g)

 DOM-3-sulfate in turkey feces (μg/g)

To conclude, the enzymes contained in Mycofix® are an effective, state-of-the-art strategy for the deactivation of nonadsorbable mycotoxins. The fact that biomarker studies have been carried out on turkeys as well is a warranty that the product works efficiently in different animal classes. Purchasing registered products with a proven mode of action in vivo is a way to ensure robust production and to make sure that capital is properly invested in a product designed to get the job done!

In Brief
  • Mycotoxin contamination in feed can cause a myriad of performance and health problems
  • Most raw materials are naturally contaminated with more than one mycotoxin
  • To mitigate negative effects, a mycotoxin deactivation product with several modes of action should be included in the diet
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Mycotoxins Poultry Articles
news-1932 Fri, 13 Apr 2018 10:50:00 +0200 Taking Mycotoxin Control to the Next Level: 5 Takeaways from the 10th World Mycotoxin Forum http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/taking-mycotoxin-control-to-the-next-level-5-takeaways-from-the-10th-world-mycotoxin-forum/ The 10th edition of the World Mycotoxin Forum (WMF) was another great event that brought the industrial and scientific communities together. Over the course of the three-day event held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, research and commercial knowledge sharing about all aspects of mycotoxins and their management. The theme of the event was ‘Taking mycotoxin control to the next level’. As well as a plenary presentation from BIOMIN Research Director Dr. Gerd Schatzmayr, other members of the BIOMIN team were at the event. Here we share the main 5 takeaway messages with you.

1. Climate change

This megatrend will inevitably change mycotoxin contamination patterns, creating new and unexpected challenges when detoxifying feed and raw materials. New mycotoxins will continue to emerge with increasing global temperatures. Already, fungi are slowly moving towards the Earth’s poles (read Climate change and multi-mycotoxin occurrence).

Livestock producers need real-time weather data from satellites and weather stations. Predicting weather patterns will inform farmers and livestock producers when to harvest their feed crops for optimal yields while minimizing the risk of mycotoxin contamination.

2. Detoxifying agents

Due to the increasing global trade of raw materials, there is a need for tight cooperation between the biggest markets such as EU, China and US. Animal feed ingredients are sourced from an increasingly large geographical area, so knowledge and control of mycotoxins needs to be on a global scale. With the emergence of new mycotoxins, there is an urgent need for further development of mycotoxin detoxifying agents.

Harmonized safety assessments need to be implemented across the globe so that products can be used in a range of situations. For example, detoxification agents can be used to treat the mycotoxins found in raw materials used to make animal feeds, bioethanol and other applications. Metagenomics will play an essential role in the development of new and better performing products.

3. ‘-omics’ approach

More research is required to better understand the interactions between organisms (fungi vs plants). Questions such as ‘which metabolites are involved in resistance?’ and ‘can we use genes to produce resistant crops?’ need answering. Technology is available to produce in silico models and to retrieve information from big data. Increased knowledge will allow the development of more solutions to overcome mycotoxin challenges.

4. Management strategies

Integrated solutions should aim to counteract mycotoxin contamination along the whole food chain, starting with the development of practical and affordable tools for end users. Resistant crops are fundamental for mycotoxin mitigation. Legal guidelines need to be introduced for new cultivars. Novel food processing techniques such as microsonication need to be implemented on full scale as well.

5. Detection and control

Livestock producers need to have accurate information about the mycotoxin contamination levels in their raw materials and finished feeds. Without rigorous and reliable mycotoxin assessment tools, mycotoxin management is difficult. Although analytical chemistry has progressed significantly, many challenges still remain. New emerging mycotoxins are being discovered and need to be assessed (read about Opens external link in new windowThe Effects of Emerging Mycotoxins in Livestock). Sampling plans need to be improved and harmonized between different markets. Multi-mycotoxin analytical methods need proficiency tests for quality assurance. The need for new, improved, cost-efficient and reliable analysis solutions remains.

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Mycotoxins Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Blog Posts
news-1930 Thu, 12 Apr 2018 10:26:00 +0200 Science & Solutions No. 54 - Aquaculture http://www.biomin.net/magazines/science-solutions-no-54-aquaculture/ In this issue: Probiotics to boost immune fitness and gut health; Fusarium mycotoxins continue to threaten Southeast Asian aquaculture; Taking the perfect sample for mycotoxin analysis How fit are your fish?

Today’s market place is highly competitive, making it extremely important for aquaculture producers to stay naturally ahead. One way of doing this is to ensure that your fish and shrimp are as homeostatically fit as possible.

Maintaining homeostatic fitness includes controlling the many variables of aquaculture production. Measuring and managing environmental factors or the biological, chemical and physical factors related to water quality has become standard practice.
New technologies promise to take this fitness to the next level. Thanks to advances in nutritional awareness and knowledge, and increased accessibility to raw materials from all around the world, diet formulations can now be more precise than ever before. At the same time, advances in technology have made a wide and exciting range of products available to producers. Such products can help overcome disease challenges, boost performance levels and ensure sustainability, all while being profitable.
In this issue of Science & Solutions magazine, we revisit probiotic use. The rigorous processes involved in aquafeed manufacture previously restricted probiotic use, but post-pelleting technology now makes more widespread application possible. Benedict Standen explains why probiotics constitute such a valuable addition to the diet.
Rui Gonçalves shares some results of the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey with you. He looks specifically at samples from Southeast Asia to dispel the myth that only aflatoxins are present in aquafeeds. Global trade of commodities has increased the range of mycotoxins found in this region, highlighting why it is so important to regularly check your feed for mycotoxin contamination.
Today’s mycotoxin detection tools are quite reliable. However, some errors can and do occur—the majority of the total error in mycotoxin testing stems from improper sampling. If you are not sure how to take a good sample for mycotoxin analysis, read our guide on page 11.

Enjoy reading this issue of Science & Solutions, keeping you naturally informed.

IN THIS ISSUE:

Science &amp; Solutions No. 54 - Aquaculture

Probiotics to Boost Immune Fitness and Gut Health
Despite growing trends in probiotic use, their application in aquafeeds has been constrained by the aggressive processes used during feed manufacture, which kill or maim heat-sensitive bacteria. Advances in post-pellet application and other technologies have overcome this constraint, enabling probiotics to deliver their benefits to the global aquaculture industry.

Fusarium Mycotoxins Continue to Threaten Southeast Asian Aquaculture
Samples of plant-based meals and finished feeds from Southeast Asia were analyzed for the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey. The results help explain why mycotoxin deactivation strategies are so important for optimizing aquaculture performance levels. When was the last time you checked your feed for mycotoxin contamination?

8 steps for taking the perfect sample for mycotoxin analysis
BIOMIN guides you through the sampling process in eight simple steps, ensuring that the results obtained from your final sample represent the mycotoxin levels in your whole batch.

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Mycotoxins Probiotics Aquaculture Magazines
news-1928 Mon, 09 Apr 2018 15:24:00 +0200 8 steps for taking the perfect sample for mycotoxin analysis http://www.biomin.net/articles/8-steps-for-taking-the-perfect-sample-for-mycotoxin-analysis/ Mycotoxins are naturally inhomogenous in their distribution. There will be hot-spots of mycotoxins in an otherwise ‘clean’ batch. To get a true analysis result, sampling is really important. Follow these steps to get your sampling right. download full infographic now

  1. Assess the size of your batch and work out how many sub samples you need to take.
    For example, 1 ton of raw material = 1 kg of aggregate sample (10 x 100 g samples). The exact amount of sample depends on lot type and size according to EC Regulation No 401/2006.
  2. Check the sampling method according to the material being sampled.
    Your BIOMIN representative can provide you with the best practices for each material, making sure you collect and store your sample correctly.
  3. Use the right equipment for the job.
    There are lots of tools out there so do your research and make sure you have the right tool for the job.
  4. Take incremental samples and mix them together thoroughly to form an aggregate sample.
    Make sure incremental samples are thoroughly mixed together so that all components are homogeneously distributed.
  5. Take the samples you will send off for analysis from your aggregate sample.
    The laboratory carrying out the analysis will tell you how much sample they need. The general recommendation is at least 1 kg. Make sure you send them at least this amount, if not more. And consider storing some material for future reference too.
  6. Make sure the bag or container is well sealed, and labelled with all the necessary information.
    Your BIOMIN representative can provide sampling bags or advise on other sample containers that avoid altering the quality of the sampled material.
  7. Post your sample off to the laboratory the same day.
    Try not to send samples late in the week as they might be stuck in the post office over the weekend. Instead, store samples in a fridge or freezer and post them the following week.
  8. Enjoy the benefits of receiving accurate and reliable mycotoxin analysis results.
    But your sampling journey doesn’t end there. Take regular samples to stay well informed about the mycotoxins in your raw materials or finished feeds

76% of total analysis uncertainty is due to sampling error.

 

download full infographic now

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Mycotoxins Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Articles
news-1926 Wed, 04 Apr 2018 14:18:00 +0200 The Mycotoxin Risk in Forages and Silages http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/the-mycotoxin-risk-in-forages-and-silages/ Ruminants are unique animals. With the complex rumen system, these animals are able to derive energy and protein from forages that most livestock cannot even digest properly. Forages have the advantage of being inexpensive relative to other feed types but we need to be aware of the mycotoxins that they can contain. Not just in grains

Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by fungi and they have a large impact on the animal industry in health costs and reduced performance. People often associate mycotoxins with grains. Indeed in a forage material that includes some grain e.g. corn silage, then the mycotoxins that are in the grain will generally remain in the silage. But mycotoxins can be produced in other parts of the plant. These include some of the Fusarium fungi mycotoxins that are common in grain e.g. deoxynivalenol (DON, a concern for gut health and disease susceptibility), zearalenone (ZEN, a concern for reproduction) and fumonisins (FUM, a further concern for gut health). There can also be less well known Fusarium mycotoxins such as culmorin compounds and moniliformin. There is evidences that some of these other compounds exacerbate the effect of DON on animals.

Forages can also contain mycotoxins from other fungi growing in or on plants. Tenuazonic acid (TeA) produced by fungi like Alternaria and Phoma is often present. A common Phoma disease on forage sorghum means that this particularly has a frequency high TeA contamination. Not much is known about the effect of TeA on ruminants but it is a protein synthesis inhibitor and is known to have effects on the digestive tract wall in poultry.

Figure 1. Aspergillus fumigatus is one of the most common mycotoxin-producing silage molds. It can commonly produce gliotoxin and can infect the lungs or digestive system of immunocompromised animals. It may contribute to hemorrhagic bowel syndrome (HBS).

Aspergillus fumigatus

Grasses

Within the shoots of some grasses, there can grow specific endophytic fungi such as Neotyphodium species on fescue grasses and these can produce toxic ergot alkaloids that can cause tremors and vasoconstriction contributing to heat stress, lameness, mastitis and reproductive issues. In some grass or cereal crops that include seed there is also the risk of ergot fungi Claviceps species that also contain the toxic alkaloids.

Alfalfa

Alfalfa is another common forage crop and this can also be contaminated with deoxynivalenol (DON) and zearalenone and quite commonly can include some aflatoxin as well which is the highest profile mycotoxin issue for dairy cows due to the milk carryover of aflatoxin B1. Pay attention to the storage of forages such as alfalfa and other hays or straw to reduce the risk of Aspergillus flavus and relatives that produce aflatoxins.

Silage

Silage introduces a further dimension of mycotoxin risk since some additional fungi can grow in the silage material. It’s important to avoid feeding out noticeably moldy areas of silage since many of the molds (such as Mucor hiemalis or Aspergillus fumigatus) can cause disease within animals or humans and many of them (including A. fumigatus) can produce mycotoxins. A. fumigatus is one of the most common silage molds and can produce gliotoxin, an immunosuppressant, and toxic clavine compounds related to the ergot alkaloids. Other common silage molds include Penicillium roquefortii (that can produce roquefortine C, patulin and mycophenolic acid), and Monascus ruber (that can produce citrinin).

The significance of these individual silage mold mycotoxins in ruminants does require more research but there is enough evidence that moldy silage is generally detrimental to cattle. In addition to avoiding feeding out moldy silage, it is important to reduce the risk of silage molds by starting with the right moisture content of forage (not too dry), compacting the silage adequately and covering it air tight as soon as possible. An effective silage inoculant is also important for improving the stability of silage both during ensiling and in the feeding out phase.

Effects in animals

Many of the additional mycotoxins present in forages have a toxic effect on protein synthesis. This means that like many of the common mycotoxins, their effects are often seen on the fast growing cells in the body that require rapid protein synthesis, thus the gut wall, liver and immune cells. In some cases, the main method of management will be to deal effectively with DON and related compounds since the effect of DON on the gut wall can be to increase uptake of other mycotoxins and because some of the emerging mycotoxins increase the effect of DON. DON is not able to be effective bound in the animal so management cannot be achieved with simple binder technology.

Mycotoxin solutions

Mycotoxin management for ruminants needs to address a wide range of mycotoxins that are present in the grain and forage from the field as well as mycotoxins produced in storage or ensiling. Mycofix® addresses these concerns with a multiple strategy of adsorption (effective on aflatoxins, ergot alkaloids and some of the silage mold mycotoxins), biotransformation (the unique proven ability to deal with some of the most common mycotoxins) and bioprotection to safeguard the vulnerable cells of the gut wall, liver and immune system.

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Mycotoxins Ruminants Blog Posts
news-1925 Wed, 04 Apr 2018 13:46:00 +0200 7 Levers of Poultry Gut Health for Antibiotic Reduction Success http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/7-levers-of-poultry-gut-health-for-antibiotic-reduction-success/ Poultry producers all aim to deliver their product, be it meat or eggs, in a way that is acceptable to consumers while being economically sustainable. The use of antibiotic growth promoters in poultry production systems has met increasing resistance from consumers and has thus prompted antibiotic-free production systems. Simply removing antibiotics from a production system will lead to problems with bird health, mortality and product quality because of contamination or infections in the flock. However, there are several alternative management practices that can be used to prevent and eliminate such risks. Figure 1 below illustrates some potential sources of contamination on poultry farms. Improving biosecurity can dramatically reduce and even eliminate these sources.

Figure 1. Potential sources of contamination on poultry farms

Potential sources of contamination on poultry farms

Another consideration before starting an antibiotic free system is the quality of the day-old chicks used at the beginning of the production cycle. If the quality of the chick arriving on to the farm is compromised, antibiotics will be required to ensure the chicks survive.

Many antibiotic treatments have been, and still are being used to maintain intestinal health thereby ensuring efficient productivity. This can be achieved through low-level antibiotic inclusion for growth promotion, or in therapeutic doses to control disease. Either way, maintaining a healthy gut is the desired outcome. Most threats to gut health stem from outside the body. These are illustrated in Figure 2 below.

Figure 2. Threats to poultry gut health

Threats to poultry gut health

BIOSECURITY

Improvements in biosecurity at breeder farms and in the hatchery, result in very low bacteria numbers in the intestinal tract of chicks. And on farm, increasingly high standards of hygiene prevent the chicks being exposed to commensal bacteria. Therefore, the development of a healthy gut microflora in these chicks is more difficult and takes longer, jeopardizing production efficiencies. Probiotic supplements (PoultryStar®) administered at hatching and in the first days of life can overcome this shortfall in immune development.

WATER HYGIENE

A chicken will drink approximately two to three times the amount of water compared to the amount of food it eats, which reinforces the importance of this often forgotten nutrient. In developing countries, some poultry production farms rely on water from a well or bore hole to supply the houses. Contaminated water can be a major vector for the introduction of pathogenic bacteria into the house. The risks of coliform contamination in water from untreated sources is understood and management techniques should be employed to minimize such risk. Thorough cleaning of water lines and the addition of liquid acidifiers such as Biotronic® to maintain a low pH are two such techniques.

FEED HYGIENE

Some feed ingredients have a higher risk of carrying contamination than others, particularly in the case of salmonella. However, poor handling and storage practices could result in any ingredient becoming contaminated. Heat treatment through conditioning or pelleting can be used to positive effect on feed hygiene, however the results of these processes are not residual and the feed can become re-contaminated if poor handling and storage practices continue. Application of an acid mix product (e.g. Biotronic® Top3, or Top liquid) to the feed can overcome the risk of contamination to a reasonable degree, provided that sufficient product is used to meet the challenge. Applying the minimum amount of product will not prevent contamination if the risk is high.

FEED FORMULATION

Anti-nutritional agents can either be naturally present in the raw materials (e.g. non-starch polysaccharides in wheat) or through the incomplete heat treatments (e.g. trypsin inhibitors in soy bean meal). Such anti-nutritional agents can be avoided through close quality control of raw materials, and by using specific enzymes to neutralise them. Watch this video on how proper nutrition can reduce gut stress, and consequently allow for the reduction of antibiotic use, featuring Ellen van Eerden, researcher at Schothorst Feed Research.

DIGESTIBILITY

Reduced digestibility of feed results in undigested nutrients passing to the hindgut where they can be utilised by pathogenic bacteria to develop, causing problems including clostridium perfringens and even necrotic enteritis. To help enhance the digestibility of feed, phytogenic products (e.g. Digestrom®) can be added. A recent survey carried out by BIOMIN revealed that the main reasons for including phytogenic products are improved feed efficiency and better microbial modulation. These two factors work synergistically as though the endogenous enzyme secretions of the small intestine were increased. More digestion by the animal means fewer nutrients available to the bacteria in the hind gut, resulting in a natural modulation of the bacterial populations.

MYCOTOXINS

Mycotoxins are present in all raw materials at differing levels depending on a variety of environmental and management factors. The most commonly occurring mycotoxins are fumonisins, of which trichothocenes and zearalenone are the most common. The BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey regularly identified deoxynivalenol (DON) and fumonisin B1 (FUM) as the most common mycotoxins contaminating feedstuffs and raw materials in thousands of tests carried out globally. DON and FUM are known to have detrimental effects on gut integrity through various mechanisms. (Read How Mycotoxins Aggravate Coccidiosis in Poultry). Therefore, regular monitoring of the mycotoxin levels in raw materials and finished feeds is advisable. The inclusion of a suitable mycotoxin deactivator (Mycofix®) at the correct inclusion levels will help to manage any potential contamination.

COCCIDIOSIS

In some countries, ionophore coccidiostats are not permitted in diets if the producer wants to achieve antibiotic-free status. In such cases, vaccination with anti-coccidial vaccines is practiced. Research has shown that where vaccines are used, synbiotic products (PoultryStar®) can enhance the anti-coccidial effects of the vaccines.

Recap

As seen, there are several levers of gut health that need to be considered, monitored and managed by the poultry producer. But there are also several feed additives that can be used to overcome these challenges. The feed additives offered by BIOMIN all complement each other and work together to facilitate antibiotic-free production.

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Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Blog Posts
news-1921 Wed, 04 Apr 2018 08:05:00 +0200 BIOMIN to Hold Antibiotic-free Production Roadshow Seminar Series in Indonesia http://www.biomin.net/news/biomin-to-hold-antibiotic-free-production-roadshow-seminar-series-in-indonesia/ After successfully conducting its roadshow seminar series in Indonesia the previous years, BIOMIN is set to hold the 2018 edition with the theme “Improving Gut Performance in AGP-Free Animal Production” across three cities: Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan. Longtime BIOMIN partner PT Romindo Primavetcom will cohost the seminars, which will run from 10 to 12 April 2018. Speakers include Dr. Hilde Van Meirhaeghem, Academic adviser Faculty of Veterinary Medicine – University of Ghent, Department of Virology, Parasitology and Immunology and Poultry Consultant for Vetworks, and BIOMIN experts Dr. Justin Tan and Dr. Neil Gannon. Indonesia’s middle class is forecasted to expand robustly, and the country’s poultry sector continues to demonstrate strong growth. This trend has been driving consumer demand for a safe, affordable and sustainable supply of protein. Producers are faced with the pressure of going antibiotic-free in animal production from January 2018, in a move announced by the Indonesian government.

Gut health is key in antibiotic-free poultry production, and it has been demonstrated that it is possible to reduce or eliminate antibiotic use without affecting bird performance and health. Therefore, the theme of this year’s roadshow seminar series is Improving Gut Performance in Antibiotic-free Animal Production. The seminar will provide delegates and insight into managing the AGP-free era and practical information on achieving the best results in animal production.

Details of the BIOMIN roadshow seminar series:

Seminar Session 1

Antimicrobial resistance in the poultry world and the role of gut health in performance
Dr. Hilde Van Meirhaeghe, Academic adviser Faculty of Veterinary Medicine – University of Ghent, Department of Virology, Parasitology and Immunology and Poultry Consultant for Vetworks

SEMINAR SESSION 2

Role of synbiotics as gut health enhancer in AGP-free production
Dr. Justin Tan, Regional Sales & Marketing Director, BIOMIN Asia Pacific

SEMINAR SESSION 3

Biomin® Solutions for AGP-free poultry production
Dr. Neil Gannon, Regional Product Manager – Gut Performance, BIOMIN Asia Pacific

BIOMIN looks forward to welcoming participants from farming and livestock industry, including integrators, veterinarians, livestock and aquaculture farmers, feedmillers, wholesalers, retailers, slaughterhouses, food processors, importers and distributors, and other industry stakeholders at the event.

The seminars are by invite only. Please contact Opens window for sending emailocky.kusumawardhani@biomin.net for more information. Thank you.

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Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry News
news-1959 Mon, 26 Mar 2018 13:41:00 +0200 Think Colostrum, Not Antibiotics, to Combat Diarrhea in Calves http://www.biomin.net/articles/think-colostrum-not-antibiotics-to-combat-diarrhea-in-calves/ Diarrhea is the most common problem for newborn calves. Compared to antibiotics, proper colostrum management may offer a better route to calf health and profits.
Photo: kadirkaplan

An estimated 56% of health problems in early life relate to diarrhea, making it a number one health issue for newborn calves. It accounts for 52.2% of mortality of unweaned calves, and is also a major cause of poor growth, increased labor requirements and increased costs. In the United States, 23.9% of dairy heifers are affected by and treated for scours and preweaning mortality is estimated at 7.8% according to Cornell University and the National Animal Health Monitoring System (NAHMS, 2007), respectively.

Not bacterial

Outbreaks of infection causing calf diarrhea are often rapid and multifactorial in nature. Major enteric pathogens known to cause calf diarrhea are viruses (i.e., bovine rotavirus, bovine coronavirus (BCoV), bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) and microscopic parasites (Cryptosporidium parvum), as shown in Figure 1. Bacteria such as Salmonella (S.) enterica, Escherichia (E.) coli, Clostridium (C.) perfringens, are often only secondary infection agents.

Figure 1. Prevalence of infectious agents.

Figure 1. Prevalence of infectious agents.

As antibiotics are not effective against viruses and parasites, their application to counter diarrhea makes little sense. Antibiotic use in these cases has several disadvantages. First, calves who have undergone antibiotic therapy produce 492kg (1084lbs) less milk during first lactation, according to Mike van Amburgh of Cornell University and confirmed by others. Second, antibiotics destroy the normal, beneficial intestinal bacteria and thereby disrupting intestinal health. Third, destruction of Gram-negative bacteria releases endotoxins, the lipopolysaccharide components of cell walls.

According to James Cullor of UC Davis, the general effect of endotoxins are well chronicled and are reported to include lethargy, respiratory distress, transitory hyperthermia followed by hypothermia, decreased systemic blood pressure, increased heart rate followed by decreased cardiac output, diarrhea, changes in blood cell counts, and alterations in the blood coagulation system. Fourth, antibiotic use is associated with antibiotic resistance.

A better way

Bovine colostrum offers a kind of survival kit from the mother to the newborn calf to protect against challenges at the beginning of life. It benefits the calf ’s immune, hormonal and digestive systems, and contains everything required for healthy, productive development along with an enormously high nutrient content.

With colostrum intake shortly after birth, in one shot the calf gets all the 97 immune factors (constituents that build the immune system), 87 growth factors (bio-identical hormones and hormone precursors) and a variety of different probiotics along with prebiotics that help grow and feed the beneficial flora in the gut. This passive immunity transfer protects the calf until it establishes its own pathogen recognition and disposal systems.

The best composition of hormones and growth factors such as relaxin, prolactin, insulin, IGF-1, IGF-2, and leptin are only available via colostrum. The beneficial contents of colostrum milking can persist through the fifth milking—or three days after parturition (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Transition state colostrum remains richer than standard milk.

Figure 2. Transition state colostrum remains richer than standard milk.

Tailor-made solution

Colostrogenesis begins 3 to 4 weeks prior to parturition with the accumulation of hormones, growth factors (IGF-I and IGF-II) and transforming growth factors (TGF-β1 and TGF-β2) which activate mammary secretory cell.

Because colostrum transfers antibodies to a calf, cow breeders can essentially design colostrum for the coming calves by vaccinating cows 60-30 days before calving against the most frequent pathogens appearing on the farm. In that way, the newborn calf gets selective protection against existing pathogens in the farm environment.

Colostrum from vaccinated cows has demonstrated ability to kill bacterial and viral invaders, stimulate tissue repair (particularly the bowel lining), fight a variety of allergens and neutralize toxin-producing organisms. It has also proven effective in treating severe diarrhea. According to the 2007 National Animal Health Monitoring System survey, approximately 19% of dairy heifer calves in the US had failure of passive transfer.

Beat the clock

Speed is crucial when it comes to harvesting and feeding colostrum to newborn calves, for several reasons. First, the composition of colostrum changes following removal of placenta.

Second, newborns lack the enzymes that breakdown colostrum’s active components— these are developed later.

Third, it is important to seize the opportunity afforded by the ‘open gut’ phenomenon, in which the upper part duodenum remains open for direct absorption of colostrum ingredients into the calf blood stream. (Note that pathogens can also enter the open gut).

Additional considerations

Proper feeding of the cows in late lactation and dry period, can positively influence colostrum quality and quantity. Mycotoxins—found in both grains and contaminated straw—can impair immune and liver function, so robust mycotoxin risk management is advisable.

Agents that cause diarrhea are present in a calf’s environment. Improvements in environmental sanitation and the reduction of stressors (e.g. overcrowding, frequent diet change, heat stress, etc.) coupled with proper colostrum management can help support healthy calves.

Conclusion

Every calf that is born on a farm represents an opportunity to maintain or increase herd size, to improve the herd genetically, and to improve economic returns. Pathogen invasion can create additional costs, health issues and poor performance. Good quality colostrum can allow cow breeders to achieve a successful outcome.

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Phytogenics Probiotics Feed Preservation Acidifiers Ruminants Articles
news-1915 Thu, 22 Mar 2018 10:36:00 +0100 ERBER Group is one of the best workplaces in Austria http://www.biomin.net/news/erber-group-is-one-of-the-best-workplaces-in-austria/ Getzersdorf - For the first time ERBER Group in Austria with its subsidiaries BIOMIN, ROMER LABS and BIO-FERM took part in the competition for the title "Austria's Best Workplaces" and immediately made it into the ranking: 4th place in category L (more than 250 employees). In addition to the good working atmosphere, the health promotion measures, the trust of the management in the workforce and their freedom to act, the integration of new employees and the comprehensive training offer were mentioned particularly positively. "Of course, we are especially pleased that ERBER Group managed to win an award in the competition for 'Austria's Best Workplaces' right from the start. The well-being of our employees is always at the center of our actions, which has been more than confirmed by our colleagues. "Heinz Flatnitzer, Director of the Executive Board, Human Resources Management & Corporate Communications. Because working for the ERBER Group means leaving foodprints to make the world a better place - in line with our corporate culture as: Pioneers, Partners, and Performers.

As part of the benchmark competition, Great Place to Work awarded a total of 44 out of 87 participating companies in four size categories with the title “Austria’s Best Workplaces”. The categories depend on the number of employees in Austria: Small (20-49), Medium (50-250), Large (251-500), X-Large (over 500). The evaluation of the enterprises takes place by means of an employee survey and a company audit.

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News
news-1910 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 14:53:00 +0100 What Is a Mycotoxin and How Can It Harm My Animals? http://www.biomin.net/videos/what-is-a-mycotoxin-and-how-can-it-harm-my-animals/ Invisible to the naked eye and responsible for considerable economic losses, mycotoxins merit attention and proper mitigation in order to protect your animals and your operation’s profitability. Mycotoxins Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Videos news-1955 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 09:27:00 +0100 ERBER Group Closer to Customers in Move to New Kansas City Office http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/erber-group-closer-to-customers-in-move-to-new-kansas-city-office/ ERBER Group, the holding company for five divisions including BIOMIN America and Romer Labs®, has established its new ERBER Group hub in Kansas City. The move brings BIOMIN and Romer Labs closer to each other and their respective customers, offering further support with an expanded team of industry experts. ERBER GroupBIOMIN America Inc., a leading research company and producer of feed additives, has sustained continued growth in the North American market which has afforded it the opportunity to relocate the regional headquarters to Kansas City from San Antonio.

Strong trajectory

Over the past two years, alongside robust recruitment, BIOMIN has made significant investments into the marketplace by introducing dynamic products and services. BIOMIN primarily services animal production customers within the poultry, swine, and ruminant industries.

“We’ve experienced a considerable amount of positive feedback and adoption of the new tailored services and products we have introduced to our key accounts,” explains Dr. Raj Murugesan, Technical Director for BIOMIN America. In addition, he notes “utilizing science-based nutrition for animal production has gained importance in light of the industry’s reduction of antibiotic usage. Greater awareness of the threats posed by mycotoxins has also increased interest in our company’s research and strategies.”

The company’s growth is set to continue based on expansion of the already established and successful species customer-focused structure. Christy Swoboda, Laboratory Director for Romer Labs, shares “being close to our customers is of utmost importance to everyone here and we are excited about the new office establishment.”

Kansas City location

The city’s far-reaching agricultural roots and research, as well as its central location within the customer region, helped make it the top choice for the move. The KC region is home to more than 300 animal health companies, representing the largest concentration of animal health and diagnostics in the world. Simon Walley, President of BIOMIN North America, adds “the move will help us provide ever more expert technical and commercial support to our customers across the US and Canada.”

“The abundance of qualified workforce coupled with ease of travel for global employees, made Kansas City the right choice for our new North American presence,” Walley stated.

“This market is a key part of the future growth plan for ERBER Group. By investing in the new office, we are demonstrating our long-term commitment to the region and to our customers,” concluded Michael Prinster, Managing Director of Romer Labs.

The ERBER Group worked in close partnership with the Kansas Department of Commerce and Overland Park Chamber Economic Development Council on this relocation project.

Team members will host an open house on Wednesday, March 21st in celebration of this milestone.

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Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Press Releases
news-1909 Fri, 16 Mar 2018 11:10:00 +0100 ENERGY: The Key Factor For Efficient Milk Production http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/energy-the-key-factor-for-efficient-milk-production/ Despite worldwide milk prices remaining at low levels over the last few years, demand for dairy products has held steady, especially in many South Asian countries. Now that prices are returning to higher levels, producers have an opportunity to achieve better profits by increasing the level of production. Good rumen health, quality feedstuffs and appropriate management practices can all help ensure that cows have the energy they need to support increased milk production. ENERGY: The Key Factor For Efficient Milk Production

ENERGY IS THE KEY

The secret of efficient milk production relies on satisfying cow requirements. Cow comfort, proper management and adequate nutrition will pay back producers with robust fertility, consistent milk output and minimal incidence of health problems. Each of these depends directly or indirectly on the cow’s energy status.

A positive energy balance relies on feedstuffs of the appropriate quantity and quality, along with the type of environment and good management of critical phases like dry and transition periods. Energy demands can in fact rise based on climate, walking distances inside the farm, adequate space at the feed bunk and animal density.

However, it is undoubted, that feed quality and its utilisation by dairy cows play main role in cow energy balance.

Ruminants are special

From the cow’s perspective, the energy issue is not primarily related to milk production but rather to her survival.

Cows naturally produce milk to feed their calves. However, in the case of an energy gap, they will discontinue reproduction first and then milk production in the attempt to improve the likelihood of their own survival.

This explains why fertility and milk production fall when a cow’s energy demands are not satisfied. Nowadays, this situation is becoming more and more dramatic, as genetic selection in favour of increasingly productive animals results in animals which can produce more milk, but with higher management and nutrition requirements—particularly in terms of energy and protein.

It is safe to assume that cows are often in negative energy balance –expending more energy than is consumed— especially during the first part of lactation. While it is relatively easy to fulfil protein requirements by optimising the amino acids profile at the intestinal level, satisfying the energy requirement of a cow is a real challenge.

Cows, being ruminants, are very special animals. Their diet composition needs to contain a minimum amount of fibre to ensure proper health and to avoid diseases such as acidosis. Unfortunately, fibre does not provide them the same amount of energy as other feedstuffs e.g. grains, sugars or fats.

Ruminants rely on the rumen, a special part of their gastrointestinal tract, for around 70% of their energy. More precisely, energy is produced through the fermentation of feedstuffs by rumen microflora, a complex ecosystem made of bacteria, fungi and protozoa. Working in synergy to ensure their growth, rumen bacteria produce large quantities of volatile fatty acids (VFAs), as by-products of their metabolic activities, and these VFAs are the main source of energy for the cow.

To ensure a healthy population of microorganisms, we need to provide grains which are the main energy source for bacteria and fibre to stimulate rumen motility, rumination and saliva production—activities that are necessary to keep animals healthy.

Feedstuff quality

How is it possible to improve rumen function and fulfil a cow’s energy demands?

First, we need to enhance fibre digestion. Fibre occupies a certain amount of space in the rumen, but is less fermentable and has a lower energy production capacity than grains.

One suggestion is to use forages with high fibre digestibility and to feed them especially to transition and first lactation animals, as they have a higher energy demand. In addition, good quality fermented silage and mould-free forages will favour intake and sustain rumen fermentations.

Considering grains and by-products, we need to be generous with them in order to cover the space remaining in the rumen after having satisfied the fibre requirements. A cow producing 32 kg of milk with a feed intake of 22 kg of dry matter should be fed at least 6 kg of starch and 1.2 kg of sugar depending on the quality of forages. This corresponds roughly to 20 kg of corn silage and 7 kg of ground corn plus 0.7 kg of molasses.

Quality feedstuffs should not have anti-nutritional factors, e.g. mycotoxins, that can make energy production less efficient. Mycotoxins reduce feed quality.

During the 2016 BIOMIN World Nutrition Forum, experts reported that mycotoxin contamination can reduce the quality and nutritive value of feedstuffs.

Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites of fungi and mould that widely contaminate grains, forages and silages. They exert a negative effect on a cow’s health, fertility, rumen microorganisms and rumen function.

In recent research conducted in South Asia, Kiyothong et al. (2012) showed that feeding dairy cows a total mixed ration (TMR) naturally contaminated with multiple mycotoxins can reduce the rumen bacterial population, as well as protozoa and fungi. This translated into a reduction in volatile fatty acids, leaving less energy available for the cows. The application of a mycotoxin deactivating feed additive was able to resolve the situation and increase milk production and fat percentage.

Conclusions on rumen health

The rumen is the main organ of energy production in cattle and the quantity of outputs depends on feedstuffs’ quality, rumen health and microbial balance.

A healthy rumen will be able to squeeze more energy from both forages and grains, giving more values to feedstuffs (silages and hays) prepared by farmers and to concentrates offered by feed millers.

For this reason, there is the need to optimise rumen function to keep rumen microbiota healthy. Key actions are to avoid drops in rumen pH, to favour beneficial bacteria growth and to avoid any poisoning substance such as mycotoxins.

Bunk management (proper and homogeneous mixing, adequate fibre particle size, proper humidity) is fundamental for rumen equilibrium. Also, stimulating rumen bacteria with proper prebiotic strategy (like with autolyzed yeasts) can ensure a better rumen environment, a more controlled pH and a higher energy output.

This article originally appearing in Think Grain Think Feed, Volume 3, Issue 11 in Sep 2017

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Mycotoxins Ruminants Blog Posts
news-1898 Tue, 13 Mar 2018 09:30:00 +0100 Vaccination Strategies in the Context of Antibiotic Reduction http://www.biomin.net/articles/vaccination-strategies-in-the-context-of-antibiotic-reduction/ Prof. Paolo Martelli, DVM, Diplomate ECPHM, President of the ECPHM, Full Professor of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, Parma University, Italy, outlines how to achieve swine herd immunity based on recent scientific findings. Adapted from remarks given at BIOMIN Antibiotic-free Days in November 2017. Pigs Articles Videos news-1895 Tue, 13 Mar 2018 08:55:00 +0100 Quality Feedstuff for Healthy Livestock and Quality Food http://www.biomin.net/press/quality-feedstuff-for-healthy-livestock-and-quality-food/ Interview with Dr. Erich ERBER, Founder and President, ERBER AG of which BIOMIN is a part, Dr. Jan VANBRABANT, Chairman of Executive Board and CEO, ERBER AG, Dr. Hannes BINDER, Managing Director, BIOMIN Holding GmbH, Mr. Marc GUINNEMENT, Managing Director, BIOMIN Asia-Pacific, and Mr. Jack AN, Managing Director, BIOMIN China Austrian firm BIOMIN was established in 1983 and started its business researching and producing the world's first-generation mycotoxin adsorbent. Since its establishment, BIOMIN has been active in the global feedstuff industry and dedicated itself to developing and producing feedstuff additives and premix compounds. Amid delivering technical services to clients, its mission is to improve livestock health, growth and quality in a natural and efficient manner. For over 30 years, BIOMIN has pioneered innovative solutions for mycotoxin risk management. By applying state-of-the-art technologies and carrying out extensive research and development to develop sustainable solutions, it delivers natural, sustainable and profitable solutions to the swine, poultry, ruminant and aquaculture sectors.

From 30-31 October 2017, BIOMIN hosted the grand opening ceremony of its latest plant and the Asia Nutrition Forum in Wuxi, China. Over 500 distinguished guests attended the opening ceremony, visited the Wuxi plant and participated in the Asia Nutrition Forum. The theme of the biennial forum this year was "driving the Asian protein economy". At the forum, founder of BIOMIN Dr. Erich Erber delivered the welcome address to the top global experts in attendance. The session provided an in-depth discussion of the challenges in food processing, the animal health and nutrition industry, and touched on the development trend of poultry, swine and dairy cow production. Dr. Erber also gave an overview of the influence of antibiotic-free livestock production on future opportunities of the Asian protein economy.

During the event, Multinationals in China conducted an interview with Dr. Erich ERBER, Founder and President, ERBER AG, of which BIOMIN is a part, Dr. Jan VANBRABANT, Chairman of Executive Board, CEO, ERBER AG, Dr. Hannes BINDER, Managing Director, BIOMIN Holding GmbH, Mr. Marc GUINNEMENT, Managing Director, BIOMIN Asia-Pacific and Mr. Jack An, Managing Director, BIOMIN China.. The senior executives shared detailed insights into the latest developments of BIOMIN both globally and in China.

Dr. Hannes BINDER, Managing Director, BIOMIN Holding GmbH
Dr. Hannes BINDER, Managing Director, BIOMIN Holding GmbH

"BIOMIN was established in Austria in 1983, and now we have 50 own business units, 11 production facilities and 5 regional business units across the world. We currently employ over 1,500 excellent staff, with an extensive research network comprising of over 200 international colleges, universities and research firms. We are proud to serve clients in over 120 countries. At BIOMIN, we are dedicated to developing and producing feed additives and premix compounds while providing technical services to our clients to improve livestock health and performance in a natural, efficient manner. We strive to deliver natural, sustainable and profitable solutions to the swine, poultry, ruminant and aquaculture industries. For over 30 years, BIOMIN has been devoted to the research of mycotoxins, aiming at providing a series of target-oriented and innovative solutions for mycotoxin degradation and deactivation," said Dr. Binder.

Dr. Erich ERBER, Founder and President, ERBER AG of which BIOMIN is a part
Dr. Erich ERBER, Founder and President, ERBER AG of which BIOMIN is a part

"At BIOMIN and ERBER Group we are guided by the "3Ss". The first S is Science. Science is the core value we deliver to our clients as well as the critical part of our expertise. BIOMIN lives and breathes science. In 1992, Erber Group acquired Romer Labs. Although the lab possessed limited technological capability at that time, we developed the lab continuously over the years and now, Romer Labs has become a leading global supplier of diagnostic solutions for food and feed safety.

The second S is Service. Science acts as a base, but needs be refined and perfected by service to maximize its utility for clients. Since 2004, BIOMIN has been conducting the annual BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey, the longest running and most comprehensive survey of its kind. For this survey, BIOMIN cooperates with Romer Labs, and we also offer a complimentary testing of feed samples for over 380 types of mycotoxins to our clients. As part of the survey program, BIOMIN periodically releases quarterly global mycotoxin reports that provide insights into the incidence of the six major mycotoxins in the agricultural commodities used for livestock feed in order to identify the potential risk posed to livestock animal production in various regions across different species.

Finally, the last S is Speed. We value speed highly in multiple service and innovation aspects. First, we give clients a fast feedback and a timely solution to meet their requests. We have established an extensive and robust sales network across the world, through which we quickly deliver cutting-edge technologies and products to clients. Second, we drive innovation in a continuous and rapid way so that state-of-the-art technologies and quality products can be rolled out to the markets quickly.

Since the development of the first generation mycotoxin adsorbent, BIOMIN has successfully released five generations of mycotoxin adsorbent, degradation and deactivation solutions under the Mycofix® product line. Mycofix® is the world's first and only mycotoxin deactivation product with a purified enzyme that has achieved EU authorization. Mycofix® is widely applied to feed, and its efficacy has been verified in scientific trials and on numerous farms across the world. We have also developed another innovative product, a multi-strain synbiotic consisting of both pre- and probiotics that is poultry-specific. This is a testament to the never-ending innovation of BIOMIN," said Dr. Erber.

"BIOMIN is committed to overcoming the increasing challenges of food and feed production, especially in regards to the safety aspect. A rising middle class in many countries has led to a stronger-than-ever demand for safe, healthy and nutritious food. Consequently, producers also turn their attention towards this growing demand. In the face of rising consumer concerns about antibiotics, producers are feeling the pressure to reduce the use of antibiotics as well.

BIOMIN solutions are tailored to provide producers tools to enhance their feed and livestock productions naturally, and can play a key role in a program with the aim of reducing or eliminating the use of antibiotics. BIOMIN is also committed to social responsibility. We actively promote food safety and sustainable development, and we utilize renewable energy sources throughout the organization. We are proud to have achieved ISO 14040 life cycle assessment by the US Environmental Protection Agency," added Dr. Vanbrabant.

"At BIOMIN, we strive to meet the highest standards in many aspects of hygiene, product safety, raw material traceability, manufacturing process and end product development. We stress the importance of a long-term relationship and stable cooperation with reliable suppliers to ensure the superior quality of our products. Next to this, we conduct strict quality control of all raw materials and products, which is critical to our production," he continued.

"BIOMIN stands on the leading position in the industry, with a great corporate culture, while delivering cutting-edge technologies and products, and operates with a passionate team. Although BIOMIN has its roots in Austria, we have since gained recognition locally in China as a leading provider of mycotoxin risk management and gut performance solutions for over a decade. The opening of our Wuxi plant signifies a major milestone of BIOMIN China, and we will further enhance its service capacity and enrich product lines. We want to be the window and bridge connecting the East and the West, by introducing global experiences, technologies and the business concept of livestock husbandry to China, and help our clients scale to newer heights. Over the past few years, we have achieved accelerated growth. The annual business volume has increased at a double-digit rate. From now on, we expect to keep the growth at a rate over 25%," said Mr. An.

"China, which tops rankings in terms of scale in many aspects, impresses me greatly: globally, China's feedstuff production ranks first, its total population and middle class population also rank first. We have high expectations for our business of serving clients in the Chinese market, and we will set a long-term development objective in consideration of the change of the agricultural environment next. We are very pleased with the results of Mycofix®, our mycotoxin risk management solution, which enjoys a high level of acceptance and trust from our clients in the swine sector in China.

In the poultry sector, we have expanded into relationships with large-scale integrators, and we have also successfully developed our business in the dairy cow sector as well. Not forgetting aquaculture, for which we have a strategy in place. Beyond satisfying the market demands, we are committed to enriching our product lines with a reliable and robust production capacity," said Mr. Guinnement.

BIOMIN taps into the power of science to improve livestock health and industry efficiency and delivers natural, sustainable and profitable solutions with cutting-edge patented technologies to swine, poultry, ruminant and aquaculture industries. With forward-looking thinking, BIOMIN will focus on efficient and sustainable utilization of resources, safety of food and feedstuff, environmental impact and contribute towards meeting the livestock protein product demands from the increasing global population in future.

This item originally appeared in China Economic Information.

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture In the Press
news-1890 Mon, 12 Mar 2018 13:24:00 +0100 BIOMIN Aqua Days 2018 Recap in Videos http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/biomin-aqua-days-2018-recap-in-videos/ Aquaculture professionals from 15 countries convened in Austria from 6 to 8 March 2018 to explore the most pressing challenges facing the farmed fish and shrimp sector, along with innovative, science-driven solutions. Aquaculture Blog Posts news-1894 Fri, 09 Mar 2018 11:20:00 +0100 Science & Solutions No. 53 - Ruminants http://www.biomin.net/magazines/science-solutions-no-53-ruminants/ In this issue: High Quality Forage Unlocks Dairy Herd Potential; The Link between Endotoxins and Mycotoxins; What Is Wrong With My Herd – Part 6: Calf Growth IN THIS ISSUE:

Science &amp; Solutions No. 53

High Quality Forage Unlocks Dairy Herd Potential
Zanetta Chodorowska answers some common questions about how to prepare the best quality forage, ensuring that your high-performing dairy herd is fed for success

The Link between Endotoxins and Mycotoxins
The two main toxin risks for dairy production and cow health are mycotoxins from fungi and endotoxins from bacteria. Both types of toxin can exacerbate the health risk to the animal of the other toxin. We explore the links between these very different toxins and how best to manage both risks.

What Is Wrong With My Herd – Part 6: Calf Growth
A handy diagnostic checklist of symptoms, causes and remedies.

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Mycotoxins Ruminants Magazines
news-1893 Fri, 09 Mar 2018 10:40:00 +0100 What’s Wrong With My Herd? Part 6: Calf Growth http://www.biomin.net/articles/whats-wrong-with-my-herd-part-6-calf-growth/ A handy diagnostic checklist of symptoms, causes and remedies.

download checklist

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Ruminants Articles
news-1892 Fri, 09 Mar 2018 10:11:00 +0100 The Link between Endotoxins and Mycotoxins http://www.biomin.net/articles/the-link-between-endotoxins-and-mycotoxins/ The two main toxin risks for dairy production and cow health are mycotoxins from fungi and endotoxins from bacteria. Both types of toxin can exacerbate the health risk to the animal of the other toxin. We explore the links between these very different toxins and how best to manage both risks. The Link between Endotoxins and Mycotoxins

Toxins from within

One of the problems with endotoxins is that they can be produced in the rumen. Not all types of bacteria produce endotoxins, only Gram-negative bacteria. The term Gram-negative is based on reaction to a Gram stain under the microscope. Gram-negative bacteria do not retain the stain, mainly because the structure of their cell wall includes lipopolysaccharides (LPS or endotoxins) on the outer membrane. When Gram-negative bacteria die, the endotoxins are released. During fast growth of Gram negative bacteria, there can also be significant “shedding” of endotoxins.

Endotoxins are always present in the rumen to some extent, but at higher levels, they can compromise the integrity of the gut wall and impact animal health. Endotoxin production is one potential consequence of acidosis because as higher levels of grains are fed, there is a general shift from Gram-positive to Gram-negative bacteria. Figure 1 shows how the level of endotoxins increases significantly if the rumen remains at a pH below 6 for a prolonged period of time. Subacute ruminal acidosis (SARA) challenge is often described as the rumen pH being below 5.8 for more than five hours per day, thus SARA also represents an endotoxin risk.

Endotoxins may affect the tight junctions or cause apoptosis of epithelial cells, increasing the uptake of undesirable substances into the blood stream. Endotoxins themselves are also able to enter the bloodstream and research suggests a link between endotoxins and laminitis (Figure 2) and other health issues. One of the key impacts of endotoxins is an inflammatory response, which represents a waste of energy for the animal as well as cell damage leading to health issues. Figure 2 shows how the Biomin® Bioprotection Mix in Mycofix® can reduce some of this damage.

Figure 1. SARA and endotoxins. Increasing endotoxin concentrations (in EU endotoxin units/mL) found in rumens that had longer duration per day of pH below 6. Note: the endotoxin axis is on a log scale so at 5 the endotoxin concentration is ten times as high as at 4.

Figure 1. SARA and endotoxins. Increasing endotoxin concentrations (in EU endotoxin units/mL) found in rumens that had longer duration per day of pH below 6. Note: the endotoxin axis is on a log scale so at 5 the endotoxin concentration is ten times as high as at 4.

Figure 2. The link between endotoxins and laminitis in cattle and horses. Endotoxins (LPS) in an “ex vivo, in vitro” experiment reduced the force required to separate layers of the hoof (indicative of laminitis). The asterisk indicates a statistically significant effect (P < 0.05). The hoof material was unaffected when the Biomin® Bioprotection Mix was added.

Figure 2. The link between endotoxins and laminitis in cattle and horses. Endotoxins (LPS) in an “ex vivo, in vitro” experiment reduced the force required to separate layers of the hoof (indicative of laminitis). The asterisk indicates a statistically significant effect (P &lt; 0.05). The hoof material was unaffected when the Biomin® Bioprotection Mix was added. 

The response to endotoxins can also reduce the appropriate immune response, thus increasing disease susceptibility. The high osmolarity due to soluble carbohydrate levels associated with SARA may increase the amount of endotoxins crossing into the bloodstream. High osmolarity leads to increased water flow out of the bloodstream, resulting in some dislodging and eventually the death of epithelial cells, allowing increased uptake of endotoxins and other undesirable substances, such as mycotoxins.

Mycotoxins and Endotoxins

can also have an impact on the intestinal barrier function and so increase the risk of endotoxin uptake into the bloodstream. Similarly, the negative effect of endotoxins on the rumen epithelium may increase the uptake of mycotoxins, increasing the risk to the animal of even hard-to-absorb mycotoxins such as fumonisins. Both mycotoxins and endotoxins can trigger inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects (through reducing response or directly affecting immune cells) and both toxin types can affect, and be exacerbated by, liver damage.

The Effect of Heat

There is a strong link between heat stress and endotoxins. Heat stress increases blood flow to the skin at the expense of the rumen. This deprives epithelial cells of necessary oxygen and allows toxic substances to accumulate. Endotoxin uptake can increase through these damaged cells. Heat stress can also increase the impact of mycotoxins. In addition, both mycotoxins and endotoxins can increase and prolong the negative effects of heat stress.

Management of Endotoxins and Mycotoxins

Management should include steps to reduce heat stress and to balance the diet according to the different demands of productivity and rumen condition. Mycofix® Plus has three strategies to help overcome the combined effects of endotoxins and mycotoxins. An effective binding component can adsorb endotoxins and mycotoxins simultaneously with high efficacy (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Simultaneous binding of aflatoxin and endotoxins. Left hand side: In vitro adsorption efficacy of Mycofix® Plus (0.02%) on aflatoxins (4000ppb) remains the same in the presence of a high level of endotoxin (500 EU/mL). Right hand side: In vitro absorption efficacy of Mycofix® Plus (0.02%) on endotoxin (LPS) binding was similar in the presence or absence of aflatoxins.

Figure 3. Simultaneous binding of aflatoxin and endotoxins. Left hand side: In vitro adsorption efficacy of Mycofix® Plus (0.02%) on aflatoxins (4000ppb) remains the same in the presence of a high level of endotoxin (500 EU/mL). Right hand side: In vitro absorption efficacy of Mycofix® Plus (0.02%) on endotoxin (LPS) binding was similar in the presence or absence of aflatoxins.

In addition to adsorption, a unique and effective biotransformation approach for the difficult-to-bind mycotoxins such as trichothecenes is important to address the direct effects in the animal and their indirect intensifying of endotoxin damage. The third strategy of Mycofix® Plus is to provide protection for the vulnerable epithelial cells, liver cells and immune cells with research-proven bioprotection derived from phytogenic and algal ingredients.

In Brief
  • Endotoxins can be produced in the rumen by Gramnegative bacteria. Mycotoxins are ingested through contaminated feed ingredients.
  • At higher levels, endotoxins can compromise the integrity of the gut wall, allowing more undesirable substances, including endotoxins and mycotoxins, to pass into the bloodstream, impacting animal health.
  • The presence of mycotoxins can increase the uptake of endotoxins and the presence of endotoxins can increase the uptake of mycotoxins.
  • The multicomponent strategy of Mycofix® can help overcome the combined effects of endotoxins and mycotoxins.
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Mycotoxins Ruminants Articles
news-1891 Fri, 09 Mar 2018 09:23:00 +0100 High Quality Forage Unlocks Dairy Herd Potential http://www.biomin.net/articles/high-quality-forage-unlocks-dairy-herd-potential/ Zanetta Chodorowska answers some common questions about how to prepare the best quality forage, ensuring that your high-performing dairy herd is fed for success.
Photo: iStockphoto_bizoo_n

Q: Silage is the main component of a dairy ration. On some farms, it accounts for as much as 60-70% of the ration, whereas on other farms in the same region, the diet contains less than 50% silage. If milk production levels are the same, why is there such a big difference in intake?

ZC: There are some farms where the problem of low feed intake is practically non-existent whereas on others, there is a constant struggle. One reason lies in the preparation and quality of the forage. As it is such a large component of the dairy ration, it has a big influence on feed intake. Forage quality varies according to plant species, variety, fertility, environmental conditions and most importantly, stage of maturity. Figure 1 illustrates how feed intake decreases as the plant gets more mature. In addition, the management practices used for the preservation and storage of the forage are of great importance.

Figure 1. Effect of alfalfa-brome greenchop stage of maturity on dry matter intake
Figure 1. Effect of alfalfa-brome greenchop stage of maturity on dry matter intake

Q: What determines forage quality?

ZC: Protein and energy content play the largest roles in determining forage quality. Good quality forage is high in protein content. This is easily predicted by measuring the plant nitrogen content and multiplying it by 6.25 (the average nitrogen content of protein). Plant maturity at harvest has a large impact on crude protein content. Mature forages have fewer leaves and more stems. Leaves contain soluble proteins like chlorophyll whereas stems are high in fiber and low in protein. Energy content depends on the digestibility of the various chemical fractions of the forage. One common way of predicting forage energy content is by measuring the amount of fiber. Plants that contain large amounts of fiber are generally less digestible.

Q: If forage is grown under controlled conditions on farm, why do we struggle with quality?

ZC: In practice, a lot depends on the priority of the individual farm. Farms focused exclusively on milk production will produce a very different quality forage to those focused primarily on plant production. If the quality of forage is compromised, high costs will be incurred to purchase supplements to correct the forage quality to ensure high milk production. Due to the high demands on machinery, labor and equipment at specific times of the year, especially around the time of first and second cuts of grass and grain harvesting time, the harvest can be delayed, resulting in a lower feed value of the collected and stored material. Forage that is delayed in its collection is difficult to ensile; increased fiber levels result in resistance to compaction and all the associated problems related to aerobic stability. Crops that are harvested late are often contaminated with molds, toxic alkaloids (like those found in most tall fescues) and mycotoxins that enter the bunker silo and pits, and consequently hinder animal performance. Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites of molds belonging to several genera but in particular, Aspergillus, Fusarium, and Penicillium spp. which all cause mycotoxicosis. When livestock ingest one or more mycotoxins, the effect on health can be severe, producing evident signs of disease and in some cases, leading to death.

Q: Is harvest delay a common problem?

ZC: Unfortunately, it is very common. There are farms that manage to harvest on time and milk more than 40 liters per cow per day based on rations with up to 80% forage. To produce such high milk output, the quality of the harvested material must be very high. Feed accounts for approximately 60% of all costs in a dairy operation. If efforts are concentrated on collecting good quality, palatable material with a high nutrient content, the cost of purchased feed can be reduced. Associated veterinary bills will also go down due to fewer problems related to low feed intakes.

Table 1. NDF intake targets throughout lactation and the dry period
Table 1. NDF intake targets throughout lactation and the dry period

Q: What does producing high quality forage mean in practice for farm managers?

ZC: We used to say that every year is different, but every year after winter comes spring. Winter is the time where all the necessary work should be done. Here are my top three winter tasks:

  • Carry out a forage inventory – a calculation of all current forage that is stored, including proper identification of the nutrient value and day of harvest. A forage inventory should be carried out every three months. This will help to avoid unforeseen situations of ration changes caused by poor allocation of forage (e.g. running out of corn silage or having to switch from grass to corn silage in a ration). Cows do not adjust well to ration changes.
  • Analyses – the nutritional value of all stored material with separate analyses for mycotoxin contamination should be carried out.
  • Planning ahead - to anticipate change is the best way to deal with it.

The use of silage inoculants is common to control fermentation and reduce dry matter losses. Biostabil® Plus for grass encourages proper fermentation and supports the aerobic stability of the forage. Mycotoxin prevention costs are much lower than the cost of fighting disease. Mycofix® Plus is the only registered product in EU that is recommended for the deactivation of mycotoxins.

Q: How much forage is needed on the dairy farm?

ZC: The amount of forage needed by a lactating dairy cow is based on dry matter (DM) intake and the concentration of forage in the diet (Table 1). The same is true for non-lactating animals and young stock. Optimum forage intake (the amount of neutral detergent fiber (NDF) needed to support maximum milk production), has been calculated by Mertens (2009) as 1.2% of the body weight of the cow. This applies to cows in mid and late lactation.

Q: What is NDF?

ZC: Neutral detergent fiber, or NDF, is the most common measure of fiber used for animal feed analysis. It includes most of the structural components of plant cells. Fiber is inversely correlated to energy content. Too much fiber in the ration reduces passage rate, limits intake and supplies only a moderate amount of energy for milk production. Cows fed with high levels of fiber in the ration remain healthy, but do not produce milk to their full genetic potential. If the forage harvest is delayed, NDF content increases which consequently means that less forage should be used in the ration. On the other hand, a deficiency of fiber in the dairy ration leads to rumen acidosis and other metabolic disorders so a balance must be found.

Q: What can be done if forage harvest is delayed?

ZC: Every effort should be made to avoid delays to the forage harvest. However, when a delay does occur, silage inoculants should be applied to speed up the fermentation process and increase the digestibility of the ensiled material. One good solution is to use BioStabil® Plus, as it will also reduce shrink losses during storage and feeding. Material that is ensiled without inoculants can lose as much as 20% of the nutritional value due to shrinkage. When harvest is delayed, the cutting length should be reduced, and proper attention should be paid to the compaction and covering of the forage.

Q: Are there any other suggestions for when the forage harvest is delayed?

ZC: The amount of silage that has a high NDF content should be reduced in high lactating cows, and replaced with purchased feed. For dry cows, those in late lactation and growing heifers, it should be sufficient to include a mycotoxin deactivation product such as Mycofix® Plus with the forage, and include it in the ration as normal. An alternative solution is to replace the low-digestible silage with by-products that are high in NDF, but that also have a high neutral detergent fiber digestibility (NDFD) such as soy hulls, beet pulp and in some situations citrus pulp. These products offer a more rapid source of NDF that is highly digested. The mycotoxin content of by-products is generally high so there is a need to use Mycofix® Plus to provide full protection against all mycotoxins.

Q: Can NDFD in forages be too high?

ZC: In practical conditions, it is unusual for forage to be too digestible. It could occur when, for example un-matured, very early cut grass containing a high sugar content and high NDFD content is ensiled. This could be counteracted by reducing the amount of grain in the ration.

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Ruminants Articles
news-1861 Wed, 07 Mar 2018 10:01:00 +0100 Mycotoxin Occurrence in US Corn - Survey Results In http://www.biomin.net/articles/mycotoxin-occurrence-in-us-corn-survey-results-in/ Mycotoxins, fungal metabolites produced by common molds capable of infecting almost all types of grains, are toxic to animals and humans. As part of the Biomin® PROcheck mycotoxin risk management program, annual surveys are conducted to assess the occurrence of mycotoxins in the new corn crop from the United States of America. Design

For the 2017 corn harvest, a total of 442 samples sourced from 29 states were analyzed in 3 different labs (Romer Labs Inc., USA; Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at Iowa State University, USA; Activation Laboratories, Canada) to characterize the presence and potential risk posed to livestock animal production by six major mycotoxin groups: aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), Type B Trichothecenes (B-Trich), fumonisins (FUM), Type A trichothecenes (A-Trich), and ochratoxin A (OTA). Samples included corn (293, 66%), corn silage and fresh corn chop (114, 26%), and corn byproducts (33, 7%).

Occurrence

A total of 88% of samples tested positive for mycotoxins compared to 96% in 2016. Type B trichothecenes such as deoxynivalenol continue to pose a major threat to livestock this year, with an occurrence at 75%, average contamination level of 1,026 ± 179 ppb (all values are presented as an average ± SEM), and maximum of 54,149 ppb. Both occurrence and average level are decreased for B-Trich compared to 2016 (85% occurrence with an average of 1682 ± 96 ppb, maximum of 30,440). FUM for the current sample pool is less than 2016 with a prevalence of 43%, an average contamination level of 2298 ± 397 ppb, and a maximum of 64,500 ppb. This is compared to 70% and an average of 3878 ± 410 ppb in 2016. However, the current sample pool is skewed towards Midwestern corn, and those in Southern areas should be mindful of FUM contamination of the 2017 crop from corn grown in these regions.

Table 1. Summary of mycotoxin analysis

ParametersB-TrichFUMZENAflaA-TrichOTA
Positive samples (%)7543294<1<1
Mean of positives [ppb]1026229824812135600
SEM1 of positives [ppb]17939755415*NA
Maximum contamination [ppb]54,14964,5005,55667150600

1Standard error of mean

Figure 1. Prevalence (%) and average contamination level (ppb) of positive samples for Afla, ZEN, B Trich, and FUM from 2012 to 2017. OTA and A Trich are not represented due to low number of samples

Figure 1. Prevalence (%) and average contamination level (ppb) of positive samples

Figure 1. Prevalence (%) and average contamination level (ppb) of positive samples 
The prevalence of ZEN in the 2017 harvest was 29%, with an average of 248 ± 55 ppb, and maximum of 5556 ppb. Average sample contamination level and prevalence is lower for ZEN compared to 2016 (2016: prevalence at 56% with a mean of 339 ± 62 ppb). Prevalence and average contamination levels of B-Trich, FUM and ZEN are less than 2017, and appear similar to 2015. Contamination levels of B-Trich and FUM remain above 2015 levels. The overall trend has been increasing prevalence of B-Trich and ZEN contamination since 2013, with a decreasing trend of FUM. Afla prevalence in the sample pool appears to have decreased since 2012, but this year due to weather during the harvest and out-door storage of bumper crop corn, producers should remain vigilant of corn quality and storage conditions throughout the calendar year.

Risk level

Figure 2. Threat of mycotoxin-related risks to livestock based upon threshold levels according to FDA and EU regulatory and guidance values. States from which samples with levels of contamination representing a high risk are illustrated in red. States with positive samples below high threshold levels are illustrated in pink, without positive samples are illustrated in dark grey, and without samples submitted are illustrated in light grey. State information was not available for all samples. The maximum level does not preclude specific, severe instances of mycotoxin contamination in farm or fields locally, nor does it account for the negative impacts of multiple mycotoxin presence. OTA and A-Trich maps are not included due to small number of positive sample

Figure 2. Threat of mycotoxin-related risks

The contamination of samples with B-Trich above 900 ppb and FUM above 2000 ppb was observed in 12 and 17 states, respectively. Zearalenone levels exceeding 100 ppb were detected in samples from 16 states. The occurrence of samples above threshold levels for Afla, T-2 and OTA were sparse, and found in samples from single sources. The occurrence of Afla above 20 ppb was detected in South Carolina, A-Trich at levels above 100 ppb did not have state information, and OTA above 100 ppb was found in Ohio.

Distribution

Figure 3. Distribution of contaminated samples

Figure 3. Distribution of contaminated samples

Detected occurrence above the risk level of 100 ppb was 59% for ZEN (73% in 2016) while it was 26% for B-Trich above 900 ppb (51% in 2016), and 28% for FUM above 2,000 ppb (42% in 2016). This 2017 harvest, B-Trich, ZEN, and FUM present the main threats in the US corn, consistent with previous years.

Co-occurrence

With more than ten-years of experience monitoring the occurrence of mycotoxins in livestock feeds, BIOMIN has shown that co-occurrence of mycotoxins (the presence of more than one mycotoxin) is the rule and not the exception. As illustrated in Figure 4, 43% of US corn samples harvested in 2017 were contaminated with just one mycotoxin while 45% showed co-contamination with more than one mycotoxin, a decrease from 2016 and similar to 2015. Of the co-contaminated samples, 15% were positive for all three fusarium toxins (B-Trich, FUM, and ZEN), while co-contamination with B-Trich and FUM, and B-Trich and ZEN were 16% and 13%, respectively.

Figure 4. Co-occurrence of mycotoxins from 2012-2017.

Figure 4. Co-occurrence of mycotoxins from 2012-2017.

Summary

Overall, B-Trich such as deoxynivalenol present the highest threat in the US corn harvest samples due to its high prevalence and number of samples above the FDA recommended level.

In terms of occurrence, FUM ranks second among the six major mycotoxins analyzed in these samples. As a result of its co-occurrence with other toxins, ZEN continues to be a concern in US corn.

While occurrence and co-occurrence levels in 2017 have decreased compared to 2016, data suggests fusarium toxins in combination remain a threat to the livestock industry.

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news-1887 Tue, 06 Mar 2018 11:44:00 +0100 Vaccination Strategies in the Context of Antibiotic Reduction [Summary] http://www.biomin.net/articles/vaccination-strategies-in-the-context-of-antibiotic-reduction-summary/ Summary of a talk given by Prof. Paolo Martelli DVM, Diplomate ECPHM, President of the ECPHM and Full Professor of Veterinary Clinical Medicine at Parma University, Italy. The concept of One Health represents very new terminology, but there is nothing new about the interaction between animals, humans and the environment. The interactions between these three areas are increasingly overlapping so that veterinary medicine, human medicine and the environment are becoming more and more closely linked. This is why the concept is called One Health.

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news-1619 Tue, 06 Mar 2018 10:43:00 +0100 Optimizing Gut Health and Performance through a Phytogenic Feed Additive http://www.biomin.net/articles/optimizing-gut-health-and-performance-through-a-phytogenic-feed-additive/ Modern animal production is facing several challenges. Growing demand for animal products and volatile or rising prices for raw materials require the implementation of optimal production conditions with the aim to secure high animal performance.

Phytogenic feed additives have gained considerable attention in the feed industry and to an increasing extent producers are incorporating them into their feeding programs. Today, 70–80% of the companies have been or are using phytogenics in broiler and pig feeds (World Poultry, 2008).

Phytogenic compounds have traditionally been used as flavours and spices in human nutrition and medicine, as well as for food preservation. There are a large number of herbs and spices that may be considered as Natural Growth Promoters in animal nutrition, of which the most frequently used are presented in Table 1. Most of these plants contain a considerable number of active substances which determines their in vivo efficacy.

Table 1. Herbs and spices frequently used in phytogenic feed additives

It is evident that this category of feed additives covers a large variety of substances with an even bigger number of active ingredients, including carvacrol, thymol, cinnamaldehyde and anethol, just to mention a few important examples. Phytogenic feed additives are either available in a solid, dried and ground form or as extracts or essential oils. Usually, phytogenics vary seriously in their chemical ingredients, depending on their composition and influences of climatic conditions, locations or harvest time. Hence, differences in efficacy between phytogenic products which are currently available at the market can be attributed mainly to differences in their chemical composition (Steiner, 2006).

Essential oils are odoriferous, secondary plant products which contain most of the plant’s active substances, being mainly hydrocarbons (e.g. terpenes, sesquiterpenes), oxygenated compounds (e.g. alcohol, aldehydes, ketones) and a small percentage of non-volatile residues (e.g. paraffin, wax) (Losa, 2000). They are obtained from the raw materials, basically through steam distillation.

In comparison to Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGPs), phytogenics do usually not bear the risk of cross-resistances and residues in animal products. Improvements in feed conversion ratio (FCR) and body weight gain, as well as their benefits in assisting in disease prevention have been observed in recent trials.

Mode of action of phytogenics

A vast number of studies have been carried out regarding the screening of phytogenic compounds for their biological activities. Several plant extracts have shown antimicrobial, anticoccidial, fungicidal or antioxidant properties associated with their lipophylic character (Giannenas et al., 2003; Helander et al., 1998; Juven et al., 1994). Phytogenic agents originating from oregano, thyme or cinnamon, for example, show broad antimicrobial activity against various pathogenic bacteria including E. coli, Salmonella and Clostridium. However, information about the mode of action of commercially available phytogenic feed additives is rather scarce. Assessment of biological effects is difficult if the composition of a test substance is unclear or variable. It is mandatory that phytogenic feed additives have a standardized composition which is based on carefully selected raw materials, undergoing strict quality control measures. A series of experiments was carried out using a synergistic combination of selected essential oils from oregano, anise and citrus, and prebiotic substances (Digestarom® P.E.P.).

Among these studies, recent data from a research project with swine (Kroismayr, 2008a,b) indicates that the mode of action of Digestarom® P.E.P. is versatile and conclusive (Figure 1), finally assisting the animal to reach its genetic potential for growth performance better.

Figure 1.Principal mode of action of a phytogenic additive based on oregano, anise and citrus essential oils (Digestarom® P.E.P.)

The study was initiated and lead by the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna (Austria). Additionally, the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna and the Technical University Munich–Weihenstephan (Germany) were involved in the project. Digestarom® P.E.P. was tested in weaning piglets because these animals, and especially their gut environment, are representative for many nonruminant species. One-hundred-and-twenty weaning piglets were assigned to three trial groups: (1) negative control group, (2) group with Digestarom® P.E.P. and (3) positive control group with a commonly used AGP (Avilamycin). On day 22 of the 50-day feeding trial, 12 piglets out of each trial group were sacrificed and samples of digesta and various tissues were collected. It was shown in this work that addition of the phytogenic feed additive to the basal diet resulted in a reduction of the total bacterial count in the intestinal tract, concomitant with an increased nutrient digestibility (Stoni et al., 2005, Figure 2). Furthermore, decreased contents of ammonia and biogenic amines were an additional indicator for the beneficial impact of the phytogenic feed additive on gut microbiology. Finally, a down-regulation of the immune system was observed, as indicated by smaller Peyers Patches in the ileum and lower activity of specific primers (NFκB, Cyclin D1) of immune action. In conclusion, this indicates that more energy and nutrients are available for accretion of body mass rather than for microbial growth and immune action (“energy and nutrient sparing”).

Figure 2. Effect of phytogenics (Digestarom® P.E.P.) on nutrient digestibility in pigs (after Stoni et al., 2005. a,b Means with different letter differ (P<0.05).

Furthermore, there is evidence that phytogenics stimulate digestive secretions such as saliva or endogenous digestive enzymes (Williams and Losa, 2001; Platel and Srinivasan, 1996). In the meantime, additional studies are in progress to further identify potential mechanisms associated with the incorporation of phytogenics in diets for different animal species.

Phytogenics in broiler production

The main target in broiler production is to optimize feed conversion (FCR). Digestarom® P.E.P. was tested in different dosages in a scientific trial at the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece (Mountzouris et al., 2008). Day-old, male Cobb broiler chicks were assigned to different treatments, comprising 3 replications per treatment and 105 birds per treatment. The Negative Control (NC) contained no growth promoters, whereas the Positive Control (PC) contained Avilamycin. In further treatments, Digestarom® P.E.P. 125 poultry was supplemented at 125 or 250 g/t, respectively. As shown in Figures 3 and 4, Digestarom® P.E.P. increased body weight gain and significantly improved FCR. Differences between the dosages of Digestarom® P.E.P. were minor, indicating that the regular inclusion level of 125 g/t was optimal under the experimental conditions herein.

Figure 3. Effect of phytogenics and an Antibiotic Growth Promoter on total body weight gain of broilers (Agricultural University of Athens, Greece)

Figure 4. Effect of phytogenics and an Antibiotic Growth Promoter on FCR of broilers (Agricultural University of Athens, Greece). a,b Means with different letter differ (P<0.05).

Phytogenics in egg production

The effects on performance and economics of Digestarom® P.E.P. were investigated in the early stages of the egg production cycle (Nichol and Steiner, 2008). A 12-week trial was carried out with high-performing, Lohmann Brown hens using six replications with 16 birds per replication in a randomized complete block design and resulting in 96 hens per treatment. The age of the birds at the beginning and conclusion of the trial was 20 and 32 weeks, respectively. The birds were assigned to two dietary treatments: (1) Control (no additives), (2) control + Digestarom® P.E.P. All birds were vaccinated for Newcastle Disease and Infectious Bronchitis every six weeks. As shown in Table 2, hens fed phytogenics consumed less feed and had higher egg production as compared to the control group. Total and average daily feed intake was lower by 1.8% when the control diet was supplemented with phytogenics.

Table 2. Effects of phytogenics on average performance parameters (week 20 to 31) of layers

Hens offered phytogenics produced more eggs and had a better feed conversion in comparison to birds in the control group. Additionally, supplementation of the diets with phytogenics improved egg shell parameters (Table 3), i.e. shell thickness (P<0.05) and albumen height. As indicated by a higher Haugh Unit rating (82 vs. 79), the internal egg quality was higher in hens fed phytogenics.

Table 3. Effects of phytogenics on egg traits in layers

Based on actual local prices, Digestarom® P.E.P. improved productivity, resulting in a 1.74% cost saving (47.09 vs. 47.74 USD per 1000 eggs).

Phytogenics and Necrotic Enteritis

Necrotic Enteritis (NE) is an extremely costly disease in modern broiler production. It was estimated that the cost related to NE in commercial broiler flock is as high as 5 US-cents per bird (Choct, 2006). The main causative agent of NE is Clostridium perfringens. C. perfringens is a gram-positive, anaerobic and spore-forming bacterium that is widely present in the environment. There are five types of C. perfringens (Type A, B, C, D and E), classified by their ability to produce different exotoxins (α-, β-, ε- and ι-toxin) as well as Clostridium perfringens Enteroxin. The severe disease pattern of NE is mainly related to α-toxin, a phospholipase which disintegrates cell membranes. Typical signs of NE are depressed growth performance and increased mortality, associated with severe lesions on the intestinal mucosa. It has been hypothesized that phytogenic agents might reduce the clinical signs of NE in broilers. A study conducted at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) focused on this topic (Mc Reynolds et al., 2008). The results are very promising, showing that Digestarom® P.E.P. had a highly beneficial impact by reducing NE symptoms in birds that had been challenged with C. perfringens.

Phytogenics in pig nutrition

Optimizing FCR is also crucial for efficiency in swine production. A trial was recently carried out at Kansas State University, United States, to evaluate the efficacy of phytogenics in comparison to AGPs in post-weaning piglets (Sulabo et al., 2007). 144 piglets (22 days of age) were assigned to three treatment groups: Group 1 was fed a negative control diet without growth-promoters. Group 2 received the negative control diet supplemented with Digestarom® P.E.P. Group 3 was offered a positive control diet containing AGPs (140 g/t neomycin sulfate and 140 g/t oxytetracycline HCl). Growth performance was significantly improved over the negative control group when phytogenics or antibiotics were added to the feed. In terms of average daily gains, the pigs fed phytogenics were intermediate between the negative control and the AGPs (Figure 5). Feed conversion, however, was best in the group receiving Digestarom® P.E.P. (Figure 6).

Figure 5. Effects of phytogenics on average daily gain (adapted from Sulabo et al., 2007). a,b,c Means with different letter differ (P<0.05).

Table 1. Effects of phytogenics on feed conversion ratio (adapted from Sulabo et al., 2007). a,b Means with different letter differ (P<0.05).

Not only daily gain and FCR were improved by 5.2 and 4.5%, respectively. Also the Danish Production Value was increased by 10.3% through supplementation of the feed with phytogenics. The Danish Production Value represents an indicator of productivity and is calculated as follows: (kg gain × DKK/kg gain)–(no. of analyzed FUp × DKK/FUp), with figures being based on average local prices of 5 years.

Phytogenics in sow nutrition

The high energy requirement of the sow in lactation is compensated for by the reduction of body mass. A reduction in body mass by 15 kg is commonly considered as tolerable (Jeroch et al., 1999). However, higher reductions can negatively affect the sow’s fertility. There is a close correlation between litter size, feed intake and milk production, which indicates that feed intake of the sow has a substantial impact on litter performance. Sow’s milk is the primary source of energy, nutrients and antibodies for new-born piglets. Therefore, adequate lactation performance is crucial to obtain healthy piglets with satisfying growth rates. Data presented in Figure 7 was obtained from a trial at Texas A&M University, United States (Miller et al., 2003). In this trial, sows were fed either a basal feed with or without supplemental phytogenics. Sows fed Digestarom® P.E.P. consistently ingested more feed (on average 6.2 vs. 5.4 kg/d) as compared to the control sows. Furthermore, Digestarom® P.E.P. reduced sow body weight losses in lactation (7.2 vs. 13.3 kg) in the above mentioned study.

Figure 7. Effect of phytogenics on feed intake of sows in lactation (data from Texas A&M University, USA)

As a consequence of the increased sow feed intake in lactation, also piglet performance is usually substantially increased. The data from the Texas A&M University indicates the benefit of using Digestarom® P.E.P. in sows (Table 5).

Table 5. The effect of supplementation of sows with Digestarom® P.E.P. during late gestation through lactation on sow and pig performance (Miller et al., 2003)

As shown above, positive effects of phytogenics in sow nutrition are usually reflected in increased litter performance. Results from different trial locations are summarized in Figure 8. In these trials, supplementation of diets for sows with phytogenics (Digestarom® P.E.P.) increased average weaning weight of the piglets by 3 to 9%.

Figure 8. Effect of supplementation of diets for sows with phytogenics (Digestarom® P.E.P.) on weaning weight of piglets

Conclusion

Phytogenics represent one of the most promising groups of feed additives. It should be kept in mind that only a well-balanced and scientifically developed combination of active ingredients with defined properties can be expected to function synergistically in order to bring about the desired benefits for the producer. Consistent beneficial effects on productivity in poultry, pigs and calves have been reported in scientific studies using a blend of oregano, anise and citrus essential oils. Furthermore, an overwhelming portion of livestock producers consider phytogenics as an outstanding solution to enhance performance and, therefore, profitability.

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news-1884 Mon, 05 Mar 2018 15:32:00 +0100 Improving Egg Production Profits with Pullet Weight Management http://www.biomin.net/articles/improving-egg-production-profits-with-pullet-weight-management/ Pullet body weight strongly influences sexual maturity and overall reproductive performance of the adult layer. Proper gut health management is key to achieving ideal body weight and ensuring optimal performance and profitability.
Photo: gojak

With regard to pullet body weight and layer performance, sexual maturity is directly correlated with the onset of the production cycle. Flock uniformity at sexual maturity allows producers to have a sooner start of production, higher peak lay, and better persistency of egg production. Another advantage of having flocks with uniform body weights is the ability to easily meet the nutrient requirements for the entire flock with one diet. Ideally, the uniformity of body weights within a particular flock should be close to 85%. Pullets with body weights that are too low tend to reach sexual maturity later and produce less eggs over their lifetime than heavier birds. Furthermore, pullets not achieving target body weight could demonstrate poor physiological and anatomical conformation particularly in the gastrointestinal and reproductive systems.

Off target

There are several consequences of having body weights that exceed the target during the growing period. Obese hens do not have normal vaginal mucosa retraction and often prolapse, thus exposing them to pecking by other birds. This abnormality leads to increased mortality and early reduction of egg production. Other undesirable consequences, such as increased basal nutritional requirements and higher production of non-marketable eggs, may consequently reduce profitability.

Phytogenic Feed Additives

Phytogenic feed additives (PFA) have shown positive effects on gastrointestinal anatomy and physiology and nutrient digestion and absorption. These positive effects are due to increased production of pancreatic enzymes, improvement in intestinal integrity, and augmented bile secretion. Pancreatic enzymes aid in the digestion of nutrients such as lipids, carbohydrates, and amino acids in the intestinal lumen. By optimizing nutrient digestibility and improving intestinal morphology, nutrient absorption is also enhanced. Overall, phytogenic feed additives improve nutrient utilization, thus allowing more nutrients to be utilized by the bird to reach the ideal body weight. Phytogenics are also able to decrease the amount of pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract. The increased digestibility when phytogenic are used leads to a decrease in the free protein in the lumen of the intestine, diminishing the pathogens prevalence.

Probiotics

Probiotics stabilize the gastrointestinal microbiota by preventing the colonization of pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella, and Clostridium, supporting immunity against microbial and environmental insults, and enhancing intestinal integrity. The efficacy of probiotics may be modified by the amount and kind of strains being utilized. Often times, several strains used in conjunction can be more effective than a single one. Some of the beneficial effects caused by probiotics include enhanced nutrient absorption due to increased length and width of the intestinal villi and augmented secretion of important digestive enzymes such as amylase. Additionally, several studies have demonstrated that birds fed diets supplemented with probiotics display an enhanced immune response against pathogens and better performance than supplemented birds.

Figure 1. Ideal body weight uniformity.
Figure 1. Ideal body weight uniformity.
Source: Hy-Line International, Technical Update: Growing Management of Commercial Pullets www.hyline.com/userdocs/pages/TB_PULLET_MGMT_ENG.pdf

Organic Acids

Animal feed has been identified as a notable carrier for numerous bacteria that can cause health issues not only for the animal ingesting the contaminated feed, but also humans who may come in contact with products from those infected animals. Feed can become contaminated by pathogens during harvest, handling processes, transportation, processing, and storage. Once ingested, bacterial pathogens can gain access to the gastrointestinal tract and cause tremendous investment of metabolic energy and loss of performance. For many years, science has shown that organic acids can reduce bacterial load in animal feed. The mechanisms by which organic acids exert their beneficial effects include their ability to disrupt intracellular pH regulation, thus causing cell death, reduce intestinal pH, creating an environment unsuitable for pathogenic growth, and enhance digestive enzyme activity. Through these mechanisms, organic acids reduce pathogenic burden in the intestine and promote growth and improved performance in birds.

Pullets with body weights that are too low tend to reach sexual maturity later and produce less eggs over their lifetime.

Impact of Inflammation on Performance

Costs of Inflammation

Intestinal health is fundamental to achieving and maintaining ideal body weight. Intestinal health may be disrupted by several situations such as pathogenic challenge, poor quality feed ingredients, and environmental stressors. These insults may trigger intestinal inflammation, which results in expensive costs in the physiological economy. When challenged with inflammatory processes, the body has less energy to spend because of lowered energy intake due to anorexia; on the other hand, energy expenditure is higher because of the increased metabolic rate caused by inflammation. Fortunately, nature offers some tools that are able to counteract the negative effects of inflammation. Phytogenic feed additives and probiotics have shown to be effective in optimizing nutrient digestibility and absorption and feed conversion.

Phytogenic feed additives, organic acids, and probiotics in combination are able to optimize nutrient digestion and absorption, reduce pathogenic load in the intestine, modulate the immune response, and improve gastrointestinal integrity.

Summary

Effective digestion, absorption, and investment of nutrients leads to the achievement of target pullet body weight and increased flock uniformity. Optimal production onset, peak, and persistency will occur only in pullets with ideal and uniform body weights. Furthermore, appropriate body structure and physiology lead to the production of more marketable eggs. Overall, these features ultimately determine the production cycle profitability.
Phytogenic feed additives, organic acids, and probiotics in combination are able to optimize nutrient digestion and absorption, reduce pathogenic load in the intestine, modulate the immune response, and improve gastrointestinal integrity. Thus, these novel feed additives may allow the relocation of resources from immunological responses against insult towards anatomical development and ideal body weight in pullets.

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news-1883 Mon, 05 Mar 2018 14:14:00 +0100 Poultry Probiotics, Prebiotics and Synbiotics: Application in Poultry Nutrition http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/poultry-probiotics-prebiotics-and-synbiotics-application-in-poultry-nutrition/ For poultry professionals, it is important to understand the different actions of the various probiotic products on the market, and to use the one that is most suited to their particular requirements.

Here we clarify the terminology used regarding probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics, and provide an overview of the main categories of commercially available products along with their relative strengths and drawbacks.

Definitions

  • A probiotic is “a live organism which, when given in sufficient quantities, confers a benefit to the host” (FAO/WHO, 2001). Probiotics are also called direct-fed microbials, or DFMs.
  • A prebiotic is a non-digestible additive often consisting of natural dietary fibers such as fructooligsaccharides (FOS) that stimulate the growth and activity of beneficial bacteria in the colon, thus improving host health (Gibson and Roberfroid, 1995).
  • A synbiotic is a combination of probiotic and prebiotic products (Patterson and Burkholder, 2003). 

Categories of commercial probiotics

Currently, there is a range of probiotic products available globally. These products fall into several categories; single strain, multi-strain, multi-strain / multi-species and synbiotic products. There are also a few multi-genus products available, but due to the complexity of cultivation and stabilization, these products are rare. Table 1 provides an overview of the major probiotic bacteria species used. The modes of action of the various probiotic species differ between performance enhancement and gut health improvements, including competitive exclusion of pathogens.

Table 1: Main species of probiotic bacteria

GenusMajor species used
BacillusB. subtilis, B. licheniformis
LactobacillusL. acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, L. reuteri, L.salivarus, L. sobrius
EnterococcusE. faecium
BifidobacteriumB. animalis, B. bifidum
PediococcusP. acidilactici
ClostridiumC. butyricum
StreptococcusS. thermophilus

Source: BIOMIN

Two major categories of probiotics

Most commercial probiotic products fall into two major categories. First, the sporulated Bacillus spp., both single and multi-species, which remain in the lumen or outer mucus layer (dark green in Figure 1). Second, the lactic acid producing bacteria which, depending on their origins and mucus attaching capabilities, are either able to colonize the firmly attached mucus (light green in Figure 1) and the underlying epithelial wall itself like most Bifidobacterium animalis strains, or they are transient organisms like most Lactobacillus acidophilus strains, which are not colonizing said areas, similar to Bacillus spp..

Figure 1. Mucus layers of the gastrointestinal tract

Figure 1. Mucus layers of the gastrointestinal tract

Adapted from Atuma et al., 2001.

Understanding Bacillus spp.

Starting with the small intestine, many of the Bacillus species remain in the lumen or the upper layer of the loosely adhering mucus layer of the gut, and excrete proteases or non-starch polysaccharide enzymes, thereby increasing nutrient digestibility. This reduces the availability of easily fermentable nutrients to pathogenic bacteria, especially in the hindgut. Bacillus species also have the ability to secrete some bacteriocins (metabolites that selectively inhibit bacterial growth), which has a positive effect in modulating pathogenic bacteria like Clostridium perfringens coming from the feed.

As described above, Bacillus spp. are not colonizing bacteria but transient microorganisms. This means they are unable to attach to the epithelial layer of the gastrointestinal tract, thereby inherently limiting any direct immune modulation in the bird. In addition, many Bacilli are isolated from soil, not poultry, limiting the host immune interaction further. However, the increase in protein digestibility combined with the bacteriocin production reduces the risk of gut inflammation from C. perfringens, thereby improving the bird’s health and performance, and reducing the need for therapeutic antibiotic treatments in an indirect fashion.

Although Bacillus spores provide the natural protection of a probiotic, the spores are not metabolically active. Consequently, they need to be activated throughout the digestive process in the chicken, which is done with temperature over time and through the presence of free amino acids in the small intestine. There are ongoing debates as to the time it takes for spores to germinate in order for their protective and digestive capabilities to take effect in a bird’s gastrointestinal tract.

Scientific studies indicate that spore germination is triggered by moisture (here saliva), temperature over time and free amino acids, as well as a sensitivity to acid of the viable Bacillus. This indicates that most activity can be expected past the gizzard, when the pH of the digesta is close to neutral, starting in the duodenum.

Lactic acid producing bacteria

The lactic acid producing bacteria (LAB), for example Lactobacillus spp., Pediococcus spp. and Enterococcus spp., can be derived from various sources, which may not be particularly poultry. This may have an impact on the ability of the individual bacteria species to adhere to the firmly attached mucus layer (light green in Figure 1) and intestinal cell lining, and therefore reducing the ability of the bacteria to competitively exclude pathogenic bacteria from attachment sites.

This attachment is important for the early development of the immune system as it is a time when the system is being imprinted in regard to its function. With 70% of the chicken’s immune system in the intestine, rapid development of this system is important to the future gut health of the bird.

As the name indicates, lactic acid producing bacteria have the ability to produce organic acids, primarily acetic and lactic acid, but in a few cases butyric acid as well. They are generally produced along with a large variety of bacteriocins. Acetic acid is also used by some of the other commensal bacteria in the cecum as a food source, for example it is utilized to produce butyric acids as a metabolite. This may help explain why there is an increase in natural butyrate production with probiotics, even when no butyric acid producing bacteria are included in the probiotic mix itself.

In addition, many of the pathogenic bacteria, such as avian pathogenic E. coli or Salmonella spp., are pH sensitive, so even localized production of organic acids in the firmly attached mucus layer, along with the bacteriocin secretion of probiotic bacteria will have a modulating effect of pathogens in the gastrointestinal tract. Colonization by a beneficial Bifidobacterium strain can improve a bird’s immune development, limiting the need for immune response, thereby reducing the nutrient loss for this process.

Two key factors for prebiotics

The success of a prebiotic relies on two factors:

  1. Being indigestible to pathogenic bacteria but able to stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria, such as Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus
  2. Being able to restrict the growth and colonization of pathogenic bacteria

The process of restricting pathogens while favoring beneficial bacteria is known as competitive exclusion, often abbreviated to CE. Competitive exclusion can only be achieved with live organisms through activity in the digestive tract. 

Contention over true synbiotics

Some companies combine probiotic bacteria with prebiotic mixtures in order to produce a synbiotic product. The prebiotics advance the rapid establishment of the probiotic strains through the provision of an additional nutrient source. However, with low inclusion levels and localization in close proximity to the probiotic, the prebiotic effects will be more limited to the probiotic bacteria rather than the general microbiota, which can also utilize them. There is ongoing discussion that immune-modulating prebiotics, e.g. those used in combination with probiotic bacteriocin producing strains, where the prebiotic (e.g. immune modulatory yeast cell walls) is not in direct support of the probiotic, is, strictly speaking, not a true synbiotic.

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Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Blog Posts
news-1881 Fri, 02 Mar 2018 09:52:00 +0100 Video Clips on Antibiotic Reduction in Layers from our Egg Production Event http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/video-clips-on-antibiotic-reduction-in-layers-from-our-egg-production-event/ From 26 to 28 February, 2018, 200 delegates representing 30 nationalities gathered in Austria to exchange views on trends in the egg industry, including the trend towards cage-free hens and how to reduce antibiotic usage. The full title of the BIOMIN Antibiotic-Free Days symposium – “Solving the Antibiotic-Free Production Puzzle: Guidelines for a responsible use of antibiotics in modern poultry production”— featured BIOMIN and guest experts from a range of disciplines.

We captured a number of clips from the sidelines of the event, which provide several key points from two days of discussions.

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Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Blog Posts
news-1880 Thu, 01 Mar 2018 10:34:00 +0100 BIOMIN Announces 2018 World Nutrition Forum Details http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/biomin-announces-2018-world-nutrition-forum-details/ Leading feed, livestock and aquaculture professionals along with researchers, academics and other representatives will gather in Cape Town, South Africa from 3 to 5 October 2018. 26 February 2018 - BIOMIN has just announced details regarding the 8th edition of the biennial World Nutrition Forum. The theme of the 2018 premier animal nutrition event hosted by BIOMIN will be S.C.O.P.E. which signifies 'Scientific Challenges and Opportunities in the Protein Economy.'

The 2018 World Nutrition Forum will offer top industry professionals a spectrum of varying perspectives and viewpoints on factors that will influence tomorrow's protein economy. Species-specific breakout sessions will provide a platform for reflection on topics in the poultry, swine, ruminants, and aquaculture sectors.

An expert session on gut health and performance will zoom in on antibiotic resistance and the role of novel feed additives as alternatives to antibiotic usage in farm animals. In addition, a top-class mycotoxin expert session will address key research findings and leading-edge technologies in the fields of mycotoxin prediction and deactivation.

"Now is an exciting time in the field of animal nutrition. Our scientific understanding of living organisms is advancing in ways that were almost unimaginable a decade ago. At the same time, consumer requirements are having a greater influence on how we feed and care for farm animals," noted Dr Hannes Binder, Managing Director of BIOMIN.

"At BIOMIN, we have always been committed to putting the most advanced scientific knowledge to work for our clients in order to help them achieve successful outcomes," explained Dr Binder. "Bringing industry practitioners and leading experts from around the world together at the World Nutrition Forum exemplifies that commitment."

About the World Nutrition Forum

First held in Salzburg in 2004, the World Nutrition Forum hosted by BIOMIN has become the leading opportunity for industry practitioners to share ideas and exchange knowledge. These biennial summits are consistently well rated by attendees. Each iteration draws upon the uniqueness of the location, speakers and participants while maintaining the highest quality standards for both content and organization.

Convening in Cape Town

Commonly known as the 'Mother City' and recognized as a top global destination, Cape Town offers a vibrant, multicultural setting and modern infrastructure well suited for meetings and conventions. Attractive sights, unmatched hospitality, an eclectic mix of cuisines and the world-class Cape Town International Convention Centre are just a few of many attributes that will make the 2018 World Nutrition Forum experience both eye-catching and eye-opening.

Visit http://www.worldnutritionforum.info or contact your local BIOMIN representative for more information.

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Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Press Releases
news-1878 Thu, 01 Mar 2018 08:43:00 +0100 Science & Solutions No. 52 - Swine http://www.biomin.net/magazines/science-solutions-no-52-swine/ In this issue: The Importance of Gut Health in Antibiotic-Free Pork Production; 6 Critical Factors in Successful Gilt Management; What Dozens of Swine Trials Tell Us about Phytogenics and Profitability IN THIS ISSUE:

Science &amp; Solutions No. 52

The Importance of GutHealth in Antibiotic-Free Pork Production
Rising demand for antibiotic-freepork means that producers needto find alternatives for disease management. Understanding how toachieve optimal gut health withoutantibiotics will not only maintain,but also improve performance.

6 Critical Factorsin Successful Gilt Management
Gilts are the vehicles for geneticprogression in a pig unit, dictatingthe productivity performance ofthe entire unit. Particular care mustbe paid to six critical factors when managing this group of animals.

What Dozens of Swine TrialsTell Us about Phytogenics and Profitability
Performance and meat qualityimprovements stemming fromphytogenic feed additive application are key to achievingbetter economic results.

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Mycotoxins Pigs Magazines
news-1875 Thu, 01 Mar 2018 07:58:00 +0100 BIOMIN to Present Latest Mycotoxin Findings at Livestock Asia 2018 http://www.biomin.net/news/biomin-to-present-latest-mycotoxin-findings-at-livestock-asia-2018/ BIOMIN will participate in the upcoming Livestock Asia 2018, which will be held from 19 to 21 April, at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Come visit BIOMIN at booth M201to discuss the latest trends in the livestock industry, including insights from the latest 2017 annual global mycotoxin survey results and the impact of mycotoxins on animals. BIOMIN mycotoxin expert Ms. Eileen Han will also be presenting in two presentations (details below) . Solutions in our gut performance management line featuring probiotics – PoultryStar®, acidifiers – Biotronic®, phytogenics – Digestarom® and our mycotoxin risk management line – Mycofix® will be showcased at the show.

Details of the BIOMIN presentations at Livestock Asia 2018

19 April 2018, Thursday 

Seminar 1 (Morning Session) Theme: Poultry Management
10:45am - 11:15 amResults and Findings of the 2017 World Mycotoxin SurveyMs. Eileen Han, Regional Product Manager - Mycotoxin Risk Management, BIOMIN Asia Pacific
Seminar 2 (Morning Session) Theme : Animal Health & Disease  
11:45am – 12:15pm The Mycotoxin Menace and its Impact on Livestock HealthMs. Eileen Han, Regional Product Manager - Mycotoxin Risk Management, BIOMIN Asia Pacific

BIOMIN looks forward to welcoming the 7,000 expected trade visitors, including integrators, veterinarians, livestock and aquaculture farmers, feedmillers, wholesalers, retailers, slaughterhouses, food processors, importers and distributors, and other industry stakeholders at the event.

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry News
news-1870 Tue, 27 Feb 2018 12:07:00 +0100 For us, 'leaving foodprints' means: http://www.biomin.net/videos/for-us-leaving-foodprints-means/ Making a significant contribution to the feed and food industry. Topics Species Videos news-1868 Mon, 26 Feb 2018 13:49:00 +0100 What Dozens of Swine Trials Tell Us about Phytogenics and Profitability http://www.biomin.net/articles/what-dozens-of-swine-trials-tell-us-about-phytogenics-and-profitability/ Performance and meat quality improvements stemming from phytogenic feed additive application are key to achieving better economic results. Photo: iStockphoto_agnormark
Photo: iStockphoto_agnormark

Our scientific understanding of the application of phytogenic feeds additives (PFAs) has progressed considerably and continues to do so. At the same time, our practical experience continues to grow. BIOMIN has partnered with many feed and livestock producers to achieve better outcomes through PFA application. The 2017 BIOMIN Phytogenics Feed Additives Survey identified the top reasons why swine professionals use phytogenic feed additives. BIOMIN has conducted more than 60 commercial swine trials with PFAs in operations across the globe. This article highlights some of the most important commercial trials and their results for sows, weaners and finishing pigs.

Sow fertility improvement, reduced culling

While obtaining a complete data set that covers the full productive lifespan of sows is difficult to achieve in practice, commercial results reveal multiple benefits derived from PFA supplementation of sow diets. In trials where Digestarom® was used from day 80-85 of gestation until weaning, or only in the lactation feed, higher sow feed intakes, higher piglet weaning weights (0.25 – 0.7 kg), lower sow body weight losses and shorter wean-toestrus intervals were reported.

In trials where Digestarom® was applied for one or more complete reproductive cycles in gestation and lactation feed, a similar improvement was observed. The most salient result of these long-term trials was the positive influence of Digestarom® on fertility, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Digestarom® improves sow fertility in four long-term commercial trials

Digestarom® improves sow fertility in four long-term commercial trials

The enhancement in fertility combined with an equal or slightly higher number of piglets born results in one to two more piglets weaned per sow per year. Figure 2 highlights results of a trial in a 10,000 head sow unit (two herds with approx. 5,000 sows each) where the fertility enhancement meant less culling for reproductive failures in the Digestarom® herd.

Figure 2. Digestarom® reduces culling through better fertility

 Digestarom® reduces culling through better fertility

The consequent economic benefits of PFA application in sows stems from numerous sources, including enhanced fertility, more piglets weaned per sow per year, enhanced performance persistence and reduced replacement rates. (Read “Maximizing Sow Productivity using Phytogenics - A Nutritional Approach”).

Growth promotion in piglets

Looking across 14 commercial trials conducted in China, USA, Mexico, Russia, Poland, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, reveals that using Digestarom® in weaner/ grower feed results in a seven percent improvement in weight gain and more than a three percent improvement in feed conversion, on average (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Average Daily Gain (ADG) and Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) improvement with Digestarom®

Average Daily Gain (ADG) and Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR) improvement with Digestarom®

These data have been obtained partly from trials where in-feed antibiotics were compared against phytogenics. (For further discussion of head-to-head comparison of growth promotion of sub-therapeutic antibiotic application vs. PFAs in pig diets, see “Proven Tools to Replace AGPs”).

The ability of Digestarom® to support growth promotion stems from its multi-component mode of action. Scientific trials have shown that Digestarom® enhances the digestibility of feed ingredients, especially of crude protein, by almost 10% (Maenner et al., 2011). The same publication reported a modulating effect on the gut microbiota. Other scientific studies have shown that Digestarom® is capable of reducing inflammatory processes in the gut tissue while also stimulating one of the mayor cell defense mechanisms, the Nrf2 pathway (Gessner et al., 2013).

Combatting scour in piglets

Unspecific diarrhea poses health and performance problems in piglets. Digestarom® P.E.P. liquid is a phytogenic product specifically developed for treating diarrhea in piglets. Trials in South America, Europe and Asia indicate that this phytogenic liquid product used as a preventive application in newborn piglets has the potential to increase weaning weights and to lower pre-weaning mortality as well as the incidence of unspecific diarrhea in piglets, as shown in Tables 1 and 2.

Table 1. Adjusted weaning weight for 23 days in nursery

 Adjusted weaning weight for 23 days in nursery

Table 2. Impact on mortality and weaning weight of first parity litters

 

Performance improvements in finishers

BIOMIN has conducted more than 20 commercial trials of Digestarom® in finisher diets in Asia, Europe and the US, comparing outcomes against (1) diets with no other additives, (2) diets containing antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) and (3) more recently with diets containing Ractopamine. (The latter, while banned for pigs in the EU and parts of Asia, is still permitted in certain areas).

Zootechnical performance parameters like weight gain or feed efficiency were the most commonly observed and recorded parameters. Due to different trial set ups, very different feed ingredients, and great variability in the starting weights, a direct comparison of the trials results is not feasible. Nevertheless, ADG improvements of 3.5% to 9%, and reductions in FCRs of 2% to 6% are comparable with those observed in piglets. In addition to zootechnical parameters, lean meat percentage, carcass characteristics, meat quality and stock uniformity have a major impact on the profitability of pig finishing.

Even with a wide variety of feed ingredients, in different climatic conditions and production technologies, the use of Digestarom® in finishers has demonstrated its economic advantages for the producer, accomplishing an average return on investment of 3 – 7:1.

More lean meat in finishers

Figure 4 shows a commercial trial that included ten Austrian farms in which Digestarom® improved average lean meat percentages by 0.81 points.

Figure 4. Increase in lean meat with Digestarom®

 Increase in lean meat with Digestarom®

Uniformity improvements in finishers

Unfortunately, herd uniformity was not recorded in the majority of the commercial finisher trials. To highlight one particular example where it was observed, Figure 5 shows the results of a commercial trial in Germany where more than 90% of the Digestarom® group were in the highest three weight categories compared to less than 75% in the control group.

Figure 5. Digestarom® improves distribution of weight categories

 Digestarom® improves distribution of weight categories

Conclusion

Although not all standards of scientific trials are met in commercial trials, the importance of the latter in demonstrating the value of PFAs under different production conditions, at different production levels and under different climate conditions should not be underestimated. Commercial trials in pigs at various production stages indicate the value of Digestarom® to swine producers in geographies throughout the world.

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Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Pigs Articles
news-1867 Mon, 26 Feb 2018 13:42:00 +0100 6 Critical Factors in Successful Gilt Management http://www.biomin.net/articles/6-critical-factors-in-successful-gilt-management/ Gilts are the vehicles for genetic progression in a pig unit, dictating the productivity performance of the entire unit. Particular care must be paid to six critical factors when managing this group of animals.
Photo: iStockphoto_Anatolii Tsekhmister

In Brief
  • Gilt development determines the future productivity of the unit.
  • Where possible, raise gilts in a dedicated unit, ensure an adequate and consistent gilt pool, and set strict selection criteria for new gilts.
  • Use puberty stimulation and insemination targets to synchronize breeding.
  • An accurate record should be kept for each animal.

Gilts play a paramount role in farm profitability. Together with primiparous sows, they represent the biggest group in an inventory. Gilt development is directly linked to productivity performance in later life; they are the vehicles for injecting genetic progression on a farm. Here are six critical factors for successful gilt production.

1. Provide a dedicated unit

Producing gilts is different to producing fatteners. This is especially true today, when fewer farms purchase gilts and more grow them on farm. Gilts have different requirements in their management, nutrition and housing; dedicated accommodation, management and labor is required. This can be complicated when the number of gilts does not justify a separate unit. Pen space per gilt, floor type, and humanization (accustoming animals to human presence) are parameters with different requirements compared with fatteners.

2. Planning

Every production system must have a constant and adequate gilt pool according to needs and targets. The size of the gilt pool should cover the target replacement rate. In order to achieve an annual replacement rate of up to 50%, grandparent sow numbers should account for 8% to 10% of the inventory. Farrowing of the multiplication herd should be spread throughout the year so that eligible gilts are available for mating every week.

3. Selection

The first inspection of piglets should be carried out in the first days of life, during tagging. Piglets with abnormalities can be excluded at this point. The final selection should take place at around 100kg of weight. Selection should be carried out where there is enough light and sufficient space for the gilts to move freely. Attention should be paid to the number of functioning teats, growth, conformation and leg structure scores. One person should score every animal and all measurements must be recorded. Consider pool quality and requirements for the size of the next pool. Decide the selection density based on gilt batch quality, size of next pool and future insemination targets.


4. Puberty stimulation

Environmental factors such as mixing, boar exposure and other stressors trigger the onset of puberty by acting on the last part of puberty attainment. In order to have a more synchronized estrus in a pool of gilts, boar exposure should not start earlier than 140 to 150 days. The response of gilts to boar exposure could be an indication of fertility. If boar exposure is not enough to trigger the onset of heat in gilts, artificial techniques may be used, but these gilts are expected to be less productive, having a lower retention rate and a smaller first litter (Figure 1). One quarter of the gilt pool can be expected not to respond to boar stimulation, but part of this sub group should be retained as reserve gilts.

Figure 1. Retention rate for early, intermediate, late and non-responsive gilts following boar exposure over 12 non-negotiable aspects of gilt development

 Retention rate for early, intermediate, late and non-responsive gilts following boar exposure over 12 non-negotiable aspects of gilt development

Direct boar contact is more effective than contact through a fence; fewer days are needed for the onset of estrus and estrus occurs in a better distribution (Figure 2). Light also plays an important role (Table 1).

Table 1. Effect of light on puberty onset age

 Effect of light on puberty onset age

Figure 2. Cumulative percentage of gilts attaining a puberty response to direct contact with vasectomized boar in either a purpose built boar stimulation area (orange), in gilt home pens (purple) or fence line contact (green)

 Cumulative percentage of gilts attaining a puberty response to direct contact with vasectomized boar in either a purpose built boar stimulation area (orange), in gilt home pens (purple) or fence line contact (green)

5. Synchronized breeding and record keeping

Keeping records is the most important tool in gilt management. Once gilts are selected and boar exposure starts, the heat for individual gilts should be recorded. From these records, the next expected heat can be estimated. If the next heat is not regular, the gilt can be withdrawn from the pool as a gilt with an irregular cycle would result in a lower reproductive performance. For the regular cycling gilts, estimating the next heat 21 days in advance allows time for planning. Knowing which gilts are expected in heat facilitates decision making for insemination and grouping for flushing. In addition, synchronization costs may be avoided.

6. Insemination targets

By optimizing insemination targets, reproductive performance, sow longevity and overall profitability are optimized. However, the simultaneous achievement of optimal growth rate, optimal age and optimal gilt back fat depth at insemination is unlikely as these parameters are all interlinked.

Gilts with low growth rates need more days in feed to reach their target insemination weight, resulting in more non-productive days. Conversely, if the growth rate is too high, it could have a negative impact on longevity by causing future locomotive problems, and a negative impact on productivity through excessive body weight loss in the first lactation, resulting in a delayed return to estrus.

Reviewing insemination targets and research work carried out by various genetic companies indicates that insemination weight, with an optimum at 140 ± 5 kg, seems to be the first priority. Serving a second or third cycle would maximize ovary number and litter size at first farrowing. Following target recommendations based on herd genetics is the best strategy. Each genetic company shares mean parameters that optimize profitability according to their genetic line.

These above points do not cover all the parameters that should be considered in a gilt development plan. Issues such as acclimatization for incoming gilts, nutrition, nutrient requirements, feed quality and vaccination program (immunological preparation) are also important aspects. A sound gilt development plan can positively affect subsequent productivity and longevity of the sow, supporting farm profitability.

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Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Pigs Articles
news-1866 Mon, 26 Feb 2018 13:19:00 +0100 The Importance of Gut Health in Antibiotic-Free Pork Production http://www.biomin.net/articles/the-importance-of-gut-health-in-antibiotic-free-pork-production/ Rising demand for antibiotic-free pork means that producers need to find alternatives for disease management. Understanding how to achieve optimal gut health without antibiotics will not only maintain, but also improve performance. Photo: iStockphoto_ClarkandCompany
Photo: iStockphoto_ClarkandCompany

In the past decade, medium-sized producers in the United States accounted for most of the domestic antibiotic-free (ABF) pork production. Today, larger producers in the US and elsewhere are making the switch to ABF production due to growing consumer demand and the appeal of premium prices. Yet, several challenges can easily compromise profitability, such as higher mortality (especially in the post weaning phase), variability of market weight, increased days to market, and higher costs of treatment when intervention is required.

In many markets, there are no official guidelines for the rearing of ABF pigs. Each producer has to develop their own program to achieve ABF production, from birth to harvest or during the period of growth being referred to in the claim. Therefore, producers can make their own decisions on adopting and discarding practices and tools to achieve profitability.

The main challenge of ABF pork production is to prevent respiratory and gastrointestinal diseases. In this article, we will discuss strategies to prevent gastrointestinal problems by going through an overview of each component of gut health.

What is gut health?

The gut is commonly understood as the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), the place where digestion and absorption of nutrients occurs. A healthy gut maximizes the extraction and utilization of nutrients for animal growth. The definition of gut health is not well established due to the complexity and overlapping functionality. However, most researchers talk about four main areas: microbiota, intestinal integrity, mucosal immune system, and intestinal morphology (Figure 1).

Figure 1. The four overlapping components of gut health

 The four overlapping components of gut health

Early establishment of microbiota

The microbiota consists of commensal and pathogenic microorganisms that reside in the lumen of the GIT (Figure 2). The diversity and abundance of the microbiota has a direct effect on the health and well-being of the animals. The establishment of microbiota starts immediately after birth. A newborn piglet is naturally inoculated with microbiota from its environment. The microbiota of the sow and the sanitation of the crate play a crucial role in the establishment of microbiota in the piglet. Sanitation and biosecurity play a pivotal role in preventing disease outbreaks.

In Brief
  • Producing ABF pork can only be achieved through an understanding of gut health
  • The four components of gut health are microbiota, intestinal integrity, the mucosal immune system and intestinal morphology
  • Supplements added to the diet from birth can help promote gut health, improving nutrient absorption and growth rates

Incorporating probiotics and prebiotics into the diet of lactating sows can facilitate the early colonization of the piglet’s GIT with beneficial bacteria. In addition, to sustain this balance between commensal and pathogenic bacteria, supplementation of probiotics, prebiotics, organic acids, and phytogenics is also beneficial. An excess of indigestible protein can negatively affect the microbiota because, when it reaches the hindgut, it alters the pH and creates an environment more suitable for the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Hence, it is recommended to use a highly digestible protein source, reduce the level of crude protein in the diet, or incorporate feed additives that can enhance protein digestibility such as phytogenics or proteolytic enzymes (Table 1). The most common enteric problems caused by pathogenic organisms in swine are shown in Table 2.

Competitive exclusion

E. coli is one of the most common causes of neonatal and post-weaning diarrhea. It binds to the enterocytes through fimbrial adhesions (such as F18, K88 and K99) and later the E. coli proliferates and produces enterotoxins (such as STa, STb and LT). The enterotoxins cause excessive secretion of fluids into the lumen, resulting in diarrhea. Some of the probiotic bacterial strains can attach to the intestinal wall, impeding the adherence of pathogenic bacteria to the wall, preventing them from colonizing the gut. This mechanism is referred to as competitive exclusion.

Preserving intestinal integrity

Intestinal integrity is the capability of the epithelial layer to serve as a physical barrier, preventing the translocation of toxins and pathogens while allowing the passage of nutrients (Figure 2). The epithelial layer consists of enterocytes joined together by a complex network of proteins known as tight junctions. The enterocytes have the capability to transport molecules (e.g. ions, amino acids, sugars, and water) in a selective manner. However, the enterocytes can be physically damaged during starvation, water deprivation, heat stress, or by consuming toxins and rancid fats. Damage to the enterocytes impairs the efficient transport of nutrients. In addition, the tight junctions can also be damaged by mycotoxins, bacterial toxins, cytokines, and stress hormones (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Brief description of the components of the intestinal epithelium layer and its surroundings

 Brief description of the components of the intestinal epithelium layer and its surroundings

Figure 3. Effect of dietary supplementation of Digestarom® DC Xcel to nursery pigs on gut morphology. Digestarom® DC Xcel increased villi height and crypt depth (P < 0.001)

Effect of dietary supplementation of Digestarom® DC Xcel to nursery pigs on gut morphology.

Disruption of the tight junctions allows many pathogens and toxins to pass through the epithelial layer, possibly causing a systemic inflammatory response. Preventing any sources of environmental stress, reducing the risk of mycotoxins and bacterial infection, and avoiding the inclusion of rancid fats in the diet can help to preserve intestinal integrity (Table 1).

Encouraging cell repair is also beneficial. This can be achieved by providing sufficient antioxidants (vitamins E, C, D and A) in the diet and supporting the activity of the antioxidant systems (glutathione peroxidase, thioredoxin reductase, superoxide dismutase, and catalase). The antioxidant systems are mineral-dependent, thus it is recommended to provide sufficient amounts of the minerals involved in these enzymatic reactions (Se, Zn, Cu, Mn and Fe) to ensure their proper functioning.

A common problem in swine production is the contamination of the diets with deoxynivalenol (vomitoxin).

Deoxynivalenol is the most harmful mycotoxin known for swine as it damages the enterocyte and allows the invasion of pathogenic bacteria.

For instance, Salmonella invasion increased ten times when diets were contaminated with 750 ppb of deoxynivalenol (Vandenbroucke et al., 2011). Therefore, having a mycotoxin risk management program in place is essential to support intestinal integrity.

Properly developed mucosal immune system

The mucosal immune system is composed of the immune cells (e.g. lymphocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells) that surround the intestinal epithelium, and the sites for recruitment of those immune cells (e.g. Peyer’s patch, mesenteric lymph node; Figure 2). In mammals, the mucosal immune system is well-organized and sophisticated, working in two ways. The first is a quick but non-specific response (innate) and the second is a long-term, more specific response (adaptive).

Increasing the weaning age allows the mucosal immune system to develop properly. The immune system should be sufficiently able to fight a pathogen without over-stimulation, which causes unnecessary inflammation and is energetically costly. Therefore, adding phytogenic compounds with anti-inflammatory properties, and using omega-3 fats in the diets is recommended to reduce inflammation.

Table 1. Strategies to improve gut health in an ABF pork production system

Table 1. Strategies to improve gut health in an ABF pork production system

Table 2. Most common gastrointestinal pathogens observed in swine

 Most common gastrointestinal pathogens observed in swine

The use of vaccines helps the immune system to respond faster and more specifically to a pathogen. The vaccines induce the immune system to produce B and T lymphocytes (white blood cells) that are specific for a pathogen. B lymphocytes produce antibodies that can be released into the surroundings, whereas T lymphocytes possess receptors that identify the pathogen and once activated, they proliferate very quickly to attack the pathogen (Figure 2).

Today, there are vaccines for most of the common gastrointestinal pathogens found in swine (Table 2). The vaccines for pathogens that are a risk for the nursing pig (E. coli and C. perfringens) are given to the sow during gestation. In the post-weaning period, common vaccines applied to the pigs are Porcine circovirus 2, E. coli (K88, K99, 987P, F41), and Ileitis. It is important to consider that the efficacy of vaccines can decrease due to immune suppression caused by stressors. Mycotoxins decrease the activity of B and T lymphocytes. For instance, fumonisin has been found to reduce antibody production of Mycoplasma agalactiae (Taranu et al., 2005). Therefore, a vaccine program must be supported by a mycotoxin risk management program.

Healthy gut, more nutrient absorption

An intuitive way to determine gut health is by looking at the intestinal morphology, which is determined by the length of villi and the depth of crypt (Figure 3). In the absence of stressors, the cells lining the intestine can preserve their structure and functionality. The longer length of the villi is interpreted as a larger surface area for nutrient absorption. Intestinal morphology reveals that the first three components are in harmony and that the pig possesses a healthier gut for nutrient absorption and utilization.

Phytogenic compounds have numerous beneficial properties that support gut health, such as antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. A deliberate combination of phytogenic compounds can provide a comprehensive approach to supporting gut health. The phytogenic blend offered by BIOMIN, Digestarom® DC Xcel has shown to increase villus height by 15% (Figure 3). The improvements in intestinal morphology had a direct effect on nitrogen retention (nitrogen intake – nitrogen excretions). These results validate that more nutrients were utilized for pig growth, as the pigs supplemented with Digestarom® DC Xcel weighed 1.18kg more in terms of body weight at d 35 postweaning (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Body weight of pigs at day 35 post-weaning

 Body weight of pigs at day 35 post-weaning

Summary

The profitability of ABF pork production can be easily affected during a health challenge. Implementation of a comprehensive gut health program is essential in ABF pork production to prevent enteric challenges. Table 1 summarizes useful strategies that directly impact each of the components of gut health. Producers must evaluate and determine suitability of the recommended strategies and their combination in their own production system. BIOMIN offers a combination of innovative products and on-site support to help customers reach their long-term goals.

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Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Pigs Articles
news-1864 Mon, 26 Feb 2018 08:48:00 +0100 BIOMIN Actively Engages with Customers in East India by Participating at Kolkata Poultry EXPO http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/biomin-actively-engages-with-customers-in-east-india-by-participating-at-kolkata-poultry-expo/ By participating at the Paschim Banga Poultry Mela 2018 at Kolkata, innovative feed additive producer BIOMIN showed its commitment to the customers in east India and the high importance accorded to this region by the company. BIOMIN Actively Engages with Customers in East India by Participating at Kolkata Poultry EXPOFeb 22, 2018 BIOMIN utilized the three-day expo Paschim Banga Poultry Mela, which began on February 15, as a platform to reach out to customers and provide solutions to the energetic poultry industry in east India. The company's sales team from east India touched base with the number of visitors and explained about BIOMIN products and solutions for sustainable growth of the poultry industry here.

The Paschim Banga Poultry Mela is a vibrant expo organized by West Bengal Poultry Federation in association with Animal Resources Development Department, Government of West Bengal. Apart from customers and visitors from east India, this expo also attracts visitors from neighboring Nepal.

To efficiently provide support to the customers and visitors at the expo, a BIOMIN booth was displayed at a prominent space in Hall-A. The customers and visitors were given a warm welcome at the booth and the team helped them to find the right solutions.

In the backdrop of the 2017 BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey pointing out that 71% of samples from India contained at least one mycotoxin to pose a risk to animal health or performance, the BIOMIN team explained the visitors about the importance of Mycofix® product line in mycotoxin risk management.

This specially developed Mycofix® line of feed additives protect animal health by deactivating mycotoxins found in contaminated feed and is suitable for use in poultry, pig and ruminant feed as well as fish and shrimp diets.

Commenting on the company's presence at the Paschim Banga Poultry Mela, Dr Sujit Kulkarni, Managing Director, BIOMIN India said that reaching out to customers at their doorstep is important.

"East India, especially the state of West Bengal has vibrant presence in poultry segment and by exhibiting at this expo BIOMIN reiterates its commitment to the industry in this part of India and the importance we accord to the customers here," stated Dr Kulkarni.

According to Dr Kulkarni, BIOMIN customers receive consistent technical support from the company. "Our technical experts from BIOMIN Asia Pacific regularly visit the farms of customers and offer solutions to the issues faced by them," he added.

BIOMIN is already one of the world's top three players in phytogenic feed additives (PFAs). Due to growing awareness in India to reduce antibiotic usage, to enhance gut health and to support animal health, performance and profit, the Digestarom®, Digestarom® DC and PoultryStar® line of products from BIOMIN have been recognized by farmers.

Edward Manchester, Regional Director, BIOMIN Asia Pacific said that exhibiting at expos such as Paschim Banga Poultry Mela gives BIOMIN an edge as it helps to reach out to large number of farmers.

"Our participation at this expo has built confidence among the farmers and our customers, which in turn has brought us closer to them. We are excited to provide information about the Digestarom® product lines of BIOMIN, since phytogenics are a big area of focus for us," he underlined. He added that BIOMIN is well positioned in the market to offer solutions to meet the customers' requirements.

He noted that customers in India are increasingly engaging on the company's social media profile pages and pointed out that this is an interesting trend.

According to him, in line with the company's growth trajectory, BIOMIN constantly expands the team in India to provide support to customers.

Digestarom®, the phytogenic product line of BIOMIN, a world leader in gut performance management is a rapidly growing area in India. In November 2017, BIOMIN introduced its innovative, next generation phytogenic feed additive, Digestarom® DC, to the Indian feed and livestock sectors.

With the growing awareness among producers to reduce antibiotics and to enhance gut performance, the feed additive producer BIOMIN is confident to become the top company in the phytogenic feed additive (PFA) space by 2020 by providing profitable, sustainable solutions to the industry.

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Ruminants Pigs Press Releases
news-1852 Fri, 23 Feb 2018 16:01:00 +0100 The Most Popular Mycotoxin Mitigation Method May Surprise You http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/the-most-popular-mycotoxin-mitigation-method-may-surprise-you/ During the Mycotoxin Outlook 2018 webinar sessions hosted by BIOMIN and Romer Labs on 14 February 2018, we asked the audience -hundreds of industry practitioners from around the globe- several poll questions about their mycotoxin risk management practices.
Photo: iStockphoto_suriyasilsaksom

The results to the third poll question shed light on how common mycotoxin contamination problems are for the food and feed industries.

The live results during both sessions presented somewhat different pictures when it comes to counteraction and prevention practices. When we aggregated response data from the two sessions, an unexpected finding emerged.

Session 1 results

In the first session, the strategy preference among attendees was almost equally divided among 3 options -a mycotoxin binder added to feed, a multi-strategy mycotoxin deactivation feed additive and good quality control/feed management- in that order.

Table 1. In the past 12 months, which mycotoxin mitigation methods have you used? AM results

Method% of respondents
A mycotoxin binder added to feed33%
Good quality control, feed management33%
A multi-strategy mycotoxin deactivation feed additive29%
Currently looking for a solution18%
Mycotoxins are not an issue for us5%

Source: Mycotoxin Outlook 2018 webinar session 1 poll question 3

SESSION 2 RESULTS

In the second session, which had a greater number of participants from the Western Hemisphere, good quality control took the top spot, quickly followed by mycotoxin binder and then a multi-strategy mycotoxin deactivation feed additive. 

Table 2. In the past 12 months, which mycotoxin mitigation methods have you used? PM results

Method% of respondents
Good quality control, feed management40%
A mycotoxin binder added to feed38%
A multi-strategy mycotoxin deactivation feed additive31%
Currently looking for a solution16%
Mycotoxins are not an issue for us10%

Source: Mycotoxin Outlook 2018 webinar session 2 poll question 3

Surprising aggregate results

What was less apparent during the live sessions was that -unlike the first two poll questions- here poll question 3 allowed for multiple choice. Many webinar attendees selected two, three or even four choices when answering the question-something we weren't able to devote much time to during the live discussion. 

Once we complied the aggregate results from both sessions, a surprising finding jumped out: a combination of strategies was the most popular answer to the question of which methods attendees had used in the past year. 

Figure 1. In the past 12 months, which mycotoxin mitigation methods have you used? (both sessions)

 Figure 1. In the past 12 months, which mycotoxin mitigation methods have you used? (both sessions)

Source: Mycotoxin Outlook 2018 webinar poll question 3 aggregate results

By a slight margin, a combination of strategies ranked as the top method for mycotoxin mitigation; 21.6% of respondents. Admittedly, this category includes a variety of combinations. Among the top combinations were: 1) a binder plus a multi-strategy mycotoxin deactivator, and 2) a binder plus a multi-strategy mycotoxin deactivator plus quality control and feed management - followed by another 15 permutations.

Use of a mycotoxin binder and good quality control/feed management ranked as second and third most popular mitigation methods, at 21.2% and 19.6%, respectively.

Why a combination makes sense

Both regular testing of feed ingredients and the use of mycotoxin deactivators in animal diets are important components of a robust mycotoxin risk management program. These reflect the core competencies of Opens external link in new windowRomer Labs and BIOMIN, respectively.

The Opens external link in new windoweffects of mycotoxins in various animal species ultimately translate into losses in productivity for the feed and food sectors. There are a number of actions you can take to Opens external link in new windowreduce the risk of mycotoxin contamination before, during and after harvest. For many feed mills, integrations and farms, adding Mycofix® to animal diets is a key component of their mitigation plan. By protecting your animals, you can help improve your bottom line results.

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Mycotoxins Species Poultry Blog Posts
news-1850 Thu, 22 Feb 2018 10:20:00 +0100 61% of Those Polled Had a Mycotoxin Issue in the Past Year http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/61-of-those-polled-had-a-mycotoxin-issue-in-the-past-year/ During the Mycotoxin Outlook 2018 webinar sessions hosted by BIOMIN and Romer Labs on 14 February 2018, we asked the audience –hundreds of industry practitioners from around the globe— several poll questions about their mycotoxin risk management practices. The results to the first poll question shed light on how common mycotoxin contamination problems are for the food and feed industries.

Figure 1. Have you encountered a problem with mycotoxins in the past 12 months?

 Mycotoxin Outlook 2018 webinar poll question 1

Source: Mycotoxin Outlook 2018 webinar poll question 1

Yes—mycotoxins identified

The fact that the majority of participants (61%) answered ‘yes’ that they had encountered a mycotoxin issue reflects the widespread prevalence of mycotoxins in finished feed and raw commodity samples, as documented in the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey results.

Once you’ve identified a mycotoxin contamination issue, the next step is to look at mitigation methods. The wide variety of different mycotoxins identified by researchers means that a multi-strategy mitigation solution is often the best approach. Read the truth about mycotoxin binders

Maybe—mycotoxins suspected

For 17% of attendees, mycotoxins may have been an issue for their operations in the past 12 months. That mycotoxins are a suspected culprit is not surprising. Low doses of mycotoxins have a range of effects on farm animals, including:

  • decreased weight gain
  • feed refusal
  • lower feed efficiency
  • lower digestibility
  • immune suppression
  • dysbiosis

The difficulty of detecting or diagnosis the subclinical effects of mycotoxins in farm animals reinforces why you should regularly test your feed for mycotoxins

No—mycotoxins not detected

Fortunately, 22% of participants said that they had not encountered an issue. Yet, the presence of masked mycotoxins –those that are not readily detected by conventional methods— could unknowingly be threatening animals.

To form masked mycotoxin, a sugar molecule is attached to the conventional mycotoxin. For DON the masked form is DON-3-glucoside. Once the masked form is ingested with the feed, the sugar breaks off and the mycotoxin is released into the gastrointestinal tract. Figure 2 shows the process of masked mycotoxin formation and its release in the animal’s body. 

Figure 2. How masked mycotoxins can threaten animals

 How masked mycotoxins can threaten animals

Source: BIOMIN http://www.mycotoxins.info/en/mycotoxins/mycotoxins-definition

The only way to safeguard your animals against masked mycotoxins is with the preventive application of a multi-strategy mycotoxin deactivator.

Stay up-to-date on mycotoxin occurrence Mycotoxin prevalence changes from season to season. You can get the latest results of the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey –the most comprehensive and longest running source for mycotoxin prevalence data—delivered on your smartphone or tablet by downloading the free Mycofix® app.

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Mycotoxins Species Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Blog Posts
news-1853 Wed, 21 Feb 2018 10:53:00 +0100 Experts explore the Asian Protein Economy - Asia Nutrition Forum 2017 http://www.biomin.net/videos/experts-explore-the-asian-protein-economy-asia-nutrition-forum-2017/ Video recordings of presentations held during the Asia Nutrition Forum 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan. Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Videos news-1849 Sun, 18 Feb 2018 09:05:00 +0100 3 Tips for Surviving the Vitamin A & E Supply Crisis http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/3-tips-for-surviving-the-vitamin-a-e-supply-crisis/ A supply disruption of Vitamin A and Vitamin E has led to higher prices, presenting a clear challenge to nutritionists and feed formulators in many markets around the globe. Here we examine the role of Vitamin A and Vitamin E in animal diets, requirements per species, and 3 tips for adjusting animal feed recipes to cope successfully with the challenge. 3 Tips for Surviving the Vitamin A &amp; E Supply Crisis
Photo: iStockphoto_Vrender

Signs or symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency

  • Growth impairment
  • Abnormal skin and mucous membrane changes
  • Stillbirth and sterility
  • Increased susceptibility to disease

Sources of Vitamin A 

  • Cod liver oil, whole milk, fishmeal
  • Precursor beta carotene, carrots 

Function of Vitamin A

  • Builds, protects and regenerates the skin and mucous membranes
  • Promotes fertility by improving ovulation, implantation and hormonal pregnancy activation
  • Regulates growth and differentiation process in the cell metabolism by transfer of 300 previously identified genes (transcription and gene expression)
  • Strengthens the immune system 

Table 1: Vitamin A requirement per species in International Units (IUs)

SpeciesVitamin A
Broiler8000 IU
Turkey10000 - 6000 IU
Laying Hen8000 IU
Sow10000 IU
Piglet10000 IU
Fattening pigs5000 IU
Cow100000 IU
Calf20000 IU

1 IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 μg retinol, or of 0.6 μg beta-carotene.
Source: DSM Vitamin Supplementation Guidelines 2016 for animal nutrition

Signs or symptoms of Vitamin E deficiency

  • Muscle damage to heart and skeletal muscles
  • Fertility disorders
  • Changes in the vascular and nervous system
  • Impaired immune system

Sources of Vitamin E

  • Young green fodder
  • Wheat and maize seedlings
  • Plant oils 

Function of Vitamin E

  • Preserves membranes in certain muscles
  • Preparation and protection of pregnancy
  • Species-specific benefits (less mastitis, better meat quality)
  • May protect fatty acids, the building blocks of phospholipid cell membranes
  • Regulation of gonadal development and function
  • Antioxidant activity in cell metabolism
  • May act as antioxidant in living membranes
  • Protection against endogenous and exogenous free radicals 

Table 2: Vitamin E requirement per species

SpeciesVitamin E
Broiler150 mg
Turkey20 - 50 mg
Laying Hen15 mg
Sow60 mg
Piglet60 mg
Fattening pigs50 mg
Cow500 mg
Calf500 mg

Source: DSM Vitamin Supplementation Guidelines 2016 for animal nutrition

Tip 1: Adjust your Vitamin A and E levels to the requirements

Reduce to high levels in relation to the requirements. Refer to the above tables for Vitamin A and Vitamin E requirements per species. Cutting back a bit will help you to control costs.

Tip 2: Use higher levels of artificial antioxidants to stabilize your feeds

It’s not uncommon to use Vitamin E as a stabilizer for oxidative-sensitive constituents like fats, oils, full fat soja beans, rapeseeds, grains, corn (maize) etc.

Instead, replace Vitamin E with artificial antioxidants that serve the same purpose, such as BHA, BHT, Propyl gallate, or ascorbic acid.

A complete list of antioxidants can be found in the EU Register of Feed Additives in the category of functional feed additives, group 1b, on page 72.

Similarly, consider using more Vitamin C or ascorbic acid in the diets.

Tip 3: Use novel polyphenol products and natural antioxidants to support or spare Vitamin E

Note: this method is not scientifically proven. However, some support the idea of using novel polyphenol products and natural antioxidants in order to achieve a ‘vitamin sparing’ effect.

If you want to pursue this strategy, start by looking at these options:

  • Grape kernel products
  • Grape extracts
  • Rosemary oil
  • Resveratrol

Ultimately, Vitamin A and Vitamin E production will likely recover—and hopefully bring relief to feed formulators. These tips may help you during the bridge period. Good luck. 

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Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Blog Posts
news-1847 Thu, 15 Feb 2018 11:03:00 +0100 Mycotoxin Outlook 2018: The Rise of Fumonisins - Webinar Recordings http://www.biomin.net/videos/mycotoxin-outlook-2018-the-rise-of-fumonisins-webinar-recordings/ On 14 February 2018, BIOMIN and Romer Labs hosted live webinar featuring an in-depth discussion on mycotoxin occurrence patterns, the latest annual results of the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey, the outlook for 2018 and detection tools to better understand and control the risk of contamination in raw materials and feed.

Speakers:

  • Ines Taschl, DI (Product Manager at BIOMIN)
  • Cristian Ilea, MBA (Head of Marketing and Product Management at Romer Labs)
  • Ryan Hines (Moderator)
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Mycotoxins Species Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Videos
news-1848 Wed, 14 Feb 2018 13:45:00 +0100 BIOMIN Global Mycotoxin Survey Highlights Possible Threats Present in Feed http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/biomin-global-mycotoxin-survey-highlights-possible-threats-present-in-feed/ 14 February 2018 - Mycotoxin-related threats to the health and performance of farm animals continue to pose a challenge to the industry, according to the newly released annual results of the 2017 BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey. Ines Taschl, DI"While the exact mycotoxin contamination pattern varies from one region to another and from one farm to the next, the results indicate that the mycotoxin threat should not be ignored," cautioned Ines Taschl, Mycotoxin Risk Management Product Manager at BIOMIN.

Of the 18757 finished feed and raw commodity samples sourced from 72 countries, a full 62% of samples contained at least one mycotoxin present in sufficient concentrations to pose a risk to animal health or performance.

"In light of these contamination levels, it is advisable to regularly test feed ingredients and adopt a robust mycotoxin risk management program," stated Ms Taschl.

Main trends

  • Average concentrations of fumonisins in corn (maize) have risen from 993 parts per billion (ppb) in 2015 to 3095 in 2017.
  • Mycotoxin contamination of soybeanmeal is higher than in years past, with 83% of samples from South America testing above recommended threshold levels for deoxynivalenol.
  • There has been an increased prevalence of T-2 toxin in cereals and deoxynivalenol in corn versus 2016. 

Multiple mycotoxin occurrence

A full 71% of samples contained two or more mycotoxins. Multiple mycotoxin contamination of feed presents additional problems, as certain combinations of mycotoxins are known to have synergistic effects that aggravate the negative consequences for animals.

"The reality is that you're rarely, if ever, dealing with a single mycotoxin contamination. Mycotoxin contamination typically involves multiple mycotoxins, which can magnify the harm to farm animals" observed Ms Taschl. "The best way to protect your animals is to select a mycotoxin solution that relies on multiple strategies to counteract different types of mycotoxins," she explained.

About the survey

The annual BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey constitutes the longest running and most comprehensive survey of its kind, using advanced analytic tools on more than 18757 samples taken from 72 countries worldwide. The survey results provide insights on the incidence of the six major mycotoxins in the agricultural commodities used for livestock feed. Over 73692 analyses were conducted to identify the presence and potential risk posed to livestock animal production.

The full report can be found here.

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Mycotoxins Species Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Press Releases
news-1841 Wed, 14 Feb 2018 11:07:00 +0100 The Global Mycotoxin Threat 2018 [Infographic] http://www.biomin.net/articles/the-global-mycotoxin-threat-2018-infographic/ Infographic about the results of the annual BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey - the longest running and most comprehensive survey of its kind. The survey results provide insights on the incidence of the six major mycotoxins in the agricultural commodities used for livestock feed in order to identify the potential risk posed to livestock animal production.

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Mycotoxins Species Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Articles
news-1835 Wed, 14 Feb 2018 11:06:00 +0100 2017 BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey Results http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/2017-biomin-mycotoxin-survey-results/ The latest edition of the annual survey, covering 18757 agricultural commodity samples from 72 countries with over 73000 analyses, highlights the main dangers from the most important mycotoxins in primary feedstuffs and their potential risk to livestock animal production. The survey results provide an insight on the incidence of aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 toxin (T-2), fumonisins (FUM) and ochratoxin A (OTA) in the primary components used for feed which include corn (maize), wheat, barley, rice, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, dried distillers grains (DDGS) and silage, among others.

Figure 1. Global map of mycotoxin occurrence and risk in different regions. Squares indicate how many % of the analyzed samples of the region were contaminated with the respective mycotoxins Colors indicate different risk levels according to the legend below.

 Figure 1. Global map of mycotoxin occurrence and risk in different regions.

Recommended risk threshold of major mycotoxins in ppb

AflaZENDONT-2FUMOTA
2501505050010


Revised Legend:

  • Moderate risk = 0-25% of samples above risk threshold
  • High risk = 26-50% of samples above risk threshold
  • Severe risk = 51-75% of samples above risk threshold
  • Extreme risk = 76-100% of samples above risk threshold 

Risk levels

Because of the powerful sensitivity of state-of-the-art detection tools, it is no longer sufficient to talk about the mere presence of mycotoxins; concentration levels must be considered. Consequently, the latest results feature a mycotoxin risk map based upon both the presence of mycotoxins and their potential harm to livestock depending on concentration levels associated with known health risks.

Figure 1 shows mycotoxin occurrence data for each region as a percentage of all samples tested. The overall risk level for a particular region (indicated by color according to legend) is determined by the percentage of mycotoxins which exceed the risk threshold levels for livestock. The risk thresholds are based on worldwide practical experience in the field and in scientific trials that were conducted to reflect as closely as possible field situations and take into account the most sensitive species for each mycotoxin.

The average risk levels used as a basis do not preclude specific, severe instances of mycotoxin contamination in farm or fields locally, nor do they account for the negative impacts of multiple mycotoxin presence.

The mycotoxin risk map relies upon single mycotoxin occurrence which may understate the threat posed by mycotoxins to animals given their known synergistic effects (the presence of multiple mycotoxins compounds the potential harm) and subclinical effects (even low levels of mycotoxin contamination can impair animal health and performance).

Regional insights

North America and East Asia faces the most severe threat of mycotoxin-related risks to livestock. Both regions are suffering an extreme risk, as more than 75% of all tested samples showed a contamination level above the risk threshold levels. Table 1 provides an overview on the number of samples tested, occurrence, average contamination levels and maximum contamination values. Fumonisins and deoxynivalenol are the top threats in all.

Table 1. Detailed results of mycotoxin occurrence by region
Source: 2017 BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey 

Table 1. Detailed results of mycotoxin occurrence by region 

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Mycotoxins Species Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Blog Posts
news-1839 Tue, 13 Feb 2018 09:07:00 +0100 Fusarium mycotoxins continues to be the main threat to SE Asian aquaculture http://www.biomin.net/articles/fusarium-mycotoxins-continues-to-be-the-main-threat-to-se-asian-aquaculture/ In the recent publication at World Mycotoxin Journal, BIOMIN experts, led by Rui A. Gonçalves, reveal the most recent conclusions of their survey study on plant-based meals and finished feeds in SE Asian aquaculture.

Figure 1: Fusarium verticillioides colony. F. verticillioides is well known for its capacity to produce DON and FUM.

Authors acknowledge that the awareness of mycotoxin-related issues in aquaculture industry is growing, as manufacturers and producers realize the importance of mycotoxins, beyond aflatoxin, and their potential to impact production. However, there are still some erroneous concepts in the aquaculture industry and because of that is so important to identify the industry doubts and correctly address them.

Wrong concepts or misinformation?

One of the main concepts deeply entrenched across the aquaculture sector is that the majority of mycotoxin issues are the result of poor storage conditions leading to aflatoxin contamination. Consequently this wrong assumption brings consequences when the aqua sector professionals seek solutions for mycotoxin management as adsorption, the most common approach to deal with aflatoxins, is not a feasible strategy to tackle Fusarium mycotoxins. However, it remains true that poor storage conditions can lead to the growth of Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp., which can ultimately lead to the production of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A, the present observations shows that most of the mycotoxins found in finished feeds come from raw materials used to produce feeds.

Mycotoxin contamination in previous years

In previous assessments of mycotoxin contamination in the aquaculture sector (Gonçalves et al. 2016 and 2017), we found that in SE Asian samples, soybean meal, wheat, wheat bran, maize, corn gluten meal, rapeseed/canola meal and rice bran were mostly contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins (ZEN, DON and FUM). The only exception was cottonseed meal which was mainly contaminated by AF together with other Fusarium toxins (ZEN and DON) in considerable amounts. Finished feed samples were also mainly contaminated by Fusarium mycotoxins, reflecting the use of plant meals.

Processing conditions does not affect mycotoxins

The fact of observing relative high occurrence levels of Fusarium mycotoxins in the feeds, confirms that mycotoxin contamination found in these finished feeds is mostly related to the plant-based raw materials used in their formulation since Fusarium fungi are generally an issue in the field rather than in storage. This reinforces the reminder that mycotoxins commonly occurring in plant stuffs are not destroyed during most processing operations. On the contrary, processing affects mycotoxins distribution and concentrates mycotoxins into fractions that are commonly used as animal feed (plant by-products; e.g. corn gluten meal, DDGS, etc). The fate of mycotoxins in feedstuffs is variable and affected by several factors such as the type of mycotoxins, the level and extent of fungal contamination, and the complexity of the cereal processing technology. As a result, the use of mold inhibitors does not guarantee that feed is free of mycotoxins, as they are also produce in crops and not destroyed during processing, however, will avoid the production of storage mycotoxins (e.g., AF, OTA).

Figure 2: Fusarium Ear Rot in corn, is the most common fungal disease on corn ears, caused by Fusarium verticillioides and several other Fusarium species. Infection can occur under a wide range of environmental conditions.

BIOMIN objectives for 2016 Aqua samples

As the contamination of aquafeeds and plant-based feedstuffs with mycotoxins (for aquaculture use) is, in general, often neglected. At BIOMIN we are interested in fulfill this gaps in order to understand how to better manage the mycotoxin risk in aquaculture. Therefore, the objective of published work was to analyze the risk of mycotoxin contamination in conventional plant ingredients used for aquafeeds (as done in the past). However, also analyzing the by-products of these commodities, which are starting to be used in aquafeeds due to their better price and availability, was also conducted. Particular attention was also given to local non-conventional meals and aquaculture by-products (e.g., shrimp head meals, sun dried fishmeal, etc). Beside the most common mycotoxins (AF, ZEN, FUM and DON) we enlarged our goal to analyze 18 mycotoxins per sample in order to understand the occurrence of masked and alternative metabolites of mycotoxins in these aquaculture feedstuffs. Additionally, finished feeds for fish and shrimp were also analyzed. Due to the increasing globalization of trade, and the incorporation of imported raw materials into aquafeeds, the mycotoxin contamination of locally produced commodities was compared to the same imported commodities.

What we found during 2016?

During the period of one year (January 2016 - December 2016), 175 samples of different plant proteins, aquaculture/fishery by-products and finished aquaculture feeds, were analyzed. Samples were tested for: aflatoxins (AF; AFB1, AFB2, AFG1 and AFG2); zearalenone (ZEA); Type B trichothecenes (deoxynivalenol (DON); Nivalenol (NIV); 3-Acetyldeoxynivalenol (3-AcDON); 15-Acetyldeoxynivalenol (15-AcDON) and fusarenon X-glucoside (FUX)); fumonisins (FB; FB1, FB2 and FB3); Type A trichothecenes (T-2; HT-2; Diacetoxyscirpenol (DAS) and neosolaniol (NEO)) and ochratoxin A (OTA). All samples were sourced in Southeast Asia.

Within the analyzed samples, only 4% were free of detectable mycotoxins. Eight percent of the samples had one mycotoxin and 88% of the samples were contaminated with more than one mycotoxin. The current work show similarity to previous studies, that mycotoxin occurrence in plant-meals, and consequently in finished feeds, is quite variable and confirms that AF is not the main mycotoxin in aquafeeds. Mycotoxin occurrences in fish and shrimp feeds in the present samples were higher than reported in the previous studies for the same region. In samples of shrimp feed with DON detected, the mean average DON level was 882 μg/kg with a maximum level of 2,287 μg/kg. These values are within the reported sensitivity levels of white leg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei).

Mycotoxins on untypical ingredients

Shrimp head meal and fishmeal produced by grinding sun-dried fish, while not being a typical product to analyze for the presence of mycotoxin, it is known that their presence is possible (Fegan and Spring 2007; BIOMIN survey data; data not published). Is theoretical expected that these ingredients might include mycotoxins such as AF and OTA, as they are produced by molds for example Aspergillus spp. and Penicillium spp. which can occur in poor storage conditions. However, the samples analyzed in the present survey contained FB1 and FB2 which are toxins produced by Fusarium molds, which are generally related to field contamination of crops rather than storage. Interestingly, Fegan and Spring (2007) also reported several marine derived samples from fishmeal and shrimp meal contaminated with mycotoxins produced by Fusarium spp.. It's known that Fusarium strains namely F. oxysporum and F. solani, are opportunistic pathogens for fish and shrimp (Hatai et al., 1986; Lightner, 1996; Ostland et al., 1987; Souheil et al., 1999), however, therese fungi strain ability to produce toxins is not known, however this hypothesis cannot be totally rejected. However the authors also believe the possibility for FUM contamination through bioaccumulation. Recently, Michelin et al. (2017) showed that lambari fish (Astyanax altiparanae) fed more than 50 µg of AFB1 per kg of feed, presented AFB1 in muscle after 120 days in similar levels as in feed. FB clearance kinetics of fish and shrimp is not known, however, this is something that should be further researched.

How to fight Fusarium?

Fusarium mycotoxins are a broad class of compounds with different chemical structures, physical and toxicological proprieties. Due to this great diversity, different detoxification strategies are required to deal with this complex group of compounds. Adsorption is the most common approach to deal with mycotoxins and many products using this strategy are available on the market. However, as proved by several studies (Veikiru et al. 2015; Hahn et al. 2015; Fruhauf et al. 2011), adsorption is not a feasible strategy to tackle fusarium mycotoxins, as it is only effective towards aflatoxins and, to a lesser extent, ochratoxins. The reason relates to these mycotoxins' flat chemical structure that allows them to be captured between the layers of bentonite-a popular binder material. Once the mycotoxin enters the binder layers, the electric force generated by the atoms of both compounds tightens the bond. The less flat chemical structure of other mycotoxins like deoxynivalenol (DON) or zearalenone (ZEN) results in less effective adsorption.

Some governmental authorities -particularly the EU Commission- have recognized this issue, which is why only aflatoxin binding claims are allowed in Europe. The state-of-the-art technology for mycotoxin deactivation uses enzymatic deactivation -or biotransformation- that provides a specific, effective and irreversible degradation of mycotoxins. BIOMIN is the only company to date that has feed additives legally recognized and registered in the EU for their ability to safely and effectively counteract mycotoxins.

Mycotoxin management in aquaculture: only starting!!

Drawing firm conclusions about the impact of mycotoxins in aquaculture is still difficult and much more research is still needed. However, even with the few existing pieces of literature and the knowledge already created around this topic, it is clear that the mycotoxin levels found in finished feeds might negatively influence the aquaculture industry, affecting growth performance, feed efficiency and making animals more susceptible to diseases. The recently published manuscript (DOI 10.3920/WMJ2017.2239) presents some limitations (limited number of samples and short period of sample collection), however, for the very first time we can inform the aquaculture sector for the presence of mycotoxins in locality-specific and aquaculture-specific plant materials, and we encourage frequent monitoring these plant meals for the presence of mycotoxins. A more extensive study, with a longer sampling period and higher number of samples is being implemented at the moment in order to support the preliminary data collected and presented at this manuscript.

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Mycotoxins Aquaculture Articles
news-1825 Mon, 05 Feb 2018 09:57:00 +0100 Probiotics to Boost Immune Fitness and Gut Health http://www.biomin.net/articles/probiotics-to-boost-immune-fitness-and-gut-health/ Despite growing trends in probiotic use, their application in aquafeeds has been constrained by the aggressive feed manufacture process, which kills or maims heat sensitive bacteria. Recently, advances in post pellet application and other technologies are overcoming this hurdle and the benefits are being observed around the world. Probiotics offer feed millers the opportunity to produce value added functional feeds. Once the feed is consumed, a successful probiotic will colonize the intestinal tract and exert a number of benefits, often relating to enhanced immunity and disease resistance.

The intestine is one of the main portals of entry for invading pathogens. In order to successfully infect the host, a pathogen must navigate and survive multiple obstacles and attacks, executed by the host’s immune system.

Innate immune response = 1st consideration

As with mammals, the fish immune system can be separated by innate (non-specific) and adaptive (specific) responses. Compared to mammals, fish are more dependent on the innate immune response for two main reasons. First, the innate immune system has developed to be non-specific and is therefore capable of mounting an immune response against a wide range of pathogens. Secondly, due to the ectothermic nature of fish, adaptive immunity can take considerable time. For example, antibody production in salmonids can take up to six weeks, compared to just hours or days for the innate immune system.

Reinforcing the first line of defense

The mucus layer produced by goblet cells provides the immediate line of defense. The mucus functions to trap and remove pathogens by providing both a physical and chemical barrier, since it contains a number of antimicrobial compounds. This mucus layer can be modified by the commensal microbiota as well as probiotic bacteria. For example, after feeding tilapia with a commercial probiotic for five weeks, it was discovered that there were approximately 60% more goblet cells in the intestine (Figure 1). These additional goblet cells could contribute to a greater production of mucus, thus providing a more impenetrable barrier, potentially retarding pathogens and preventing their attachment to the underlying epithelia.

Figure 1. The abundance of goblet cells and IELs (per 100µm) in the intestine of fish fed with and without dietary probiotics. Source: BIOMIN

Figure 1. The abundance of goblet cells and IELs (per 100µm) in the intestine of fish fed with and without dietary probiotics.

Strengthening the barrier: microvilli density

Beneath the mucus layer, lies the epithelia, primarily consisting of enterocytes. These cells are lined with microvilli. Using electron microscopy, it was shown that the probiotic significantly increases microvilli density in the gut. The benefit of this increase is two-fold. First more numerous microvilli will increase the surface area so the host can acquire more nutrients from the feed. Second, any gaps between microvilli present an opportunity for pathogens to translocate the epithelia and infect the fish (Figure 2). Thus a higher microvilli density, caused by the probiotic, contributes to a more efficient barrier between the inside of the gut and the outside, blocking pathogens.

Figure 2. Electron micrographs showing microvilli from fish fed a control diet (a) and probiotic supplemented diet (b). Gaps between microvilli (MV), as seen in micrograph a, provide an entry point for opportunistic pathogens. Compared to micrograph b, the microvilli provide an impenetrable barrier, blocking pathogen entry. Source: BIOMIN

Electron micrographs

Larger leukocyte infantry

Assuming a pathogen was able to breach the epithelia, an army of white blood cells, collectively known as intra-epithelial leucocytes (IELs), would be waiting to attack the pathogen. Our research at Plymouth University consistently demonstrated that tilapia feeds supplemented with probiotics resulted in significantly larger populations of IEL. This increase was between 22-38% depending on the probiotic dosage, as well as the duration of feeding (Figure 1).

Better immune readiness

All pathogens express pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) on their cell surface. These are recognized by their respective receptor molecules such as TLR’s which notify the host on the pathogen type (i.e. bacterial, viral, fungal etc.; Figure 3). Intestinal gene expression analyses, show that probiotics can up-regulate the expression of TLR2 by approximately five-fold in tilapia. TLR2 is important for recognizing Gram-positive bacteria. This is particularly important because tilapia (along with many other warm water species) are susceptible to a number of Gram-positive infections, most notably Streptococcus.

Once activated, TLR’s initiate a number of molecular pathways which result in the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. The same probiotic addition to tilapia diets caused an increase in pro-inflammatory gene expression, IL-1β and TNFα. These data are suggestive of a fish which is more prepared to fight off potential future pathogens since the host can recognize and clear the threat much more rapidly, thus it has greater immune readiness.

Getting the right balance

The gut is home to a large number of commensal microorganisms. It is important that these are protected by the host as they provide important functions in intestinal development, nutrition and immunity. Anti-inflammatory cytokines are part of a tolerance mechanism which acts to de-sensitize the host, thus it does not initiate an immune response to attack ‘good’ bacteria. Furthermore, they act to balance out the pro-inflammatory cytokines, thus maintaining an equilibrium within the mucosal immune system. 

In vivo trials using tilapia, demonstrates that the gene expression of two anti-inflammatory genes, IL-10 and TGFβ, can also be increased by the addition of AquaStar® Growout. This result tells us two things; firstly, that the host does not see the probiotics as a threat and secondly that the probiotics can help to promote and maintain mucosal tolerance.

Figure 3. Modulation of intestinal immunity through TLR signaling. Pathogens (and probiotics) bind to TLR. Upon activation, adaptor proteins such as myeloid differentiation primary response protein 88 (MYD88) are recruited. When this happens, IkB (inhibitor of nuclear factor kappa B (NFkB)) is phosphorylated (P) and degraded by the cell. This allows NFkB to pass from the cytoplasm into the nucleus of the cell where initiates the cytokine transcription. Source: adapted from Cerf-Bensussan & Gaboriau-Routhiau, 2010.

Modulation of intestinal immunity through TLR signaling.

Overall immune fitness: an extension of gut health

If a pathogen is successful in overcoming the localized immune system (i.e. within the gut), it is then at the mercy of the systemic immune system. In fish, this is controlled by the head kidney. Therefore, head kidney tissues were also analyzed for immune related gene expression. Similar to the gut, RT-PCR analyses demonstrated that the gene expression of immunity genes (TLR2, pro- and anti-inflammatory) were all elevated in probiotic fed fish. This reveals that probiotics can have a wide reaching benefit on host immunity, not just in localized tissues where the initial exposure occurred, but also at the whole organism level.

Conclusion

Probiotics can improve the intestinal barrier function, promote a state of superior immune readiness and enhance tolerance mechanisms, both within the intestine and other immuno-important tissues. This opens the door to healthier animals, fewer instances of disease and less chemotherapeutical intervention in aquaculture production.

This article originally appeared on Opens external link in new windowAquafeed.com

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Probiotics Aquaculture Articles
news-1824 Mon, 05 Feb 2018 09:33:00 +0100 The Rise of Fumonisins Marks Global Trend as Mycotoxin Threat Shifts http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/the-rise-of-fumonisins-marks-global-trend-as-mycotoxin-threat-shifts/ Fumonisins have become more prevalent at higher concentrations in raw commodities and finished feeds in recent years, according to the latest annual BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey data. Ines Taschl“Fumonisins showed the highest percentage increase in global occurrence among the major agriculturally relevant mycotoxins, which include aflatoxins, zearalenone, deoxynivalenol, T-2, fumonisins and ochratoxin A,” observed Ines Taschl, Product Manager for Mycotoxin Risk Management at BIOMIN.

In 2017, 69% of samples analyzed tested positive for fumonisins, up from 61% the year prior.

Fumonisins, which are produced by Fusarium proliferatum and F. verticilloides, predominantly contaminate corn (maize), corn by-products and soy. They constitute the second most commonly found mycotoxin: deoxynivalenol, also known as vomitoxin, consistently ranks as the most common mycotoxin globally.

Fumonisin trend in all regions

“The shift in the composition of the mycotoxin threat is noticeable when comparing data sets over the years, and the trend towards higher fumonisins levels globally can be observed in every region,” stated Ms Taschl.

Regional examples of fumonisins on the rise:

  • In North America, 46% of samples analyzed tested positive for fumonisins at an average concentration of 2187 parts per billion ppb in 2016, reaching 52% of samples at an average of 2441 ppb in 2017.
  • 97% of corn samples in Asia Pacific tested positive for fumonisins.
  • In Argentina, the average concentration of fumonisins rose from 1808 ppb in 2016 to 2800 ppb in 2017.
  • The prevalence of fumonisins in Central Europe has increased steadily since 2015.

“While fumonisins are typically found in warmer climates, they have been recorded at greater frequency in more moderate zones,” she explained.

The maximum value registered for fumonisins was 290517 ppb, sourced from a finished feed sample in the United States.

Live webinar and survey results

On 14 February 2018, BIOMIN and Romer Labs will host a live webinar on the rise of fumonisins, detection methods and the latest annual results of the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey.

Two online sessions are offered in order to facilitate participation from various time zones, and the webinar is free to attend. Online registration is required at www.biomin.net. Webinar attendees will be the first to receive the 2017 BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey report.

About the survey

The annual BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey constitutes the longest running and most comprehensive survey of its kind. The survey results provide insights on the incidence of the six major mycotoxins in the agricultural commodities used for livestock feed in order to identify the potential risk posed to livestock animal production.

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Mycotoxins Species Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Press Releases
news-1821 Thu, 01 Feb 2018 16:31:00 +0100 Job clip - Product Manager http://www.biomin.net/videos/job-clip-product-manager/ Luis talks about being a Product Manager at BIOMIN Topics Species Videos news-1820 Wed, 31 Jan 2018 15:36:00 +0100 BIOMIN Expands Presence and Strengthens Commitment in Benelux http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/biomin-expands-presence-and-strengthens-commitment-in-benelux/ Uden/Getzersdorf 1 February 2018 – Innovative animal nutrition firm BIOMIN has announced the build out of its local presence in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, as part of its strengthened commitment to serving feed and animal protein producers throughout the region. BIOMIN Expands Presence and Strengthens Commitment in Benelux“At BIOMIN, we have made it part of our mission to deliver unmatched service to customers,” explained Dr Hannes Binder, Managing Director of BIOMIN, adding that “alongside providing scientifically advanced products, proximity to customers is a key driver in service excellence.”

“Our decision to bolster our engagement in Benelux markets reflects the service component of BIOMIN culture, the potential we see for growth, and the fact that area is home to a number of large-scale, international feed and livestock companies that have been early adopters of new technologies,” he added.

Reinforcing longstanding relationships

BIOMIN products first became commercially available in Benelux around 1997 through local distribution agreements, beginning with the mycotoxin-deactivating Mycofix®. The product offering expanded over the years to include a full suite of BIOMIN gut performance management solutions: Digestarom®, PoultryStar® and Biotronic®.

“BIOMIN is starting from a strong position when it comes to delivering innovative products to customers in Benelux,” stated Andre van Lankveld, BIOMIN Regional Director Western Europe. “Over the years, integrations, feed mills and farms have embraced the benefits of novel strategies that deactivate mycotoxins and support gut performance. We hope to seize that momentum and unlock further benefits for BIOMIN customers going forward.”

Local BIOMIN presence

One element of the expansion strategy involves the recent creation a local BIOMIN business unit based in Uden, the Netherlands, that affords a central base for on-site visits and customer support throughout the area.

Hans Couwenberg, who joined the firm as Managing Director Benelux in 2017, will lead the BIOMIN activities throughout the area. “I am confident that Hans and the team will bring the competitive advantages that BIOMIN offers –a strong global R&D program, innovative products, technical knowledge sharing and value-adding services— to feed and livestock businesses in Benelux,” commented Mr van Lankveld.

A local presence will also allow BIOMIN to build and enhance important relationships with key opinion leaders and research organizations. Through its R&D activities, BIOMIN has a global network of 200 research organizations.

Direct customer support

For new and existing customers in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, BIOMIN delivers account servicing, order fulfillment and support starting in February 2018.

“We’ve invested considerable effort in ramping up our local capabilities to ensure client service excellence and minimize any potential interruptions,” explained Mr Couwenberg. “Our plans to grow the value proposition for our clients and partners are already in place, and we will work diligently to make them a reality.”

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Press Releases
news-1819 Wed, 31 Jan 2018 07:33:00 +0100 How the Antibiotic Growth Promoter Ban Affected the Swine Industry in Korea http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/how-the-antibiotic-growth-promoter-ban-affected-the-swine-industry-in-korea/ These numbers show how the swine industry dealt with the ban on the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) that became effective in July 2011. iStockphoto_Hallshadow
Photo: iStockphoto_Hallshadow

In Korea, antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) have been banned from use in feed since July 2011. Many trials have been conducted to evaluate the impact of the AGP ban on livestock production. Overall, the data shows no difference between AGP and AGP-free feed in terms of production performance (Table 1). For instance, live born piglet numbers per litter and market sold piglets per sow per year (MSY) show similar performance before and after the ban. In some areas, performance indices such as production index of sows and pre-weaning mortality have improved since the AGP ban.

Table 1. Performance of swine production before and after the AGP ban (Kim et al., 2015)

Year20102012Difference
Live born piglets per litter10.610.60%
Pre-weaning mortality (%)9.79.5-2.1%
Post-weaning mortality (%)1516.3+8.7%
Production index2.262.29+1.3%
Market sold piglets per sow per year (MSY)18.518.6+0.5%

These results are easily explained. First, piglet production of sows is not affected by the AGP ban. Improvements in artificial insemination and sow management, as well as genetic advances are increasing sow productivity. Second, AGPs could not deliver direct effects on the pre-weaning mortality of piglets (Che et al., 2012). The AGPs could improve body weight gain and feed efficiency but not mortality at weaning (Stahly et al., 1980). Finally, since MSY is directly related to post-weaning mortality due to infectious diseases, levels are similar after the AGP ban to those recorded when AGPs were still permitted. Consequently, the AGP ban in feed did not bring about a big negative impact on swine productivity. However, we have learnt a lesson to improve MSY by making efforts to decrease post-weaning mortality in order to maximize productivity.

How did Korea implement the AGP ban in feed?

Since 2005, the Korean government has led a project to reduce antibiotic usage in animal production in order to prevent antibiotic resistance problems, and to improve food safety. The government collected figures on antibiotic usage and sales volumes (Table 2) as well as monitoring antibiotic resistance. Eventually, a plan for antibiotic reduction was decided, and the AGP ban in feed was a top priority to deliver maximum impact in the industry. A gradual decrease of antibiotics in feed to minimize any negative impact was started in 2005. There were 25 different antibiotics available for use in feed as AGPs in 2005. In 2009 this was decreased to 19 before the complete ban on antibiotic use for growth promotion was implemented in July 2011.

Table 2. Annual sales volumes (MT) of antibiotics by usage. Source: Animal and plant quarantine agency, 2012. 

UsageAnnual sales volume (MT) of antibiotics
20042005200620072008200920102011
Feed additive766680682627447236223101
Treatment1161099483899210081
Prevention712658776746673668723773
Total1,5941,4471,5521,4561,2099961,046955

Up until 2004, the annual amount of AGPs in feed was approximately 48% of total antibiotic usage. Since then it has decreased to only 11% in 2011. Total antibiotic usage in swine production has decreased from nearly 60% to 48% after the AGP ban. The main trend of antibiotic usage has shifted from AGP in feed to treatment and prevention after the AGP ban due to new regulation of veterinary prescriptions. The government has led regulation changes and an expert group is raising awareness of the importance of biosecurity, management, disease prevention and control, and environmental conditions which all help maximize production without the use of antibiotics in the feed.

When it comes to biosecurity, the Korean swine industry learned a lot from the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak. Biosecurity has been improved across the country and is now working effectively. The other main change is in the mindset of the farmers for decision-making. For instance, farmers are choosing vaccines for efficacy and not for brand or promotional activities. The farmers are also economically evaluating antibiotic usage for efficacy. Additionally, farmers are looking for alternatives to prevent and control diseases; alternatives such as probiotics, phytogenics, and acidifiers are evaluated at their production sites. The farmers are not experiencing big changes to their production outcomes since the AGP ban.

What are main lessons the rest of the world can learn from Korea?

The whole swine industry in Korea was worried about decreased productivity as well as increased disease prevalence as a result of the AGP ban. There were many objections and arguments continued for over 10 years until AGPs were completely banned in 2011. Since the ban, everyone has realized that nothing has changed. Farmers are now implementing better biosecurity, management, facilities, genetics, and alternatives since AGP ban. The efficacy of AGPs was very limited in terms of growth promotion or feed efficiency. We have since learned that many other factors have a big effect on pig production, including but not limited to nutrition and management.

If you’re interested in making the move to ABF pig feeding, also read 5 Factors to Consider in an Antibiotic-Free Pig Program.

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Phytogenics Pigs Blog Posts
news-1818 Thu, 25 Jan 2018 10:52:00 +0100 Science & Solutions No. 51 - Poultry http://www.biomin.net/magazines/science-solutions-no-51-poultry/ In this issue: Antibiotic Resistance Key to Understanding Efforts to Curtail Antibiotics in Poultry; Your Toolbox for Antibiotic Reduction; What’s Wrong With My Birds? 11 – Lameness Conditions (Management) IN THIS ISSUE:

Science &amp; Solutions No. 51 - Poultry

Antibiotic Resistance Key to Understanding Efforts to Curtail Antibiotics in Poultry
The reduction and removal of antibiotics from poultry feeds is now a common theme for producers. This is due to rising levels of antimicrobial resistance and not because of the antibiotics themselves. Ensuring that antibiotics are only used for the treatment of disease in birds will relieve pressure on the industry, but at what price to poultry performance?

Your Toolbox for Antibiotic Reduction
The steady pursuit of antibiotic reduction in livestock across the globe means that the industry will have to learn to master a new set of tools to support performance and maintain competitiveness.

What’s Wrong With My Birds? 11 – Lameness Conditions (Management)
A handy diagnostic checklist ofsymptoms, causes and remedies.

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Magazines
news-1817 Thu, 25 Jan 2018 10:11:00 +0100 What's wrong with my birds? Part 11: Lameness Conditions (Management) http://www.biomin.net/articles/whats-wrong-with-my-birds-part-11-lameness-conditions-management/ A practical guide to differential diagnosis

download checklist

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Articles
news-1815 Wed, 24 Jan 2018 13:58:00 +0100 Your Toolbox for Antibiotic Reduction http://www.biomin.net/articles/your-toolbox-for-antibiotic-reduction/ The steady pursuit of antibiotic reduction in livestock across the globe means that the industry will have to learn to master a new set of tools to support performance and maintain competitiveness.
Photo: iStockphoto_Andrei Kuzniatsou

As countries begin down the path of antibiotic reduction, often starting with restrictions on the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs), feed and livestock producers quickly find themselves searching for ways to raise animals without antibiotics. There is no silver bullet product that can take their place. The answer is a 360-degree approach that combines proper nutrition, biosecurity, hygiene, genetics, health and good farm management practices. And innovative feed additives can also play a key role.

When antibiotics are removed from modern production, other issues frequently emerge.

Pulling back the curtain

According to Warren Buffet, only when the tide goes out do you discover who has been swimming naked. Part of the reason why the right solutions for one farm may be different from that of another relates to the fact that sub-therapeutic antibiotic application such as those used for growth promotion or disease prevention may mask other areas that would otherwise need attention.

When antibiotics are removed from modern production, other issues frequently emerge. Mycotoxin contamination becomes more important, pathogen challenges flare and poor management practices are laid bare—all in addition to the performance gap that must be closed.

Replacing antibiotics in livestock production opens up considerable complexity in terms of species, climate, production stage, age, production system and geography. What is needed therefore is a customizable solution that can accommodate all of these factors. This can be done by identifying the right combination of probiotic, phytogenic, organic-acid based and/or mycotoxin deactivator products that deliver the right results in a given situation.

Examination of the following scenarios shows how different poultry production systems in different countries can benefit from varying combinations of feed additives in order to best address the specific on-site challenges.

Pathogen challenge in the United States

Consider a deep litter facility in the southeastern US in which there is a high background level of spore-forming Clostridium perfringens and too much nitrogen in the diet—the result of higher dietary protein possibly from animal by-products. C. perfringens, which excretes α-toxin, is not particularly virulent, though its overgrowth can decrease flock performance unless it carries specific toxin genes like NetB. Taking out antibiotics requires a solution focused on pathogen control in addition to reviewing protein source and quality.

One suitable solution would be to apply a phytogenic feed additive (PFA) to put pressure on Gram-positive bacteria, and apply an organic acid-based product to help counteract Gram-negative bacteria and apply an organic acid-based product to help counteract Gram-negative bacteria.

Ultimately, a long-term strategy to support your animals must be cost-competitive and effective.

Gram-negative in Latin America

In another scenario, consider the case of Salmonella challenge, poor chick quality and inconsistent breeder flocks. Antibiotics are allowed in production and currency fluctuations discourage the prospect of switching to novel growth promoters (NGPs). Here, it would make sense to apply a probiotic early on, and an acid-based product throughout the production stages. The poultry-specific synbiotic (prebiotic + probiotic) would ideally deliver essential bacterial strains to the gastrointestinal tract to promote gut development, and to competitively exclude pathogens from colonizing the gut. The acid-based product would keep the gut environment hostile to Gram-negative bacteria. Both products can be co-applied either through feed or water application, providing full flexibility.

Europe

One example broiler facility in Europe is in fact, through excellent hygiene, overly sanitary resulting in the elimination of both the harmful and beneficial gut bacteria from the gut environment. Water application of a poultry-specific synbiotic in the first three days would quickly establish a healthy gut microbiome and support immune development. Feed application of a PFA would support digestibility, and lower inflammation, leading to optimized feed conversion. The combination could be reintroduced in the final feed.

Mycotoxins

When antibiotics are removed, mycotoxins become more important because they can impair animal health and performance, disrupt the gut barrier and worsen vaccine effectiveness. Any of the scenarios described above would be worsened from a producer’s perspective. A robust mycotoxin risk management program should include regular testing of feed ingredients and preventive measures so that animals can reach their full potential. Regular application of a mycotoxin deactivator is the surest way to avoid issues.

Benefits for those sticking with AGPs

While we expect the application of antibiotics for growth promotion and preventative treatment to be sharply reduced in the years ahead, NGPs can offer benefits to producers. In fact, it is possible to use NGPs, AGPs and a robust mycotoxin risk management program simultaneously. In a recent commercial trial in New Zealand, BIOMIN experts devised an NGP solution for a high performing broiler farm that was already using a mycotoxin deactivator. In the trial, a PFA was used to reinforce the mucosa in the lumen and improve feed efficiency. In addition, a symbiotic was used to stabilize the epithelial and cecal microbiota and properly set up the birds’ immune systems, all while still using the farm’s existing multiple AGP regimen. The combination resulted in improved performance and significant positive return on investment.

1000 possibilities, your solution

The feed additives market offers a wide variety of options, each with their own modes of action and advantages. Ultimately, a long-term strategy to support your animals must be cost-competitive and effective. To assure a clear benefit in production, application of feed additives must be tailored to the individual situation and circumstances. There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. BIOMIN has conducted decades of research and development to produce some of the most innovative products in their respective categories.

The choice of product relies on a host of factors, including species, geography, production stage, specific challenge and customer preferences. To further complicate matters, different combinations of additives may prove to be the best option. However, finding a solution does not have to be complicated.

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Articles
news-1814 Mon, 22 Jan 2018 07:59:00 +0100 Antibiotic Resistance Key to Understanding Efforts to Curtail Antibiotics in Poultry http://www.biomin.net/articles/antibiotic-resistance-key-to-understanding-efforts-to-curtail-antibiotics-in-poultry/ The reduction and removal of antibiotics from poultry feeds is now a common theme for producers. This is due to rising levels of anti­microbial resistance and not because of the antibiotics themselves. Ensuring that antibiotics are only used for the treatment of disease in birds will relieve pressure on the industry, but at what price to poultry performance?
Photo: iStockphoto_DenisIsmagilov

Antimicrobial resistance, not antibiotics themselves, motivate the drive for antibiotic reduction.

Consumer demand, regulation and a lack of new antimicrobial molecules all contribute to the current, long-term trend to reduce antibiotics in modern poultry systems. While the need for consumer education around food production remains an open question, it is the ability of bacteria to become resistant to one or more antibiotics –rendering those drugs ineffective– and the profound implications for both human and animal health that account for the need to reduce antibiotics. 

Resistance in the crosshairs

According to the World Health Organization (2011), “any kind of antibiotic use in people, animals or plants can promote the development and spread of antibiotic resistance.” The identification of antibiotic use in farm animals as a risk factor in the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria explains why antimicrobial resistance has continued to garner greater attention from health authorities and regulators worldwide, particularly for antibiotics deemed important to human medicine.

This concern is separate from antibiotic residues potentially finding their way into meat and eggs: withdrawal periods and monitoring have already been established to ensure that antibiotics do not enter the food supply.

Figure 1. Prescribed antimicrobial agents for human and all animal species
Figure 1: Prescribed antimicrobial agents for human and all animal species
Source: Danish Integrated Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring and Research Programme, 2015.

Protecting valuable health tools

The need to preserve antimicrobial substances stems from the fact that they represent, to some extent, a limited resource. The most recent class of antibiotics was discovered in 1987. The research and development pipeline for new antimicrobials has remained largely unfilled. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 2016), only five new classes of antibiotics have been brought to market since 2000.

The development of bacterial resistance to an antibiotic in the years following its introduction, estimated by some to be on average eight years, places limits on the economic viability and lifespan of new molecules, discouraging innovation (Schmieder and Edwards, 2012). The lack of new antibiotic substances reinforces the importance of preserving those already in existence.

A pattern of antibiotic restrictions

Historically, motivations for antibiotic use in animal husbandry fall into three categories: growth promotion, disease prevention and treatment. The trend when it comes to governmental restrictions on antibiotics has been rather clear: antibiotics for growth promotion will be discouraged. (See callout box ‘The G20 aims to limit antibiotics’).

Countries looking to limit the application of antibiotics in animals typically start with restrictions on one or several antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) often followed by a ban on AGPs. At least 32 countries have imposed a nationwide ban on AGPs, and 35 have a veterinary prescription requirement.

As a second step, some –though not all– countries then look to address preventive or prophylactic antibiotic use—thereby limiting the use of antibiotics to treat disease. Yet, these alone are not always sufficient to reduce antibiotic use in livestock.

Figure 2. The move toward prudent antibiotics use
Figure 2. The move toward prudent antibiotics use
Source: BIOMIN

The European example

In 2005, Europe banned the use of AGPs. For the regulators, the ban did not initially have the intended effect—namely, the reduction of antibiotics applied in livestock. The elimination of AGPs was met with a rise in prescribed veterinary antimicrobials for preventive use in subsequent years (Figure 1).

To address the preventive use of antibiotics, regulators in several European countries introduced a so-called ‘yellow card’ system that uses a series of different metrics to encourage further reductions in antibiotic use for preventive reasons.

This system proved effective in restricting antibiotic use to disease treatment (Figure 2), which explains why within Europe, Northern European countries have comparatively lower levels of antibiotic use in animals, taking into consideration the amount of antibiotics sold and size of the respective animal populations—referred to as a population correction unit (PCU) basis (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Sales of veterinary antimicrobials for food producing species in 2014
Figure 3. Sales of veterinary antimicrobials for food producing species in 2014
Source: European Surveillance of Veterinary Antimicrobial Consumption, 2016

The G20 aims to limit antibiotics

“We will promote the prudent use of antibiotics in all sectors and strive to restrict their use in veterinary medicine to therapeutic uses alone. Responsible and prudent use of antibiotics in food producing animals does not include the use for growth promotion in the absence of risk analysis. We underline that treatments should be available through prescription or the veterinary equivalent only.”  - G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Declaration 2017

Prevalence of resistance in poultry

Numerous monitoring programs that survey levels of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in animals exist throughout the world. Aggregating surveillance data from 19 countries that record antimicrobial resistance of E. coli in poultry shows that countries such as Norway and Sweden that have less intensive antibiotic use (Figure 3) also have lower levels of E. coli resistant to antibiotics including ampicillin, ciprofloxacin and tetracycline (Figures 4, 5 and 6). This observation, along with continued pressure from consumers frequenting retailers and fast food outlets, increases the likelihood that more countries will eventually move to restrict antibiotic use to disease treatment.

Progress varies by country

Based on the number of antimicrobial-resistant E. coli in poultry, and taking into account the historical path that early-mover countries have taken towards antibiotic reduction and removal, we can broadly observe three sets of situations.

  1. In the first group of countries –including Vietnam, the United States and several in South America– the process of antibiotic exit has yet to begin or is still in the early stages. In these countries, we often see high levels of resistance for many classes of antibiotics.
  2. In the second group, AGPs have been banned, though they have yet to adopt a yellow card system or other measures to further clamp down on antibiotic use. In these countries –including Italy, Spain and Turkey– we can still find high levels of resistant E. coli, at least to a selected list of antibiotics.
  3. In the third group of countries, where the prudent use of antibiotics is already implemented –including most of the countries in Northern Europe– resistance levels are considerably lower than elsewhere in the world.

Figure 4. Percentages of tetracycline-resistant E. coli isolates from poultry
Figure 4. Percentages of tetracycline-resistant E. coli isolates from poultry
Source: The European Union summary report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from humans, animals and food in 2015, 2017. China: Zhang et al, 2017. South Africa: Iwu et al, 2017. Vietnam: Dang et al, 2011.

Figure 5. Percentages of ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli isolates from poultry
Figure 5. Percentages of ciprofloxacin-resistant E. coli isolates from poultry
Source: The European Union summary report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from humans, animals and food in 2015, 2017. China: Zhang et al, 2017. South Africa: Iwu et al, 2017. Vietnam: Dang et al, 2011.

Figure 6. Percentages of ampicillin-resistant E. coli isolates from poultry
Figure 6. Percentages of ampicillin-resistant E. coli isolates from poultry
Source: The European Union summary report on antimicrobial resistance in zoonotic and indicator bacteria from humans, animals and food in 2015, 2017. China: Zhang et al, 2017. South Africa: Iwu et al, 2017. Vietnam: Dang et al, 2011.

At least 32 countries have imposed a nationwide ban on anti­microbial growth promoters, and 35 have a veterinary prescription requirement.

The road ahead

The challenge for producers who have adopted antibiotic exit programs or find themselves in countries where antibiotic use is being curtailed, is to reduce antibiotics while keeping performance high. Alternative measures are required to substitute the role of antibiotics in relation to growth promotion and disease prevention if they are to retain their necessary role in disease treatment.

In modern animal production, there is a need for growth promoters in feed, just as there is a need for disease prevention. Some combination of feed additives, enhanced biosecurity, vaccination programs and better management practices will be the way forward—as evidenced by producers and geographies that have already made the switch.

Looking ahead, the key to addressing the antibiotics question will be to control resistances and close the performance gap.

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Articles
news-1816 Fri, 19 Jan 2018 12:22:00 +0100 Job clip - Research Technician http://www.biomin.net/videos/job-clip-research-technician/ Manuel talks about being a Research Technician at BIOMIN Topics Species Videos news-1810 Thu, 11 Jan 2018 16:02:00 +0100 [WEBINAR] Mycotoxin Outlook 2018: The Rise of Fumonisins http://www.biomin.net/news/webinar-mycotoxin-outlook-2018-the-rise-of-fumonisins/ New results from the longest running and most comprehensive mycotoxin survey data available indicate that the threat to farm animals from fumonisins has risen or is set to rise in many places across the globe.

Join us on 14 February 2018 for a live webinar with experts from BIOMIN and Romer Labs for an in-depth discussion on mycotoxin occurrence patterns, the latest annual results of the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey and detection tools to better understand and control the risk of contamination in raw materials and feed.

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Mycotoxins Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture News
news-1809 Wed, 10 Jan 2018 10:06:00 +0100 How to Protect Your Layers and Breeders from Trichothecene Mycotoxins http://www.biomin.net/articles/how-to-protect-your-layers-and-breeders-from-trichothecene-mycotoxins/ Mycotoxins such as deoxynivalenol, T-2 toxin and zearalenone can impair profitability and predispose birds to necrotic enteritis. Recent trial results demonstrate how to protect your flocks.
Photo: aprilfoto88

Mycotoxin contamination in feed is a major concern for poultry producers. BIOMIN GmbH, a world leader in mycotoxin research, has published many articles about mycotoxins, their mode of action, and management of the risk they present. Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by fungi either in the field or under post-harvest storage conditions. Research shows that 95% of mycotoxins are already present in the field. Mycotoxins can negatively affect gut health and thus decrease animal performance and immune status.

Poultry genetics have drastically evolved so that now, poultry producers expect high rates of growth for broilers and long life cycles with intensive metabolism for layers and breeders. Mycotoxin contamination of feed, even at low levels, can compromise these performance criteria. The synergistic effects of more than one mycotoxin contaminating feed can reduce the livability and productivity of the birds even more.

Mycotoxins and necrotic enteritis

Broiler studies from Ghent University (Antonissen et al, 2014) have demonstrated that deoxynivalenol (DON) is a predisposing factor for the development of necrotic enteritis (NE). Contamination of the diet with DON at concentrations below the EU maximum guidance level of 5,000 mg/kg feed, significantly increased the number of chickens with NE. Nowadays, the effects of trichothecenes (e.g. DON and T2-toxin) and fumonisins (e.g. FB1) on gut permeability are well known. Mycotoxins reduce enterocyte proliferation and mucus production, allowing clostridia development and pathogens like E.coli and salmonella to cross the fragile gut wall, leading to infections.

Ochratoxin is able to damage the kidneys, but more importantly, it affects thymus, spleen and fabricius bursa tissue (Huff et al., 1974, and Chang et al., 1981) which reduces antibody production, especially the production of IgA, IgG and IgM (Dwivedi and Burns, 1984). Birds are pushed to high rates of production, leaving them more exposed to local pathogens, and more sensitive to infections at all levels.

Vertical transfer

Mycotoxin exposure can be aggravated in breeders as research has shown that the vertical transfer of mycotoxins to eggs is possible. This can have a huge impact as even low levels of DON transferred to fertile eggs can affect normal chick development (Bergsjo et al., 1993 and Prelusky et al., 1987). A low but continuous exposure to ochratoxin can also lead to accumulation in eggs, which will subsequently affect the development of the embryo (Fuchs et al., 1988). Chi et al. (1978) showed that T2-toxin and its metabolites could be transferred to the egg (yellow and albumin), therefore risking the development of the embryo. Ingesting feed contaminated with zearalenone (ZEN) may result in residues being found in egg yolks, which may affect human health and viability of chick progeny (Allen et al., 1981). Aflatoxins and their metabolites have been found in poultry meat and eggs in various studies. Aflatoxins accumulate in the genitals and are transferred to the egg and offspring (Barnard, 2008).

Two solutions to the mycotoxin problem

The ubiquitous nature of mycotoxins makes it difficult to predict contamination levels. However, even low levels of contamination, which might not be detected by standard rapid testing kits, can have a negative impact. Mycotoxin binders and deactivators help to avoid such deleterious effects. The advantage of using a mycotoxin deactivator is that both absorbable mycotoxins like aflatoxins, and non-absorbable mycotoxins like DON, T2 and ZEN can be controlled. First, the mycotoxin is absorbed, and second it is biotransformed using enzymes. To certify this process as safe for both animals and humans, BIOMIN submitted a comprehensive dossier to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In 2013, BIOMIN received registration for adsorption with an aluminosilicate (bentonite E558) for absorbable mycotoxins like aflatoxins, and registration for Biomin® BBSH 797—a component of Mycofix® for non-absorbable mycotoxins like DON (only licensed for pigs)*.  In 2017, BIOMIN received registration for the 5th generation of its Mycofix® product for all species. The registration was based on the same approved registration for binding with bentonite and BBSH for all trichothecenes. This 5th generation product also includes another registered enzyme called fumzyme for the biotransformation of fumonisin.

Mycofix® in practice

A trial was conducted in Switzerland to test the efficacy of BBSH on layer breeders, under official authorization; the results were very positive for both mortality and hatchability. Nowadays, mortality in layers or breeders is economically significant considering that a normal layer breeder produces 300 eggs over a 70-week period, and a layer produces more than 350 eggs in 80 weeks. This fact is even more considerable for high quality eggs produced by semi-range or free-range farms where the value per unit is significantly higher. The trial was conducted in three phases as shown in Table 1.

Table 1: Trial phases

Phase   Start date   End dateDiet content
12-3/6/2014 14/09/2015 No mycotoxin binder or deactivator
228/05/201509/05/2016Mycofix® BBSH included during production cycle
324/05/201609/05/2017Mycofix® BBSH included during rearing and production periods

Mortality, egg number and hatchability were compared, and mycotoxin prevalence was checked during the last phase. Mortality was below standards and egg production was above breed standard guidelines. Mycotoxin contamination levels were checked periodically throughout the final phase. Low to medium levels of B-Trichothecenes, and medium to high levels of ZEN were found. Flocks in the final phase were fed diets containing Mycofix® BBSH at 1kg/ton for the whole cycle. According to the data, recorded hatchability was good and above standards. Egg production results are shown in Table 2.

Table 2: Egg production results

Eggs per henTotal eggs
Brown NickWhites
Phase 3 – all Mycofix® BBSH284.9283.42896000
Phase 2 – part Mycofix® BBSH282.0266.92763310
Phase 1 – no Mycofix® BBSH273.0260.02739940

Egg production increased by 9% for white layers and 4.3% for brown nick hens over the three-year period. This is extremely significant considering the same production conditions. This net improvement in productivity was due to the control of the mycotoxin risk, even at low to medium levels, which reduced the subclinical, negative effects of mycotoxins on the immune system and egg development and laying.

Figure 1. Egg production results
Figure 1: Egg production results

Figure 1 shows that even with the mycotoxin contamination during the third phase, the birds were still able to produce more eggs per hen than the previous two phases, despite a slight increase in mortality.

Hatchability also improved in the third phase compared to the first phase, as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Hatchability results
Figure 2. Hatchability results

In the third phase of the trial, Mycofix® Plus BBSH was applied during the complete cycle, while in the second phase it was only applied during production and in the first phase, it was not applied at all. The rearing period is crucial for the development of the pullets’ immune system and reproductive organs. A stressful vaccination plan is applied while they are growing adding further developmental pressure and perhaps explaining why hens may loose productivity after peak when challenged with field viruses and other pathogens. Even when mycotoxin contamination is low, synergistic mycotoxin-pathogen effects can still take place, highlighting why a mycotoxin risk management plan is so crucial for the future success of flocks.

* Biomin® BBSH 797 is the trade name for a feed additive containing viable cells of an unnamed bacterium (DSM 11798). The EFSA Panel on Additives and Products or Substances used in Animal Feed (FEEDAP) produced an opinion on the safety and efficacy of this additive when used with pigs concluding that the additive itself did not raise any safety concern. It was confirmed that the additive could detoxify the trichothecene, deoxynivalenol (DON), producing a less toxic de-epoxy metabolite. Chickens and turkeys for fattening and laying hens showed no adverse effects when the additive was added to diets at 1000 times the recommended dose. Consequently, the additive is considered safe for these species/categories when used at the recommended dose of 1.7 x 108 colony-forming units (CFU)/kg complete feed. This conclusion is extended to all avian species. The use of the additive in feed for all avian species is not expected to introduce concerns for consumers, users or the environment not previously considered. (© 2017 European Food Safety Authority. EFSA Journal published by John Wiley and Sons Ltd on behalf of European Food Safety Authority.) Another enzyme produced by an inactivated bioprotein detoxifies ZEN into a non-toxic metabolite called ZOM 1.

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Mycotoxins Poultry Articles
news-1802 Tue, 02 Jan 2018 14:08:00 +0100 How Creep Fed Beef Can Boost Calf Growth and Your Profits http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/how-creep-fed-beef-can-boost-calf-growth-and-your-profits/ By supplying young calves with supplementary feed, it’s possible to increase growth rates towards their maximum potential, and reduce stress during the hungry calf gap. Creep feeding potentially delivers many benefits to those businesses wishing to ensure greater productivity, acting as the first step to achieve higher growth and profitability at later stages. How Creep Fed Beef Can Boost Calf Growth and Your Profits

How creep feeding works

While concentrates provided to beef calves prior to weaning, also referred to as “creep feeding”, can make a significant difference to economic returns, there are certain nuances to be aware of to ensure the highest performance and efficiency.

Creep feeding involves supplying supplemental feed (usually concentrates) to the nursing calf. A creep feeder is used for the calf, which prevents other cows accessing the supplemental feed.

Milk from a lactating beef cow only gives about 50 percent of the nutrients required by a young calf for full growth. For a calf to fulfill its potential, additional nutrients must come from somewhere else. The most economic source would be high quality pasture; this can be a problem for spring-calving herds though, and the shift from milk to grass could well come at a time when the availability of fresh high quality grass is limited. If quality grass is lacking, creep feeding should certainly be considered.

The potential benefits

Depending on conditions (including type of feed, genetics of the calf, and season) the average increase in weaning weight for a creep fed calf is 18 kg, with 10 to 27 kg being the common range. This also removes grazing pressure on available pasture, and accustoms calves to grain so that they wean more easily. During the “hungry calf gap” – in which the milk available from the beef cow dwindles, while the milk required by the calf increases – feed can be used to ensure all the right nutrients are available.

Figure 1: Milk yield of a typical beef cow vs nutrient requirements of a nursing calf

Milk yield of a typical beef cow vs nutrient requirements of a nursing calf

Source: “Creep Feeding Beef Calves”, Dan E. Eversole, Extension Animal Scientist, Virginia Tech

So far, the evidence for the benefits of creep feeding are hard to argue with. Still, it’s not an immediate catch-all solution. While it can have excellent benefits in certain circumstances, the viability and economic return need to be considered.

For example, some producers might be averse to the cost of investing in the extra feed and delivery system. To ensure that the calf doesn’t get too fleshy – and therefore possibly discounted by buyers – creep feeding does require monitoring to ensure feed is restricted to 0.5-1kg a day.

The investment vs the returns

So, is creep feeding worth the investment? The cost of the feed must be weighed up against the weight gained in the calf – also taking into account the initial purchase of a feeder, weather conditions, and the type of feed used. For example, Alan Medd, at a UK beef unit in Darlington, ran an experiment with creep-feeding one spring, using his own feed comprised of home-grown cereals, soya hulls and meal, and pot-ale syrup. The calves achieved an extra 100kg by weaning (at nine months) compared with those later in the year, representing a 4:1 return on investment for bulls, and 3:1 for heifers. The figures came out in Mr Medd’s favor; whether they will for you requires investigation of your system and end market.

When selecting creep rations, it’s important to consider cost, as well as palatability and nutrient content/quality. Supplements can increase the benefits of creep feeding, such as Digestarom®, an innovative phytogenic feed additive from BIOMIN, which combines the biologically active effects of phytogenic substances with unique flavoring properties. These two main properties of Digestarom® encourage feed intake, support digestion and more efficient nutrient utilization, and optimize feed efficiency and performance. 

Is creep feeding right for you?

Creep feeding calves can give a much needed boost to the productivity of your herd. If it’s economically viable, the advantages could well give you a much needed edge in performance. With a relatively small adjustment to farm management, it’s possible to implement a program whose rewards far outweighs the cost.

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Phytogenics Ruminants Blog Posts
news-1801 Tue, 02 Jan 2018 13:39:00 +0100 Why You Should Test Your Feed for Mycotoxins http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/why-you-should-test-your-feed-for-mycotoxins/ Even with all necessary procedures and safeguards in place, every farmer should still prepare for potential feed contamination by mycotoxins. Why You Should Test Your Feed for MycotoxinsAt every stage from feed processing to ingestion, there are risks that – if not managed – can result in a reduction in productivity. Regular analysis of your feed equips you with the information you need to protect against a reduction in your farm’s efficiency.

How contamination occurs

When purchasing feed, trusted suppliers are a reliable measure of quality, but this does not guarantee freedom from contamination. Feed is never always the same, no matter the source – even if you produce your own, nutrient levels can vary. Testing feed helps to ensure that it meets the requirements for your animals’ performance. Animal health, protein and vitamin intake, and level of grain supplementation are all affected by the composition of feed ingested.

Contamination is possible even in transit. Raw materials are transported in bulk, and outside elements might enter the materials before being processed into feed. However, there are safeguards in place: magnets remove harmful materials during the manufacturing process, and most physical contaminants do not create food safety risks for the animal.

The risk of mycotoxins

The greater risk comes at the chemical level; specifically, the possible presence of mycotoxins. Mycotoxins are natural products of mold and fungi found in agricultural commodities worldwide. Although the average farmer underestimates the danger of these contaminants, a BIOMIN study of over 16,000 samples showed that 94% contained 10 or more mycotoxins and metabolites. Symptoms of mycotoxin poisoning can be difficult to identify, but can cause a real cumulative impact on an animals’ productivity, even when at very low levels, due to prolonged exposure and synergistic effects.

How to test for mycotoxins

In a BIOMIN webinar, growers were asked how they tested for mycotoxins. 55% use an external analytical service, and a further 25% test on-site. For an easy solution that adapts to each individual farm’s needs, BIOMIN sister company, Romer Labs® offers both options as preferred.

No matter the method, a correct sampling plan is the basis for reliable results. 88% of total analytical errors stem from improper sampling, so it’s important to follow set procedures. Both the FAO and EU and offer full step-by-step guidelines for sampling to ensure correct testing. Mycotoxins are not necessarily distributed in a uniform way. Concentrated areas of toxins (referred to as “hot spots”) can later contaminate other areas of feed, even if previous tests came back as negative. For accurate results be sure to take several samples from across the whole batch – and at different heights – for a thorough representation.

Be prepared

Mycofix® can be used as a complete solution, containing multiple EU approved ingredients that utilise three crucial strategies – adsorption, biotransformation and bioprotection – to transform present mycotoxins into environmentally-safe metabolites.

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Mycotoxins Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Blog Posts
news-1799 Thu, 28 Dec 2017 13:42:00 +0100 Combining Tools to Counter Campylobacter http://www.biomin.net/articles/combining-tools-to-counter-campylobacter/ Combined strategies may be the best approach to minimizing Campylobacter levels in broiler flocks.
Photo: Sebastian Kaulitzki

There are an estimated 9 million cases of campylobacteriosis in the EU alone each year, costing US$2.72 billion. There is still no definitive solution to control Campylobacter in poultry flocks. Yet, there are several strategies that can reduce its incidence, so improving food safety and enhancing farm profits.

Broiler producers need to apply a series of measures to reduce Campylobacter contamination levels. A mixed approach starts with improved biosecurity, changes to management practices, proven feed or water intervention with additives and, finally, intervention measures during slaughter.

Campylobacter spp have the potential to cause disease in poultry, diarrhea and reductions in feed efficiency.

Table 1 provides an overview of mana­­gement strategies to counter Campylobacter. These management methods, however, are not all applicable universally, for example within the EU there are restrictions due either to availability legislation or consumer demand for carcass size. In addition to management strategies, there is also the option to use feed additives or water treatments, which can further reduce the level of Campylobacter contamination, as shown in Table 2. Of these, probiotics may be the most promising approach for controlling Campylobacter through nutritional interventions.

Table 1. Management strategies to counteract Campylobacter contamination in broilers.
Table 1. Management strategies to counteract Campylobacter contamination in broilers.
Source: BIOMIN

Table 2. Nutritional strategies to counteract Campylobacter contamination in broilers.
Table 2. Nutritional strategies to counteract Campylobacter contamination in broilers.
Source: BIOMIN

Multi-approach, multi-benefit

Each of the interventions listed above will help to reduce overall contamination. Combined, they may possibly give the required reduction of Campylobacter contamination in finished broiler meat.

The impact of campylobacteriosis in humans is well known. It usually results in severe abdominal pains and diarrhea, which can lead to hospitalization. But it is worth remembering that it can lead to death and, in some cases, lead to serious complications, such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, reactive arthritis, bacteremia, inflammatory bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

A genuine, costly challenge

It is also important to remember that Campylobacter spp are not necessarily commensal bacteria but have been shown to have the potential to cause disease in poultry: diarrhea and reductions in feed efficiency.In the UK, for example, estimates suggest that the costs to the industry are up to US$29.16 per thousand broilers. Controlling the situation on farm is of benefit to poultry producers, and not just meeting contamination levels for poultry leaving the processing plant. 

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Mycotoxins Ruminants Articles
news-1788 Wed, 20 Dec 2017 10:51:00 +0100 Science & Solutions Special Issue: R&D http://www.biomin.net/magazines/science-solutions-special-issue-rd/ In this issue: Two Advanced Tools for Understanding Antimicrobial Resistance; Next-Generation Sequencing Reveals Links Between Nutrition and Genes; 3 Keys to Ensuring Proper Active Substance Delivery; Biomarkers: A Beacon for Understanding In Vivo Processes; 6 Tools to Measure Gut Microbiota Modulation and Gut Performance IN THIS ISSUE:

Science &amp; Solutions Special Issue: R&amp;D

Two Advanced Tools for Understanding Antimicrobial Resistance
EPI assays and qPCR are two of several tools that BIOMIN scientists and researchers use to better understand and potentially combat the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance.

Next-Generation Sequencing Reveals Links Between Nutrition and Genes
Next-generation RNA sequencing tools create new possibilities for understanding animal growth, health and performance

3 Keys to Ensuring Proper Active Substance Delivery
Achieving homogenous distribution, thermostability and controlled release are all necessary for proper formulation of an effective feed additive.

Biomarkers: A Beacon for Understanding In Vivo Processes
Biomarkers are crucial to the science of gut performance and mycotoxin risk management.

6 Tools to Measure Gut Microbiota Modulation and Gut Performance
Gut microbiota modulation and gut integrity are important to evaluate an animal's gut health and overall health status.

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Yeast Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Magazines
news-1786 Wed, 20 Dec 2017 10:41:00 +0100 Biomarkers: A Beacon for Understanding In Vivo Processes http://www.biomin.net/articles/biomarkers-a-beacon-for-understanding-in-vivo-processes/ Biomarkers are crucial to the science of gut performance and mycotoxin risk management.
Photo: vetpathologist

Though often referred to as a protein in the blood stream, a biomarker might be any molecule in body fluids, tissue or excreta that serves as an indicator for health, disease, exposure or effect. There are several overlapping definitions of biomarkers found in the literature.

One of the early sources defines a biomarker as “a characteristic that is objectively measured and evaluated as an indicator of normal biological processes, pathogenic processes, or pharmacologic responses to a therapeutic intervention.”

3 key applications

The identification and use of valid biomarkers substantially contributes to clinical research. Aside from validity, the ideal biomarker should possess the following features: safe and easy to measure, cost efficient to follow up, consistent across gender and modifiable due to treatment.

In practice, biomarkers can be used a) for diagnosing or staging a disease, b) for monitoring the response to a therapy or c) to indicate the exposure to environmental factors in living organisms. Thus, the descriptions under a) and b) are often summarized as “biomarkers of effects” and the latter as “biomarkers of exposure”. Selected biomarkers with high relevance for swine health and mycotoxin exposure are depicted in Table 1.

Feeding strategy investigations

In experimental feeding trials, biomarkers can be a powerful tool to explore the effect of an investigated feeding strategy and accordingly determine its potential for commercial application at an early stage. It also ideally serves to investigate mycotoxin exposure and effects. Many investigations using biomarker analysis require urine and/or feces sampling. Obtaining proper samples requires the use of specially equipped facilities, such as the BIOMIN Center for Applied Animal Nutrition (CAN) in Tulln, Austria – one of seven such sites globally in the Center for Applied Animal Nutrition network.

Table 1. Selected biomarkers in swine.
Table 1. Selected biomarkers in swine.
Adapted from Niewold (2015), Kataria (2012) and Baldwin (2011).

BIOMIN CAN Tulln

The site in Tulln comprises a feeding station, two rooms each equipped with 12 metabolic pens and one additional room fitted with four plastic coated slatted floor pens. Depending on the housing concept, criteria of trial and size of animals used, a maximum of 96 pigs can be housed in the two rooms with the metabolic pens. In the floor pens, the maximum capacity is 24 pigs up to a body weight of 30kg.

Figure 1 shows the principle set-up of a metabolic pen used at our CAN in Tulln. The pigs are able to move freely on a plastic coated slatted floor. Underneath the floor are two screens that will collect all the fecal material voided by the pig. Under the screens is a stainless steel tray that drains into the center and allows for the collection of all the urine produced during the day.

Figure 1. Metabolic pens used at the Center for Applied Animal Nutrition in Tulln. A) Front and side view with feeders and drinkers in the front door B) Inside view with slatted floor, collection area with screens and trays.
Metabolic pens used at the Center for Applied Animal Nutrition in Tulln
Soure: BIOMIN

Knowledge generated

These metabolic pens allow for a large variety of state-of-the-art investigations in living organisms, including biomarker analysis, nutrient digestibility and nutrient retention. By collecting urine and feces separately, metabolism and excretion of molecules (e.g. mycotoxins and respective metabolites) can be studied. The impact of a feeding strategy on inflammation or oxidative stress can be monitored by analyzing the respective biofluid (blood, saliva, urine) or feces.

Knowing the amount of feed given each day and the nutrient composition of the feed, total nutrient intake can be calculated. The digestibility and the amount of nutrients retained in body tissues or lost nutrients can be calculated as well. Total nutrient excretion in feces and urine can be estimated and nutritional strategies evaluated. 

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Yeast Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Ruminants Pigs Articles
news-1787 Wed, 20 Dec 2017 09:11:00 +0100 6 Tools to Measure Gut Microbiota Modulation and Gut Performance http://www.biomin.net/articles/6-tools-to-measure-gut-microbiota-modulation-and-gut-performance/ Gut microbiota and gut integrity determine an animal’s gut health and are important to evaluate the overall health status.

The importance of a healthy gut is increasingly recognized as key to modern production systems—particularly as it relates to the reduction of antibiotics and improvement in animal welfare. The gut is the first line of a body’s defense: a sufficient balance of beneficial intestinal microbiota and a tight gut barrier both protect animals against pathogens and toxins. The gastrointestinal tract acts as an interface between diet, host, and gut microbiota, and plays a clear role in an animal’s health status (Figure 1). Diet, including feed and feed additives, constitutes a major factor that affects the composition and the activity of the gut microorganisms and gut peformance.

Our research

Researchers and scientists at the BIOMIN Research Center utilize a range of different methods to characterize the intestinal microbiota and substances that increase the overall gut health. Here, we examine three molecular methods to assess gut microbiota that allow analysis of samples ex vivo, and three cell culture based models for gut performance that simulate the gut intestine/epithelia in vitro. The former constitute a major improvement to analyze bacterial communities and allow us to take a closer look on microbiota composition and diversity as well as quantity of particular bacterial groups. The latter allow for mimicking of infections and screening of beneficial substances without harming animals by using animal specific cell lines, e.g. the intestinal porcine epithelial cell line (IPEC-J2).

Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis

Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) takes an overall profile of the microbial community, and can quickly process a large number of intestinal or fecal samples.

Figure 1. Interplay between diet, host, and gut microbiota - factors influencing the gut ecosystem and contributing to health and disease.
Figure 1. Interplay between diet, host, and gut microbiota - factors influencing the gut ecosystem and contributing to health and disease.
Source: Adapted from Conway, 1994

DGGE is based on amplification of a specific gene, typically 16S rRNA used as a molecular marker, and separation of the different variants of the gene in the community sample by electrophoresis in a denaturing gel. After staining, differences in the gene sequence result in the appearance of characteristic band patterns in the gel, so-called ‘fingerprints’. DGGE allows comparison of microbial communities by cluster analysis of these fingerprints, which can be further used to monitor the effects of feed additives on the diversity and dynamics of fecal microbiota of animals (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Cluster analysis showing similartiy of 16S rRNA DGGE community profiles of fecal samples from pigs fed different additives.
Figure 2. Cluster analysis showing similartiy of 16S rRNA DGGE community profiles of fecal samples from pigs fed different additives.

Sequence based Gut Microbiome Profiling

For detailed information on the bacterial composition, 16S rRNA based amplicon sequencing enables identification of the entire microbial community within a sample up to the species level. Total sample DNA is first amplified by PCR using 16S rRNA oligonucleotides and using specific adapters and barcodes, many samples can be combined in one sequencing run. PCR amplicons are therefore coupled to spherical particles and loaded on disposable sequencing chips.

Using e.g Illumina Miseq as sequencing platform, out of complex samples 5 to 10 GB of sequence data (approx. 10 to 15 million sequencing reads, depending on sequencing depth) can be expected. Bioinformatic evaluation includes processing of raw reads and clustering of related sequences. These clusters of similar sequencing reads are referred to as operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Microbial identification is accomplished by comparison to sequences in 16S based reference databases (e.g. RDP II or Silva).

Quantitative polymerase chain reaction

For quantitative information on bacterial group or species level, real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) using specific oligonucleotides (targeting the 16S rRNA gene or other marker genes) can be used. It allows direct identification of dietary effects on beneficial and harmful bacteria. Furthermore, it can be used to specifically detect probiotic strains, like Lactobacillus reuteri, within the gastrointestinal tract.

Anti-oxidative assay

The anti-oxidative potential of phytogenics in IPEC-J2 is assessed by using 2’, 7’- dichlorodihydrofluorescein diacetate (DCFH-DA) which is able to incorporate into cells and become fluorescent upon exposure to reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS are induced by stimulation with H2O2 and are determined via measurement of fluorescence, directly proportional to the amount of intracellular ROS. Potent phytogenic test substances can counteract the ROS production, indicated by a decreased fluorescence (Figure 3A). The reduction of oxidative stress supports animal performance.

Figure 3. Three cell culture assays used to investigate the anti-oxidative (A) and anti-inflammatory (B) properties of phytogenic test substances as well as to study the epithelial barrier integrity (C) in an intestinal porcine epithelial cell line (IPEC-J2).

Anti-inflammatory assay

To screen for anti-inflammatory activity of phytogenic test substances in IPEC-J2, levels of the pro-inflammatory transcription factor NF-κB are monitored via the luminescence based NF-κB reporter gene assay. Cells are transfected with the NF-κB reporter vector and are pre-incubated with phytogenics. Followed by the activation of NF-κB by stimulation with the pro-inflammatory cytokine TNF-α, the potential of test substances to attenuate TNF-α-induced inflammation is determined via measurement of luminescence, directly proportional to the amount of activated NF-κB (Figure 3B). By reducing inflammation, animals have more energy to put towards growth.

TEER assay

The transepithelial electrical resistance (TEER) assay (Figure 3c) is a cell culture model to assess gut barrier function in vitro. Therefore, IPEC-J2 are seeded in trans­well-inserts with a porous membrane imitating the apical (luminal) and the basolateral (blood) side of the gut. After 8 days of differentiation, the ohmic resistance between the two compartments is measured, indicating intactness of the intestinal epithelium. A reduction of the TEER value is an early marker for disruption of the epithelial barrier. The TEER model offers the opportunity to assess the effect of mycotoxins on gut barrier integrity and to screen for bioprotective substances that are able to counteract these negative effects.

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Yeast Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Articles
news-1785 Wed, 20 Dec 2017 09:07:00 +0100 3 Keys to Ensuring Proper Active Substance Delivery http://www.biomin.net/articles/3-keys-to-ensuring-proper-active-substance-delivery/ Achieving homogenous distribution, thermostability and controlled release are all necessary for proper formulation of an effective feed additive. 3 Keys to Ensuring Proper Active Substance Delivery
Photo: iStockphoto_ShadeON

The active substances contained in an animal feed additive can be a single ingredient or complex mixture of enzymes, binders, phytochemicals, live microorganisms and organic acids. Whatever their nature, they have to be fed to the target animal in a form that ensures the substance will be delivered, reliably, to the targeted site of action within the animal and still be 100% active.

A variety of techniques

Because of the diverse nature of the active substances, different formulation techniques have to be used for different products. For example, enzymes and microorganisms can be quite fragile, so it is usual to dry preparations containing enzymes and microorganisms to preserve their activity. For microorganisms, this is often performed by freeze-drying (lyophilisation) of stabilized cell cultures, while spray drying or fluidized bed drying, granulation and coating can be used for enzymes. When the active substances are volatile liquids, such as phytogenic essential oil preparations, alternative formulation techniques such as encapsulation are required to protect the volatile active substituents.

Alternatively, we may sometimes desire the feed additive to be a liquid preparation such as an enzyme for post-pelleting application. In this case, the added challenge involves stabilization of the active substance while ensuring the product can be reproducibly applied to finished feeds.

The density and size of the feed additive preparation will determine whether the active substance can be effectively and accurately distributed throughout the feed.

In general, successful formulation of feed additives must overcome three distinct challenges –homogenous distribution, thermostability and controlled release— in order to achieve the best results in animals.

Challenge 1: Homogenous distribution

The first challenge for the bioactive ingredient formulator is to ensure that the product is accurately distributed throughout the feed. Feed additives are always micro-ingredients and are typically added at an inclusion level around 100g per ton of feed. The density and size of the feed additive preparation will determine whether the active substance can be effectively and accurately distributed throughout the feed. For example, the average 4mm broiler feed pellet weighs 0.055g which equates to over 18 million pellets per ton of feed. To ensure every feed pellet received the active substance would require there to be at least 18 million particles of the active substance in a typical 100g inclusion. Such a calculation should always be performed to determine the optimum size and size distribution of the active preparation.

Challenge 2: Thermostability

The second challenge is that the active substance has to survive subsequent steam conditioning and pelleting where the feed and included additives are subjected to high temperatures (in excess of 85°C), elevated moisture content and high physical pressures. Considerable success has been achieved in protecting enzymes through this process by drying the enzyme inside a granular matrix and applying a single or multiple coatings onto the granules. Both processes were achieved by fluidized bed processing (Figure 1). Fluidized beds can be used to gently dry sensitive active substances but can also be used to form granular materials which makes the product much easier and safer to handle as there is reduced or no dust and the products are easier to disperse accurately in a feed matrix. Figure 1 illustrates a laboratory-scale machine with a batch size up to approximately 1kg. Larger, pilot-scale, full industrial-scale and continuous-flow machines also exist which can granulate and coat materials at ton per hour scale.

Figure 1. Laboratory-scale fluidized bed dryer, granulator and coater.
Figure 1. Laboratory-scale fluidized bed dryer, granulator and coater.
Source: BIOMIN

The formulation of a feed enzyme can even result in a product that performs better than inherently thermostable competitor products. Figure 2 shows the recovery of an inherently thermostable feed enzyme together with a thermo-labile (regular) and coated thermo-labile enzyme which had been added to feeds and pelleted at three different temperatures. The coating of the regular enzyme resulted in a product with over 70% recovery at 95°C and clearly outperforms even the inherently thermostable, engineered enzyme.

Figure 2. Recovery of enzyme activity from feeds conditioned at different temperatures.
Figure 2. Recovery of enzyme activity from feeds conditioned at different temperatures.
Source: BIOMIN

The formulation of a feed enzyme can even result in a product that performs better than inherently thermostable competitor products.

Challenge 3: Controlled release

The third challenge is to ensure the active substances are available in the desired part of the gastrointestinal tract of the target animal. Care must always be taken to not encapsulate or coat a product to such an extent that availability and effectiveness in the animal is reduced. However, the formulation of an active substance can be used to direct where an active is available, or to protect a substance while passing through one part of the gastrointestinal tract—for example, gastric or rumen protection for a product that needs to work in the lower gastrointestinal tract.

The recently launched Biomin® Duplex Capsule that gives Digestarom® DC its name illustrates the power of product formulation. The inner core of the capsule contains the essential oils and substances that are active in the lower gastrointestinal tract of the animal. These are matrix encapsulated to enable their release throughout the lower gastrointestinal tract while protecting them from release in the stomach and enhancing the palatability of some components. Further palatability enhancement was achieved by applying a second essential oil substance in the coating matrix which is immediately available to the olfactory and gustatory senses of the animal. Figure 3 is an electron micrograph of a duplex capsule clearly showing the core and coat regions.

Figure 3. Electron micrograph of a Biomin® Duplex Capsule.
Figure 3: Electron micrograph of a Biomin® Duplex Capsule.
Source: BIOMIN

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Articles
news-1782 Tue, 19 Dec 2017 09:16:00 +0100 Next-Generation Sequencing Reveals Links Between Nutrition and Genes http://www.biomin.net/articles/next-generation-sequencing-reveals-links-between-nutrition-and-genes/ RNA sequencing tools create new possibilities for understanding animal growth, health and performance.
Photo: iStockphoto_HYWARDS

It is remarkable that sequencing the first human enome in 2003 required 13 years of work and cost nearly $US3 billion. In contrast, the HiSeqX Ten,released in 2013, can sequence over 45 human genomes in a single day for approximately $US1000 each.The critical evolution in terms of technology/chemistry is that, instead of sequencing a single DNA fragment as in the past, next-generation sequencing (NGS) today extends this process across millions of fragments in a massively parallel fashion, and enables researchers to study biological systems at a level never before possible.

The transcriptomics approach

Transcriptomics refer to the study of the transcriptome—the sum total of all messenger RNA molecules (mRNAs) being actively expressed from an organism’s genes. The use of NGS technology to study the transcriptome at the nucleotide level is known as RNA sequencing (Figure 1). RNA sequencing is a major advance in the study of gene expression because it allows a snapshot of the whole transcriptome rather than a predetermined subset of genes. This provides a comprehensive view of a cellular transcriptional profile at a given biological moment—which entails the quantification of each product of gene expression from between20,000 and 25,000 genes. Recent advances in RNA sequencing technology have made this high-throughput sequencing platform more accessible to researchers,and it is expected to become the predominant tool for transcriptome analysis. As exhibited in Figure 2, the use of RNA sequencing in scientific studies has grown exponentially—largely due to the advantages it offers over using microarrays.

Figure 1. The RNA sequencing process.

Figure 1. The RNA sequencing process.

Figure 2. Scientific studies using ‘RNA sequencing’.

Figure 2. Scientific studies using ‘RNA sequencing’.

 

Application in animal nutrition

Rapidly developing NGS technology will play an important role in increasing our understanding of how nutrition influences metabolic and immunity pathways and enhances animal health and well-being—a field of animal science called nutrigenomics. Its principal line of enquiry examines the direct effects of feed constituents on gene expression. As such, nutrigenomics could lead the way to develop rational means to optimize animal nutrition and achieve more sustainable, profitable agriculture. Figure 3 presents an overview of how RNA sequencing can determine the mode of action of feed constituents and/or find potential biomarker(s).

Figure 3. Feed additives and the analysis of differences in gene expression.

Figure 3. Feed additives and the analysis of differences in gene expression.

 

Nutrigenomics and phytogenics in poultry

To the best of our knowledge, there are few nutrigenomics studies on the effects of phytogenics on the whole transcriptome. In 2016, a broiler experiment was conducted at the BIOMIN Research Center in which RNA sequencing analysis was done on tissue samples from the intestinal tract of birds fed with or without phytogenics.

The expression of more than 20,000 genes was determined.Preliminary results showed that 73 genes were differentially expressed between birds fed basal feed and birds fed the same feed supplemented with phytogenics. Table 1 gives an overview of some signaling pathways associated with these DEGs (Differentially Expressed Genes), namely the acute phase response and cytokine signaling pathways related to inflammatory response.These results were obtained based on an updated version of the chicken genome (Galgal5) released in December 2016. This makes them more accurate than results using older versions (e.g. Galgal4) or technologies, such as microarray, that rely on a pre-designed sequence detection probe for hybridization that would need to be redesigned for every new update of the genome.

Table 1. Effect of phytogenics on the intestine of 35-day-old broiler chickens.

Total number of genes analyzed with Galgal524838
Number of differentially expressed genes compared to control birds –mapping Galgal573
Signaling pathways associated with these differentially expressed genes:- Acute phase response signaling
- Cytokine signaling (IL-22 and STAT3 pathway) 

Limitations of NGS and transcriptomics

As with any technology, next-generation sequencing is not without its limitations and challenges. For instance, despite the superior benefits of RNA sequencing, microarrays are still the more common choice of researchers when conducting transcriptional profiling experiments.

This is likely because the newer RNA sequencing technology is more expensive than microarray, data storage is more challenging and analysis is more complex. NGS platforms provide vast quantities of data (e.g. 200 GB generated from RNA sequencing for 30 biological samples), and therefore requires servers with high computational resources. There is no reference methodology for processing and analyzing NGS data: this is a growing field with continuous development of bioinformatics tools. All have advantages but also limitations, and it is necessary to evaluate them and take a consensus for data analysis.The complexity of NGS analysis and data interpretation requires both expertise and knowledge in informatics and biology (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Requirements for RNA sequencing analysis.

 Figure 4. Requirements for RNA sequencing analysis.

Additionally, a transcriptomics approach alone is not sufficient to fully conclude on mode of action of feed constituents. For instance, the intestinal tract environment is quite complex: the host tissue, cells and nutrients all interact with the intestinal microflora. Combining so-called ‘–omics’ approaches, such as genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics, would provide an even better understanding on the mode of action and gut performance.

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Articles
news-1781 Tue, 19 Dec 2017 09:07:00 +0100 Two Advanced Tools for Understanding Antimicrobial Resistance http://www.biomin.net/articles/two-advanced-tools-for-understanding-antimicrobial-resistance/ EPI assays and qPCR are two of several tools that BIOMIN scientists and researchers use to better understand and potentially combat the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance.
Photo: iStockphoto_Dr_Microbe

The spread of antibiotic resistant bacteria pose a major threat to modern medicine (WHO, 2014). Extensive antibiotic use in agriculture is one of many factors that may contribute to antibiotic resistance (Ventola, 2015). A key issue is the development of multi-drug resistance (MDR) in pathogenic bacteria found in the digestive tract.

Globally, there is a continuing need to prevent the further increase in MDR bacteria, not just in clinical, but in natural environments, too. In order to come up with successful strategies to battle the spread of antimicrobial resistance in animals, certain feed additives with competitive properties (e.g. that inhibit the growth of pathogenic bacteria) might also disrupt resistance mechanisms.

At the BIOMIN Research Center, we use several advanced analytical methods to better understand and potentially combat the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance. First, in vitro efflux pump inhibitor assays allow us to identify substances as potential resistance inhibitors in the laboratory. Second, cutting-edge metagenomics technologies allow us to detect and track bacterial genes or elements in complex environments using samples sourced from farms.

How multi-drug resistance happens

Multi-drug resistance in bacteria occurs by the accumulation of resistance genes on resistance plasmids,with each gene coding for resistance to a specific agent (Figure 1A), and/or by the action of multidrug efflux pumps, which can pump out more than one antibiotic drug (Figure 1C).

Resistance plasmids are often transferred very efficiently from cell to cell (Figure 1B). Resistance by efflux pumps occurs by the increased expression of genes that code for these pumps. Some pumps in Gram-negative bacteria (e.g. AcrAB-TolC in Salmonella) are especially important because they can pump out most of the antibiotics currently in use.

Figure 1. Important bacterial mechanisms conferring multidrug resistance (MDR).
A) Multidrug resistant bacteria often carry mobile genetic elements like resistance plasmids, which can acquire many resistance genes through gene accumulation. B) Horizontal gene transfer via resistance plasmids efficiently passes resistance genes from one bacterium to another, contributing to the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacterial populations. C) Another mechanism of multidrug resistance is the active pumping out of drugs by multidrug efflux pumps.Figure 1. Important bacterial mechanisms conferring multidrug resistance (MDR).

Multidrug efflux: a key target in reversing antibiotic resistance

One way of prolonging antibiotic efficiency against multidrug-resistant pathogens is by blocking their efflux pumps with efflux pump inhibitors (EPIs). Natural plant-derived substances (phytogenics) have emerged as promising candidates, capable of improving the potency of antibiotics even at low concentrations, and preventing the emergence of resistance.

Efflux activity can be directly measured by fluorescence-based assays, based on two principles. First, various fluorescent dyes will shift in color and intensity when they enter the lipophilic environment inside of bacterial cells. Second, these dyes are actively pumped out of the cells by the efflux machinery. Monitoring the shifts in fluorescence enables us to see how fast the bacteria can pump out dyes, and, if an added substance is a potential inhibitor (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Principle of efflux pump inhibitors assay. The multidrug resistant Salmonella strain with upregulated efflux pump displays very weak fluorescence, as the fluorescence dye is pumped out of the cells (right). The same Salmonella strain, treated with an efflux pump inhibitor, loses its resistances, displaying a strong fluorescence, as the dye is not pumped out (left).

Figure 2. Principle of efflux pump inhibitors assay. The 

Efflux pump inhibitorassay results

In experiments at the BIOMIN Research Center, a Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strain carrying the acrAB-TolC pump was brought to over-expression of the efflux gene, by adapting it gradually to higher concentrations of enrofloxacin, a commonly used veterinary antibiotic, until it was able to survive thousand times the initial concentration (0.06 to 60 mg/L).

This Salmonella strain overexpresses the efflux gene,making it resistant to a wide range of antibiotics (e.g.tetracyclines, ß-lactams). For substance screening, the strain was stained with a fluorescent dye in the presence of potential EPIs.

After adding glucose, which induces efflux activity,the shifts in fluorescence were measured (Figure 3). In the untreated control, the dye was extruded and fluorescence rapidly decreased as a result. When Salmonella is treated with known EPIs, phenylalanine-arginine ß-naphthylamide (PAßN) and the anti-malaria drug artesunate, the efflux is clearly inhibited.

Figure 3. Release of fluorescence from cells of an efflux gene overexpressing MDR Salmonella strain, after treatment with two known EPIs.

Figure 3. Release of fluorescence from cells of an efflux gene overexpressing MDR Salmonella strain

Gut resistome studies to assessantibiotic resistance on the farm

The gastrointestinal tract is habitat of an enormous species diversity and density, a reservoir for thousands of antibiotic resistance genes. Assessment of antibiotic resistance has long relied on traditional isolation techniques by cultivating and counting bacteria on nutrient agars with and without antibiotics.

However, these provide only information on the minority of bacteria—those that can grow under laboratory conditions.

Quantitative polymerase chain reaction

Molecular methods, targeting the genetic basis of resistance,use DNA to characterize and quantify antibiotic resistance determinants. Extraction of DNA from farm-derived samples (e.g. feces) allows reliable quantification of resistance genes in a high number of samples,by using quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (qPCR) (Figure 4). PCR is a targeted approach using synthetic oligonucleotides (“primers”) that are complementary to the flanking regions of the gene of interest to amplify this particular gene fragment. It will not provide information on the presence of genes that are not targeted by the primers.

Figure 4. Methodologies for assessing bacterial antibiotic resistances in complex samples at different levels. Starting from a fecal sample, the resistances can be assessed by culture through targeted detection and detection of resistance genes (by quantitative polymerase chain reaction, qPCR) or by metagenomics sequencing, in order to characterize the gut resistome.

 Figure 4. Methodologies for assessing bacterial antibiotic resistances in complex samples at different levels.

Metagenomics offers a complete view

The most comprehensive approach to exploring antibiotic resistance in complex environments uses metagenomics, which aims to assess the entire genomic information stored in a given sample (“metagenome”) by using modern sequencing technologies. Current platforms, like the Illumina HiSeq, yield anywhere from 10 to 1000 GB of DNA sequences in a single lane. The sequencing datasets can be analyzed by assembly of the short reads into larger contiguous DNA fragments orby mapping to reference sequences. This method allows determination of the microbiota composition and simultaneous detection and quantification of the complete set of resistance genes (“resistome”) or other genes of interest (e.g. virulence) in the microbiota.

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Articles
news-1775 Thu, 14 Dec 2017 12:45:00 +0100 Antimicrobial Resistance Motivates Drive to Reduce Antibiotics in Farm Animals http://www.biomin.net/press/antimicrobial-resistance-motivates-drive-to-reduce-antibiotics-in-farm-animals/ Franz Waxenecker, Development and Innovation Director at BIOMIN, discusses antibiotic resistance, the challenges of antibiotic reduction, and keys that will help the industry achieve its goals. While the phenomenon is not new, the topic has gained considerable importance for the livestock sector. Naturally occurring resistances of bacteria to antibiotics pre-date the discovery of antibiotics. Samples taken from mummified bodies buried thousands of years ago have been shown to contain genes for antibiotic resistance.

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers In the Press
news-1762 Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:51:00 +0100 Science & Solutions No. 50 - Aquaculture http://www.biomin.net/magazines/science-solutions-no-50-aquaculture/ In this issue: Feed Innovation Success for BIOMIN in Fish-Free Feed Competition; Phytogenics Deliver Better Performance in Low Fishmeal Shrimp Diets; Worldwide Mycotoxin Occurrence in Plant Meals: A Real Risk to Aquaculture Development IN THIS ISSUE:

Science &amp; Solutions No. 50

Feed Innovation Success for BIOMIN in Fish-Free Feed Competition
BIOMIN and Htoo Thit Corp. won second prize in the Fish-Free Feed Contest that catalyzed the development and sale of competitive and viable fish-free aquafeeds around the world.

Phytogenics Deliver Better Performance in Low Fishmeal Shrimp Diets
In an effort to reduce costly, less sustainable fishmeal in aquafeeds, many producers are seeking more economical, alternative protein sources. Fishmeal reduction alone can compromise growth performance. Fortunately, supplementing diets with a phytogenic feed additive can recover some of this lost performance, improving bottom line results.

Worldwide Mycotoxin Occurrence in Plant Meals: A Real Risk to Aquaculture Development
Awarded ‘best poster by a PhD student’ at Aquaculture Europe 2017, held from 17-20 October in Dubrovnik, Croatia, a team of BIOMIN experts, led by Rui Goncalves, reveal the potential economic consequences of mycotoxins for the aquaculture industry.

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Aquaculture Magazines
news-1770 Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:36:00 +0100 New Trial Results Suggest High Concentrate-Diets Can Cause Endotoxin-Induced Liver Issues in Dairy Cows http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/new-trial-results-suggest-high-concentrate-diets-can-cause-endotoxin-induced-liver-issues-in-dairy-cows/ Scientists from the BIOMIN Research Center in cooperation with the VetMed University in Vienna were awarded first prize for a poster summarizing new findings from a study conducted on dairy cows. The poster, entitled Opens external link in new windowInfluence of a high concentrate diet on rumen pH, fecal endotoxin concentration, and liver enzymes in lactating dairy cows won first prize at the 55th Consultation Meeting of the Bavarian Animal Nutrition Society (Bayerische Arbeitsgemeinschaft Tierernährung or BAT) on 12 October 2017 in Freising, Germany.

Effects of high concentrate diets

The energy and nutrient requirement of dairy cows increases enormously during early lactation. To fulfill these requirements, animal producers often feed concentrate-rich diets to their animals.

However, recent findings suggest that this practice can negatively affect the health status of dairy cows, producing a decrease in the rumen and intestinal pH that  inevitably causes an imbalance of the ruminal and intestinal microbiota, followed by the release of high amounts of endotoxins.

While the liver plays a major role in detoxifying endotoxins, there is a lack of knowledge about the role of liver enzymes in the blood and endotoxin detoxification during feeding concentrate-rich diets.

The aim of the study was indeed to measure the influence of a high concentrate diet on the rumen pH, fecal endotoxin concentration, and liver enzymes in the blood in lactating dairy cows.

The trial

Sixteen lactating Simental cows received a total mixed ratio (TMR) with 40% concentration (dry matter) and 60% roughage (hay:grass silage 20:80 DM). After one week, concentrate amount of the TMR was increased to 60% (dry matter) to induce a subacute acidosis.

During the following four weeks, the pH was monitored as well as the endotoxin concentration in the feces and the liver enzyme activity in the blood of all cows.

Results

The result of this study showed that increasing concentrate amounts can have detrimental health effects on dairy cows, including:

  • a decrease of the average rumen pH to 6.2
  • up to a five-fold increase of fecal endotoxin concentration
  • an increase of liver enzymes in week 4, specifically aminotransferase (AST), glutamatdehydrogenase (GLDH), and gamma-glutamyl transferase (GTT)  

While a healthy cow with a normally functioning liver can cope with a normal load of endotoxins, a large increase in endotoxins, e.g. due to a decrease of the pH from a concentrate-rich diet, may impair liver health and induce an inflammatory response, resulting in performance losses and health issues.

Takeaway message

In practical terms, the trial results suggest that dairy producers should monitor the amount of concentrates in diets, and should also consider feed additives that offer protection against endotoxins, provided that the mode of action has been extensively tested in vivo.

download poster

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Mycotoxins Ruminants Blog Posts
news-1766 Thu, 14 Dec 2017 08:32:00 +0100 1st BIOMIN Poultry BCO Lameness Academy http://www.biomin.net/news/1st-biomin-poultry-bco-lameness-academy/ The 1st BIOMIN BCO Lameness Academy took place in Forlì, at the Regional Gov lab, the last 5th of December. BCO LamenessMore than 30 poultry vets from Italy and Portugal, joined the event. In the morning a lesson about the genesis of BCO lameness was taken by prof. Robert Wideman, Emeritus professor at the University of Arkansas.

In the afternoon, chickens of different ages, have been necropsied for the detection of different grades of BCO lameness, under the competent supervision of Prof. Wideman and Dr. Paola Massi. Very high level of appreciation came from the participants, for this BIOMIN event focused on giving solutions to a very important problem affecting the modern broiler industry.

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Mycotoxins Probiotics Poultry News
news-1765 Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:02:00 +0100 Worldwide Mycotoxin Occurrence in Plant Meals: A Real Risk to Aquaculture Development? http://www.biomin.net/articles/worldwide-mycotoxin-occurrence-in-plant-meals-a-real-risk-to-aquaculture-development-1/ Awarded ‘best poster by a PhD student’ at Aquaculture Europe 2017, held from 17-20 October in Dubrovnik, Croatia, a team of BIOMIN experts, led by Rui Gonçalves, reveal the potential economic consequences of mycotoxins for the aquaculture industry.
Photo: iStockphoto_paulprescott72

Mycotoxins are a diverse group of toxic secondary metabolites produced mainly by filamentous fungi, on agricultural products before or after harvest, during transportation or storage. Research characterizing the adverse effects of mycotoxins on the performance and health of animals has largely focused on terrestrial livestock species (D’Mello and Macdonald, 1997; Rotter et al., 1996). However, in recent years, research has been carried out on the effects of mycotoxins in aquaculture species. Understanding these effects has become even more important with the rising cost of fishmeal and the need to identify and use more economical protein sources such as plant protein or other commercially available plant by-products.

Generally, most of the mycotoxins that have the potential to reduce growth and compromise the health status of aquaculture farmed animals are produced by Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium species. Toxic metabolites produced by these fungi are known to be either carcinogenic (e.g. aflatoxin (AF) B1, ochratoxin A (OTA), fumonisin (FUM) B1), estrogenic (zearalenone (ZEN)), neurotoxic (FUM B1), nephrotoxic (ochratoxin), dermatotoxic (trichothecenes) or immunosuppressive (AFB1, OTA and T-2 toxin). The tendency, and the economic need, to replace expensive animal-derived proteins such as fishmeal, with less expensive plant protein sources, has increased the impact of mycotoxin contamination in aquaculture feeds (Gonçalves et al., 2017).

Materials & methods

From January to June 2017, 8,345 samples of plant meals were analysed 33,370 times within the scope of the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey Program (Table 1). The study focused on corn, corn gluten meal, corn DDGS, soybean meal, wheat, wheat bran rice and rice bran. The samples were tested for aflatoxins (sum of AFB1, AFB2, AFG1 and AFG2), ZEN, deoxynivalenol (DON), FUM (sum of FB1 and FB2), T-2 toxin and OTA (full toxin screen). Sample providers were instructed to follow good sampling procedures according to Richard (2000). The analyses were carried out as described by Binder et al., (2007).

Table 1. Origin of samples.

LocationNumber of samples
Europe1480
North America527
South America4344
Asia1663
Middle East118
Africa213
Total8345

Source: BIOMIN

Results

Globally, Fusarium mycotoxins were the most prevalent compounds found in the samples, followed by aflatoxins. Some of the plant meals that are commonly used in aquaculture feeds, such as corn gluten meal and corn DDGS, showed high levels of mycotoxin contamination, commonly with DON and FUM. The results are presented in Table 2. Mycotoxin co-occurrence was generally very high; on average, 74% of the samples contained more than one mycotoxin.

Table 2. Analysis results.

Average (μg/kg)Maximum (μg/kg)
FUMDONFUMDON
Corn DDGS3,8442,79128,60510,445
Corn gluten meal2,2501,68811,8828,871

Source: BIOMIN

Discussion

Deoxynivalenol, one of the most prevalent mycotoxins in the samples analysed, is known to cause adverse effects in several aquatic species, but especially rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) (Hooft et al., 2011).

DON is responsible for decreases in growth, feed intake, feed efficiency, protein and energy utilization. The levels of DON found in some commodities might represent a threat for aquaculture species, depending on the inclusion levels of the plant meals in the finished feeds. FUM, also very prevalent among the collected samples, was found in considerably high concentrations, especially in corn gluten meal and corn DDGS.

Fumonisins inhibit the sphinganine (sphingosine) N-acyltransferase (ceramide synthase), a key enzyme in lipid metabolism, resulting in the disruption of this pathway. It is known that rainbow trout liver is sensitive to FUM, inducing changes in sphingolipid metabolism even when contamination levels are lower than 100 μg/kg (Meredith et al., 1998) and inducing cancer in one-month old trout (Riley et al., 2001).

Crustaceous can be very sensitive to FUM as well, being reported that Litopenaeus vannamei are sensitive to FB1 at levels below 200 μg/kg (García-Morales et al., 2013).

Conclusion

The contamination levels found in plant meals commonly used in aquaculture were high, and in 74% of samples there were two or more mycotoxins present, potentially leading to additive or synergistic effects. These results highlight the mycotoxin-related risks associated with growth performance and immunosuppression that can lead to significant economic impacts in the aquaculture sector.

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Mycotoxins Aquaculture Articles
news-1764 Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:21:00 +0100 Phytogenics Deliver Better Performance in Low Fishmeal Shrimp Diets http://www.biomin.net/articles/phytogenics-deliver-better-performance-in-low-fishmeal-shrimp-diets/ In an effort to reduce costly, less sustainable fishmeal in aquafeeds, many producers are seeking more economical, alternative protein sources. Fishmeal reduction alone can compromise growth performance. Fortunately, supplementing diets with a phytogenic feed additive can recover some of this lost performance, improving bottom line results. Phytogenics Deliver Better Performance in Low Fishmeal Shrimp Diets Photo: iStockphoto: Jakub Jirsak

Pacific white leg shrimp, Litopenaeus vannamei, is a popular species among aquaculture farmers due to its high economic value, rapid growth rate, and tolerance to wide ranges in salinity and temperature (Bray et al., 1994; Frias-Espericueta et al., 1999).

Concerns about fishmeal

The high dependence of Pacific white shrimp feed on fishmeal – an important protein source due to its palatability and quality – is becoming increasingly problematic due to concerns about sustainability and price. The quantity of fishmeal used by the aquaculture feed sector has increased considerably, driving up its market price over the past decade. Significant progress has been made to reduce levels of fishmeal in commercial diets for farmed aquatic animals.

Plant protein hurdle

Replacing fishmeal with alternatives such as vegetable proteins can negatively affect production performance. The use of less digestible plant raw material increases the presence of undigested nitrogenous compounds in the intestine, which encourages the formation of ammonia and biogenic amines by intestinal microbiota. These compounds are toxic and consequently can lead to imbalance in the intestine, resulting in inflammatory processes and accelerated turnover of the intestinal tissue, leading to poorer performance (Cabral et al., 2013).

Improving performance with PFAs

Plant raw materials are less digestible and can cause negative effects directly on the gastrointestinal tract. Due to their ability to improve feed efficiency at comparatively low cost, phytogenic feed additives (PFAs) are an important addition to aquafeeds. Derived from plants, PFAs are functional feed additives used to improve animal performance. Plant essential oils have been shown to exert multiple positive effects, such as appetite stimulation, a direct reduction of gut bacteria, stimulation of gastric juices, enhancement of the immune system, as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties (Lambert et al., 2001; Nerio et al., 2010; Peterson et al., 2015; Saravanan et al., 2012; Yeh et al., 2009).

A trial was conducted to evaluate the nutrient sparing effect of a commercially available PFA (Digestarom® P.E.P. MGE) in Pacific white shrimp feed. The trial evaluated the effect of the PFA on growth performance, feed utilization and gut intestine ultrastructure. The relationship between intestinal microorganisms and intestinal structure is complex, but it is known to have an impact on nutrient absorption (Apajalahti et al., 2004).

Five diets were formulated for the experiment (Table 1). Three levels of fishmeal were used; the control diet contained the highest level at 25.0% (FM25). The fishmeal level was then reduced to 22.0% (FM22) and 19.0% (FM19) by substitution with soybean meal and peanut meal. Digestarom® P.E.P. MGE was supplemented to the diets with reduced fishmeal content at a dosage of 200 g/ton of feed.

Table 1. Formulation and proximate composition of the experimental diets (dry matter).

 Formulation and proximate composition of the experimental diets (dry matter).

Growth performance and feed utilization

The results of the trial indicate important improvements in measured parameters when using Digestarom® P.E.P. MGE. Weight gain, specific growth rate, feed conversion rate and protein efficiency ratio were all improved (P<0.05) for the shrimp fed low fishmeal diets supplemented with the PFA when compared to those that did not receive the PFA.

The replacement of fishmeal by plant proteins had a negative influence on feed conversion ratio (FCR), which worsened as the level of fishmeal in the diets got lower. However, when the low fishmeal diets were supplemented with Digestarom® P.E.P. MGE there was an improvement in FCR values compared with non-supplemented diets. The growth performance and feed utilization of shrimp fed the experimental diets with lower fishmeal levels was numerically worse than other treatments (Table 2). Of the diets with reduced fishmeal, those supplemented with Digestarom® P.E.P. MGE numerically improved shrimp specific growth rate and FCR (Table 2).

Table 2. Growth performance parameters of juvenile Pacific white shrimp fed different experimental diets.

Growth performance parameters of juvenile Pacific white shrimp fed different experimental diets.

PER- Protein Efficiency Ratio; HSI – Hepatosomatic Index. Data represent mean ± S.D. of five replicates. No significant differences were found on these parameters (P>0.05).
Source: BIOMIN

Structure of the gastrointestinal tract

It is well known that the digestive tract is divided into three distinct regions, according to their relative importance in all crustaceans. While the foregut and hindgut have a chitinous lining and do not play an important role in digestive processes (Brunet et al., 1994), the improvement of microvilli in the mid-gut is important for nutrient absorption. Analysis by transmission electron microscope indicated that shrimp fed the FM25 diet had a better mid-gut structure and a higher number of microvilli than those fed the other diets.

However, in shrimp fed low fishmeal diets, those fed the diet supplemented with Digestarom® P.E.P. MGE had a better gut structure and a higher number of microvilli in the mid-gut compared to those fed the non-supplemented diets.

The author would like to acknowledge Xiao-ling Huang, Ming-hong Xia and Qi-cun Zhou from the Laboratory of Fish Nutrition in Ningbo, and BIOMIN colleagues Yan Zhang, Gonçalo A. Santos, and Pedro Encarnaçao for their input to this research. Full details of the trial can be found on the BIOMIN knowledge center on www.biomin.net.

In Brief

  • Fishmeal is very expensive as aprotein source for aquafeeds.
  • Plant based alternatives, while cheaper, have lower digestibility so performance is compromised.
  • Digestarom® P.E.P. MGE supplementation improves the performance of white leg shrimp in low fishmeal diets.
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Phytogenics Aquaculture Articles
news-1763 Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:43:00 +0100 Feed Innovation Success for BIOMIN in Fish-Free Feed Competition http://www.biomin.net/articles/feed-innovation-success-for-biomin-in-fish-free-feed-competition/ BIOMIN and Htoo Thit Corp. (HTC) won second prize in the Fish-Free Feed Contest that catalyzed the development and sale of competitive and viable fish-free aquafeeds around the world. Feed Innovation Success for BIOMIN

Photo: shutterstock_Kletr

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), over 18 million tons of wild-caught fish is used each year to make fishmeal and fish oil. These small schooling fish, known as forage fish, include sardines, herring, anchovies and menhaden. By 2030, it is predicted that 25% less wild-caught seafood will be available compared to today. A similar shrinkage will also occur in aquaculture unless it can overcome key constraints, such as a shortage of fishmeal for feeds.

To mitigate this issue, the F3 Fish-Free Feed Challenge was launched in November 2015 to encourage sustainable innovations such as the use of alternative ingredients for aquaculture fish feeds, and to reduce pressure on wild-caught fish to supply fish feed components. The contest was intended to help catalyze the development and sale of cost-competitive, viable aqua feeds free of fishmeal and fish oils.

For over a year, eight companies from all around the world (Table 1) competed to prove the commercial viability of fishmeal-free aqua feed by selling as much of it as they could. Contestants ranged from integrated multinational with hundreds of employees, to start-up farms and ingredient companies with just a dozen employees.

Table 1. List of contestants and locations with the diets they worked on.

TeamDiets Submitted
AgriProtein (Gibraltar), Abagold (South Africa)Rainbow Trout
Guangdong Evergreen Feed Industry Co. (China)Tilapia, Carp, Dace
Htoo Thit Co. (Myanmar), BIOMIN (Austria)Tilapia/Carp
JAPFA Feeds (Singapore/Indonesia)Tilapia
Oryza Organics (Pakistan)Tilapia (x2)
Ridley (Australia), Sureerath Prawns (Thailand)Shrimp
TomAlgea (Belgium)Shrimp
TwoXSea (U.S. California), Star Milling Co. (U.S. California), Alltech (U.S. Kentucky), TerraVia (U.S. California)Trout

The rule of F3 was simple: by September 2017, the first company to produce and sell 100,000 metric tons (MT) of aqua feeds that did not contain any marine animal meal or oil would be awarded a US$200,000 prize to support their fish-free aquafeed business.

In Myanmar particularly, the aquaculture diets targeted for the F3 contest were Rohu (Labeo rohita) and Tilapia (Oreochromis sp.) grower feeds. These two common species are often grown together in the same ponds along with other species like Pacu and Catfish. The polyculture systems in Myanmar can be time extensive with low yields (e.g. 1 - 3.5 tons/ha). They can also be combined with poultry or swine production units installed above the ponds where feces are used to boost the natural phytoplankton productivity of the water ecosystem. Hence, some systems can be semi-intensive with production yields up to 15 t/ha with fish grown in smaller ponds.

Currently, Htoo Thit Co (HTC) is using various plant protein sources such as imported soybean meal, whole wheat meal, groundnut cake and other local protein sources in their fish feeds. As the main aqua species in Myanmar are herbivorous, they can still perform on 100% plant diets making it possible to reduce the fishmeal content to zero as long as the necessary digestible amino acid profile and available energy level are included in the formulation.

Since 2014, BIOMIN and HTC have worked closely together to improve local feed formulations and test alternative plant-based raw materials. Two remaining bottlenecks are the lack of differentiated feed formulations by species and by stages, and also the high levels of mycotoxins in raw materials.

Professor Kevin Fitzsimmons from the University of Arizona, former president of the World Aquaculture Society and lead spokesperson for the F3 Challenge said:
“The contest has accelerated information sharing and partnerships between companies in all parts of the feed supply chain. The great thing about the contest has been the incredible level of publicity generated for innovative companies producing new ingredients, and to alert all aquafeed companies of the potential available. A second really encouraging sign was the significant shift amongst environmental NGOs when they realized that aquaculture could in fact become a much more sustainable industry. Many environmental groups have now put their efforts to actively supporting more innovative aquaculture, rather than just opposing anything related to aquaculture.”

BIOMIN is now monitoring mycotoxin contamination levels in Myanmar by analyzing several batches of raw material and finished feeds. For example, levels of deoxynivalenol (DON), fumonisin (FUM) and aflatoxin (AFLA) were all found to be far above the recommended limits. This trend is amplified with the use of 100% plantbased diets with DDGS. It is crucial for feed mills like HTC to reduce the impact of mycotoxins by introducing a mycotoxin mitigation plan in their feed manufacturing process; an area where huge improvements can be made in Myanmar.

Continuing the development of fishmeal-free fish diets, BIOMIN and HTC decided to enter the F3 competition as a team with the objective of completely eliminating the use of local fishmeal in Rohu and Tilapia diets. The F3 contest was an opportunity to accelerate the transition toward more sustainable feed. It started in May 2016 with freshwater fish species but in the future, the F3 feed concept could also be applied to other species such as Shrimp (Vannamei) and tropical Seabass (Lates calcarifer).

Figure 1. Fishmeal free feed sales by contestant team over the course of the competition.

Figure 1. Fishmeal free feed sales by contestant team over the course of the competition.

In September 2017, the BIOMIN / HTC team finished in second place with almost 34,000T of F3 aqua feeds sold in Myanmar (Figure 1). First prize went to Guangdong Evergreen Feed Industry Co. from China who sold more than 84,000T of F3 feed. Their prize was presented during a special ceremony on 4th October 2017 at the Global Aquaculture Alliance GOAL’s conference in Dublin, Ireland.

In Brief

  • In the future, there will be supply constraints on the wildcaught forage fish used to make fishmeal and fish oils
  • The F3 Fish-Free Feed Challenge launched in November 2015 to catalyze the development and sale of fish-free aquafeeds
  • Nearly 120,000 metric tons of fish-free aquafeed were produced and sold during the course of the competition
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Mycotoxins Aquaculture Articles
news-1745 Thu, 07 Dec 2017 12:58:00 +0100 Worldwide Mycotoxin Occurrence in Plant Meals: A Real Risk to Aquaculture Development http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/worldwide-mycotoxin-occurrence-in-plant-meals-a-real-risk-to-aquaculture-development/ Research characterizing the adverse effects of mycotoxins on the performance and health of animals has in large part focused on terrestrial livestock species.

However, in recent years, research has been carried out on the effects of mycotoxins in aquaculture species. This became even more important with the high cost of fish meal and the need to identify more economical protein sources, such as plant protein or other commercially available plant by-products. Generally, most of the mycotoxins that have the potential to reduce growth and health status of aquaculture farmed animals are produced by Aspergillus, Penicillium and Fusarium species. Toxic metabolites produced by these fungi are known to be either carcinogenic (e.g. aflatoxin (AF) B1, ochratoxin A (OTA), fumonisin (FUM) B1), estrogenic (zearalenone (ZEN)), neurotoxic (fumonisin B1), nephrotoxic (ochratoxin), dermatotoxic (trichothecenes) or immunosuppressive (aflatoxin B1, ochratoxin A and T-2 toxin). The tendency and the economical need to replace expensive animal-derived proteins, such as fish meal, with less expensive plant proteins sources, have increased the impact of mycotoxin contamination in aquaculture feeds (Gonçalves et al. 2017).

Results

The results obtained in this survey program have been summarized and presented during the European Aquaculture conference 2017 (Initiates file downloadView poster). Globally, Fusarium mycotoxins were the most prevalent compounds found in the samples testing positive, followed by aflatoxins. Concerning the contamination levels, some plant meals that are commonly used in aquaculture such as corn gluten meal and corn DDGS, showed high levels. Common contaminants of the aforementioned commodities were DON and FUM. Corn DDGS showed an average contamination of 3,844 µg kg−1 and 2,791 µg kg−1 for FUM and DON respectively; and maximum occurrence of 28,605 µg kg−1 and 10,445 µg kg−1 for FUM and DON respectively. Corn gluten meal showed average contamination of 1,688 and 2,250 µg kg−1 for DON and FUM, respectively and maximums of 8,871and 11,882 µg kg−1 for DON and FUM, respectively. Mycotoxin co-occurrence was generally very high for all the samples analysed. On average, 74% of the analysed samples presented more than 1 mycotoxin in the same sample.

Discussion & Conclusions

DON, one of the most prevalent mycotoxins in the samples analysed, it is known to cause adverse effects in several aquatic species, especially in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss. DON is normally responsible for decreases in growth, feed intake, feed efficiency, protein and energy utilization. The levels of DON found in some commodities might represent a threat for aquaculture species, depending on the inclusion levels of these plant meals in the finished feeds. FUM, also very prevalent among the collected samples, was also found in considerable high concentrations, especially in corn gluten meal and corn DDGS. Fumonisins inhibits the sphinganine (sphingosine) N-acyltransferase (ceramide synthase), a key enzyme in the lipid metabolism, resulting in the disruption of this pathway. It is known that rainbow trout liver is sensitive to FUM, inducing changes in sphingolipid metabolism on values lower than 100 µg kg−1 (Meredith et al. 1998) and inducing cancer in 1-month old trout (Riley et al. 2001). Crustaceous can be very sensitive to FUM as well, being reported that Litopenaeus vannamei is sensitive to FB1 on values lower than 200 µg kg−1 (García-Morales et al. 2013).
The contamination levels found in plant meals commonly used in aquaculture were high and in 74% of samples there were two or more mycotoxins potentially leading to additive or synergistic effects. These results highlight the mycotoxin-related risk to growth performance and immunosuppression that can lead to significant economic impacts in the aquaculture sector.

References

Binder, E.M., Tan, L.M., Chin, L.J., Handl, J., Richard, J., 2007, Worldwide occurrence of mycotoxins in commodities, feeds and feed ingredients. Animal Feed Science and Technology 137, 265-282.
Gonçalves, R.A., Schatzmayr, D., Hofstetter, U., Santos, G.A., 2017, Occurrence of mycotoxins in aquaculture: preliminary overview of Asian and European plant ingredients and finished feeds. World Mycotoxin Journal In Press, 1-12.
Hooft, J.M., Elmor, A., Ibraheem, E.H., Encarnação, P., Bureau, D.P., 2011, Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) is extremely sensitive to the feed-borne Fusarium mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON). Aquaculture 311, 224-232.
Richard J, 2000, Sampling and Sample Preparation for Mycotoxin Analysis., In: Romer Labs Guide to Mycotoxins. Romer Lab Union.
Riley, R.T., et al., 2001, Sphingolipid perturbations as mechanisms for fumonisin carcinogenesis. Environmental Health Perspectives 109, 301-308.
Rotter, B.A., et al., 1996, Toxicology of deoxynivalenol (vomitoxin). J. Toxicol. Environ. Health A 48, 1-34.

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Mycotoxins Aquaculture Blog Posts
news-1752 Mon, 04 Dec 2017 09:32:00 +0100 BIOMIN exhibits strong presence at Poultry India expo, reinforces commitment to customers http://www.biomin.net/news/biomin-exhibits-strong-presence-at-poultry-india-expo-reinforces-commitment-to-customers/ With the Indian and other markets in south Asia continuing to grow in importance, BIOMIN reinforced its commitment to the customers at Poultry India 2017 expo, the international exhibition for poultry industry held annually at Hyderabad in India. The BIOMIN booth was buzzing with activity as soon as the three-day expo began on November 22. The entire sales and marketing team, which was present gave a warm welcome to the customers and prospective customers and helped them get the right solutions.

Dr. Sujit Kulkarni, Managing Director, BIOMIN India said that the company’s activities and presence in India have grown substantially in recent years and pointed out that they are well positioned in the market to offer solutions to meet the customers’ requirements.

“In the backdrop of growing awareness among the customers to reduce antibiotic usage and increase awareness on mycotoxin management, BIOMIN is helping the industry grow not only by providing solutions but also by providing services such as feed sample analysis by sending the raw material/feed to Romer Labs in Singapore,” he commented.

Speaking to the media, Sujit Kulkarni said that Digestarom®, the phytogenic product line of BIOMIN, which is recognised as a world leader in gut performance management, is supported by 30 years of research and development.

“BIOMIN enjoys the trust of Indian customers in phytogenic feed additives and this is helping us in promoting the newly launched Digestarom® DC, the next generation product line,” he said and added that Digestarom® DC contains the latest proprietary essential oil encapsulation technology for performance enhancement and feed conversion.

The advantageously located BIOMIN booth at Poultry India expo attracted more number of visitors and the well planned booth infrastructure facilitated even up to five meetings by the BIOMIN team with the customers and visitors. Digestarom® DC, the newest addition in the BIOMIN offering to the Indian market, was aggressively promoted during the expo, while the technical and sales team explained about the unique proposition of this product.

To update the visitors about the company’s activities in India since the last Poultry India expo, a 12-page special newsletter was published. As many as 2000 copies were widely circulated among the visitors, which created awareness about BIOMIN products and services.

Edward Manchester, Regional Director, BIOMIN Asia-Pacific in his comments to the media said that phytogenics is a big area for BIOMIN, which is again a rapidly growing area and underlined that the company’s phytogenics product line will benefit the industry as well as consumers.

“Awareness on mycotoxin contamination is growing in India and our commitment in mycotoxin risk management is acknowledged by the customers here and this is helping us a lot in reaching out to customers,” he pointed out.

He went on to add that the bottom-line for the feed additive firm’s growth trajectory in India is the strong team of people, who are customer-oriented and provide support to customers. “This combined with the credible product alongside is helping us grow in the market,” he observed.

The vibrant presence of BIOMIN at Poultry India over the years is in line with its longstanding mission and continuous efforts to help the Indian market by providing sustainable solutions.

BIOMIN bullish on poultry segment in India, says Marc Guinnement

With the poultry segment in India poised to grow at a faster phase in the next few years due to increase in per capita protein consumption, Marc Guinnement, Managing Director, BIOMIN Asia Pacific observed that huge opportunities are ahead for BIOMIN.

“I am impressed by the number of participants at Poultry India and we are bullish on poultry segment in India,” he said and pointed out that the presence of high profile and very interested customers at this expo proves that India is a dynamic market for BIOMIN.

“Plant-derived products have a lot of interest in India and in the backdrop of growing awareness in antibiotic reduction and mycotoxin risk management, we are in a better position to provide solutions to the customers with our product range, which is based on natural growth promotion,” Marc Guinnement commented. According to Mr. Guinnement, India is one of the leading growth countries for BIOMIN. Key factors include a rising population and the increasing trend in chicken consumption by middle-class that will pave the way for substantial growth in the coming years.

“We’ve delivered real innovation with Digestarom® DC, the next generation product line with capsulation technology, for producers in India and across the world. We are committed to help our customers and the industry in dealing with antibiotic reduction,” he said in a brief interview.

“We’ve also laid very strong foundation in the aquaculture and dairy segments in India as well. While reinforcing our presence in India in the poultry segment, we will also concentrate on aquaculture and dairy businesses to secure the future of BIOMIN India,” he added.

BIOMIN products have vibrant presence in Indian market, helps improve gut health, says Lesley Nernberg

BIOMIN Technical Service Manager Lesley Nernberg, who was present at the Poultry India expo on all three days supporting visitors, said that the company’s products have vibrant presence in Indian market and is trusted by the customers for gut health improvement.

In a brief chat, he said that Mycofix® combined with gut performance products including Biotronic®, PoultryStar® and Digestarom® DC act as two pillars, supporting the customers to improve the gut health of birds.

“Since mycotoxins affect immune system and also the gut trajectory, it is important to adopt a holistic approach by concentrating on mycotoxin risk management as well as gut performance products,” he said and pointed out that BIOMIN product lines act as two pillars.

According to him, animal nutrition plays a key part and the BIOMIN offering comes as a package with solutions as well as services. “Gut health has gained centre stage since the last ten years and with it awareness on the antibiotic reduction has grown,” he said and noted that BIOMIN is committed to support the customers by providing natural, sustainable and profitable solutions to the industry.

On the Indian market, he said that with the per capita chicken consumption set to increase in the coming years, BIOMIN looks forward to utilise this huge opportunity and consolidate its position and thereby helping the customers grow.

“BIOMIN provides service to the customers by sharing knowledge on feed formulations and help the customers to create cost-effective formulations. Apart from this, we also support the customers to reduce feed cost and improve performance of the birds,” he added.

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry News
news-1751 Fri, 01 Dec 2017 10:48:00 +0100 2017 Asia Nutrition Forum - Highlights http://www.biomin.net/videos/2017-asia-nutrition-forum-highlights/ Highlights of the 2017 Asia Nutrition Forum (International Stop - Taipei) Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Videos news-1744 Tue, 28 Nov 2017 14:55:00 +0100 Rearers Beware: The Mycotoxin Risk in Week Old Chicks http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/rearers-beware-the-mycotoxin-risk-in-week-old-chicks/ Although a risk at any stage of development, mycotoxins can be particularly devastating to week one chicks unless proper risk management is implemented.

Mycotoxins are a universally acknowledged problem in the rearing industry. Preventative measures are possible, but there is no way to ensure with absolute certainty they do not enter into the agricultural process. Still, acute outbreaks of mycotoxicoses – diseases caused by toxin spore inhalation, ingestion, or skin-contact, ranging in severity – are rare. Despite this, rearers must be on guard; mycotoxins are difficult to detect in week one poultry, resulting in a potentially huge blow to productivity.

Why week one chicks are particularly at risk

Week one chicks are at a crucial stage with seemingly minor issues having the potential to determine their health prospects in both the short and long term. Development of an active immune system is the central foundation of a healthy bird’s life, and it is exactly that which is at risk from early exposure to mycotoxins. Interference at this stage, even if low-level, can have disastrous results at a later stage. Low mycotoxin doses can combine with environmental stressors, even if they are out of the rearer’s control. This combination can result in invisible losses, with subclinical effects that include:

Signs of infection

Chicks are particularly vulnerable to nephrotoxins and trichothecenes such as DON and T-2 toxin. At first, the only sign may be reduced feed intake but this can extend to maturation, causing growth problems, immunosuppression, feed refusal, low egg production and poor egg shell quality. Even if the effects aren’t detectable by visual examination, infectious agents are able to compromise the immune system of a chick, rendering them far more susceptible to disease.

Chances of contamination

These may be the facts, but what are the chances of this affecting you? Annual BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey reports reveal that, unfortunately, most countries studied are under “severe risk” of contaminated feed in most years, with elevated levels of deoxynivalenol in particular.

Processes to minimise risk

In the face of a threat that’s challenging to accurately monitor and contain, producers can feel vulnerable. With robust risk management however, safeguards can be put in place. Good husbandry processes, such as controlled irrigation and crop rotation, thwart potential breeding grounds, along with weed control and adequate fertilization. Due to their diversity, not all mycotoxins can be effectively adsorbed and treated; a successful preparation must therefore manage biotransformation as well. Only the Mycofix® product line meets the EU requirements for mycotoxin-deactivating feed additives that demonstrate proven safety and effectiveness, while combining adsorption, biotransformation and bioprotection in one product.

Conclusion

Mycotoxins can have a devastating effect on week one chicks, with little warning. The effects can be difficult to detect, and mycotoxins may not be the apparent cause. Despite this, they pose a threat that every rearer should be aware of. With careful planning and the right tools, the risk can be managed, and productivity maintained.

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Mycotoxins Poultry Blog Posts
news-1742 Mon, 27 Nov 2017 08:48:00 +0100 BIOMIN widens antibiotics debate in swine production http://www.biomin.net/press/biomin-widens-antibiotics-debate-in-swine-production/ Vincent ter Beek, Editor of Pig Progress, recaps the expert discussions attended by over 250 delegates from 27 countries at the ‘Solving the Antibiotic-Free Pig Production Puzzle’ symposium in Vienna on November 21-23. The antibiotics debate is going beyond the discipline of providing the correct ingredients in swine diets – so much is clear for feed additives manufacturer Biomin. The company hosted an event to solve the antibiotic-free production puzzle and invited many non-nutrition speakers to jointly investigate approaches.

Read the full article here: http://www.pigprogress.net/Piglets/Articles/2017/11/Biomin-widens-antibiotics-debate-in-swine-production-216243E/

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Pigs In the Press
news-1860 Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:45:00 +0100 Meeting the protein challenge http://www.biomin.net/videos/meeting-the-protein-challenge/ Presentation by Hansel D’Souza (Brand & Marketing Consultant, India) held during the Asia Nutrition Forum 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan. Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Videos news-1859 Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:42:00 +0100 Nutrient sparing – what it is and how it can improve protein utilization http://www.biomin.net/videos/nutrient-sparing-what-it-is-and-how-it-can-improve-protein-utilization/ Presentation by Dr. Neil Gannon, PhD (Regional Product Manager - Gut Performance, BIOMIN Asia-Pacific) held during the Asia Nutrition Forum 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan. Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Videos news-1858 Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:39:00 +0100 Winning in weaning by reducing stress and scouring without antibiotics http://www.biomin.net/videos/winning-in-weaning-by-reducing-stress-and-scouring-without-antibiotics/ Presentation by Dr. Ferdinand Entenfellner, DVM (Veterinarian, Austria) held during the Asia Nutrition Forum 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan. Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Videos news-1857 Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:36:00 +0100 Stressors to immune system of meat-producing animals http://www.biomin.net/videos/stressors-to-immune-system-of-meat-producing-animals/ Presentation by Professor Cheol-Heui Yun, PhD (Seoul National University, South Korea) held during the Asia Nutrition Forum 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan. Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Videos news-1856 Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:30:00 +0100 Health secrets of the gut http://www.biomin.net/videos/health-secrets-of-the-gut/ Presentation by Dr. Daniel Petri, PhD (Global Product Line Manager - Microbials, BIOMIN) held during the Asia Nutrition Forum 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan. Probiotics Poultry Videos news-1855 Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:27:00 +0100 Probiotics as alternatives to antibiotics for treating lameness due to bacterial infections in broilers http://www.biomin.net/videos/probiotics-as-alternatives-to-antibiotics-for-treating-lameness-due-to-bacterial-infections-in-broilers/ Presentation by Dr. Robert F. Wideman, Jr., PhD (Emeritus Professor, Center of Excellence for Poultry Science, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville AR, USA) held during the Asia Nutrition Forum 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan. Probiotics Poultry Videos news-1854 Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:21:00 +0100 Livestock rearing without antimicrobial growth promoters is perfectly possible using anti-inflammatory feed compounds and feeding strategies http://www.biomin.net/videos/livestock-rearing-without-antimicrobial-growth-promoters-is-perfectly-possible-using-anti-inflammatory-feed-compounds-and-feeding-strategies/ Presentation by Dr. Theo A. Niewold, PhD (Professor Nutrition and Health, University of Leuven, Belgium) held during the Asia Nutrition Forum 2017 in Taipei, Taiwan. Phytogenics Poultry Ruminants Pigs Videos news-1737 Wed, 15 Nov 2017 15:16:00 +0100 2017 Asia Nutrition Forum concludes successfully with over 1,800 attendees http://www.biomin.net/news/2017-asia-nutrition-forum-concludes-successfully-with-over-1800-attendees/ The 2017 edition of Asian Nutrition Forum held recently across five cities: Dhaka, Delhi, Taipei, Wuxi, and Tokyo, from 22 October to 1 November has concluded successfully. Altogether, an impressive number of over 1,800 leading animal health and nutrition professionals along with researchers, academics and experts from the food and feed industries gathered at the multi-city scientific forum held once every two years. The theme of this year’s Asia Nutrition Forum was ‘Driving the Asian Protein Economy,’ as a continuation of the theme from the 2016 edition of the World Nutrition Forum. As the world faces a projected population increase from today's 7.5 billion people to 9 billion people by 2050, the demand for food sources, especially protein, is on the rise. The highest growth in demand currently comes from Asia, which comprises a full 30% of the world's land area and 60% of the world's population. It is therefore imperative for the industry to stay informed of the latest technological advances, and to drive the production of quality, sustainable protein sources here in Asia, said Marc Guinnement, Managing Director of BIOMIN Asia Pacific.

A panel of esteemed speakers addressed the latest challenges in the animal health and nutrition arena in Asia, while offering a premier platform for the delegates to connect with peers, fostering partnerships and exchanging information, experiences and best practices. International speakers who presented at each stop were:

  • Professor Theo A. Niewold, from the University of Leuven, Belgium, who delivered the keynote speech: Livestock rearing without antimicrobial growth promoters is perfectly possible using anti-inflammatory feed compounds and feeding strategies
  • Emeritus Professor Robert F. Wideman, Jr., from the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science in University of Arkansas, Fayetteville AR, USA, who spoke on probiotics as alternatives to antibiotics for treating lameness due to bacterial infections in broilers
  • Daniel Petri, Global Product Manager Microbials from BIOMIN Holding, with an interesting presentation title “Health secrets of the gut” on the importance of maintaining gut health as the gut is the largest component of the immune system

At each stop, esteemed regional and local experts were also invited to speak on the trends and challenges face in the particular region. In addition, the Wuxi leg of the Asia Nutrition Forum coincided with the Grand Opening of the brand new Wuxi facility in China.

For more information on Asia Nutrition Forum, please visit our microsite anf.biomin.net

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Poultry Pigs News Pictures
news-1726 Mon, 13 Nov 2017 11:26:00 +0100 What’s Wrong With My Herd? Part 5: Ketosis http://www.biomin.net/articles/whats-wrong-with-my-herd-part-5-ketosis/ A handy diagnostic checklist of symptoms, causes and remedies.

download checklist

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Ruminants Articles
news-1725 Mon, 13 Nov 2017 10:24:00 +0100 The Performance Inhibitor Hiding in Feed http://www.biomin.net/articles/the-performance-inhibitor-hiding-in-feed/ Mycotoxin contamination is not usually the first thought of most producers, but it may be an underlying contributor to poor performance. Crops are subject to mycotoxin contamination both during growth in the field and in storage. Each year’s crop provides its own unique set of challenges, which are explored here. The Performance Inhibitor Hiding in Feed

Photo: iStockphoto_Dr_Microbe

The basics of mycotoxins

Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolic products of molds, which negatively impact animal health and productivity. A wide array of grains and forages can be contaminated with mycotoxins and more than 400 mycotoxins have been identified. Not all molds produce mycotoxins and not all mycotoxin-producing molds constantly produce toxins. As a result, mold growth does not guarantee the presence of mycotoxins, but indicates the potential for contamination is there. Mycotoxin producing molds are commonly divided into two categories based on when the mycotoxin is formed: pre-harvest (field fungi) or post-harvest (storage fungi). The Fusarium species of mold are considered field fungi while Aspergillus and Penicillium species are categorized as storage fungi. Exceptions can occur when conditions are right, allowing storage fungi to contaminate crops in the field, and field fungi may continue to produce mycotoxins once crops are in storage. Multiple factors influence mold growth and myco­­toxin formation including temperature, moisture content, oxygen levels, and physical damage to the crop. Stress factors, including drought or excessive rainfall, can increase plant susceptibility to mold colonization and mycotoxin formation. Six major mycotoxin categories include: aflatoxins, trichothecenes, fumonisins, zearalenone, ochratoxins, and ergot alkaloids. Additional mycotoxins exist, however, these six categories include the most frequently detected and the most studied. Mycotoxins affect animals in a variety of ways (Figure 1). Many factors influence the impact myco­toxins can have including mycotoxin type, animal species, age of the animal, and the level and duration of exposure to mycotoxins. Environmental conditions, animal health status, and other stresses also play a role in the negative effects mycotoxins have. Some toxins target specific organs such as the liver or kidneys. In general, mycotoxins can cause immune dysfunction, increasing an animal’s susceptibility to disease. High levels of mycotoxins are typically needed for expression of classical mycotoxicoses, but low to moderate levels of mycotoxin contamination can cause subclinical effects which reduce animal health and performance.

Figure 1. Effects of Mycotoxins

Effects of Mycotoxins

Mycotoxins in cattle

Traditionally, cattle were assumed to be less sensitive to mycotoxins as a result of rumen fermentation. However, greater production demands and changes in cattle feeding practices in both dairy and beef herds have increased opportunities for mycotoxins to negatively impact production and animal health.

Focus on deoxynivalenol (DON)

One of the most commonly occurring mycotoxins in livestock feeds is deoxynivalenol (DON), better known as ‘vomitoxin’. The name ‘vomitoxin’ originates from the toxin causing vomiting in swine. Deoxynivalenol is a member of the trichothecene family of mycotoxins, specifically Type B trichothecenes. Several species of Fusarium molds are capable of producing trichothecenes. Additionally, some Fusarium mold species can produce the mycotoxins zearalenone and fumonisins. It is not uncommon to detect more than one toxin in a feed sample since molds can produce more than one type of mycotoxin. Deoxynivalenol inhibits protein and nucleic acid (DNA and RNA) synthesis. The negative effects of DON are mainly seen in the gastrointestinal tract and immune system, but the toxin can cause lesions and necrosis of the skin and mucosa as well. The cells lining the intestines are continuously being renewed and are especially sensitive to the effects of DON. The intestinal epithelium serves two main purposes: 1) to absorb nutrients and 2) to act as a barrier to prevent harmful substances from entering the bloodstream. Both of these functions can be disrupted by DON, leading to reduced nutrient uptake and increased passage of toxins and pathogens into circulation. This can limit animal growth or production capacity as the required nutrients are not absorbed and utilized. Additionally, other organs may be exposed to pathogens or toxins which enter the bloodstream, increasing the possibility for disease. Disruption of the intestinal mucosa can also lead to diarrhea. A large portion of the immune system is located in the gastrointestinal tract. Immune function can be impaired by disruption of the gut mucosa. Additionally, DON can impair production of the white blood cells, which help fight infection. Deoxynivalenol can also weaken the immune system by negatively impacting cytokine and antibody production. The animal’s natural immune response to vaccinations may also be reduced, leaving them susceptible to disease despite vaccination. All of these factors can lead to immune dysfunction in cattle, increasing vulnerability to infections.

Take Home Points

  • Even low doses of mycotoxins can negatively impact animal health and productivity
  • Mycotoxin contamination can occur in the field as well as during storage
  • DON also known as ‘vomitoxin’ can negatively impact more than just gut health
  • Testing of feeds can help identify mycotoxin contamination
  • Products are available which can help mitigate the negative effects of mycotoxins in livestock 

Managing mycotoxins

Reducing animal exposure to mycotoxins is key, but not always possible when feeding livestock. Identifying contamination can help to reduce exposure. Unfortunately, mycotoxins are not evenly distributed in feeds, so obtaining representative samples for testing can be difficult. A highly contaminated sample does not mean the entire crop is bad and a ‘clean’ sample does not guarantee that all of the feed is mycotoxin-free. Additionally, many mycotoxins exist, but relatively few are routinely tested for. Although limitations exist, mycotoxin analysis of feeds can provide useful information to producers. Commercial products are available which can bind (adsorb) mycotoxins including clays and yeast products. The chemical structure of the mycotoxin plays a big role in whether the toxin can be controlled well by binders. Additionally, binder products vary in their composition and chemical structure, leading to variability in their effectiveness at adsorbing mycotoxins. Aflatoxins and ergot alkaloids are often controlled well by binders. Other mycotoxins, such as zearalenone and trichothecenes, are not as readily adsorbed by binders. Commercial products which have enzymatic activity can detoxify these mycotoxins by physically altering their chemical structure, leaving inactive or much less toxic substances. Several plant and algae extracts have been identified which can help reduce damage to the liver and provide support to the immune system. Combination products can provide broad spectrum mycotoxin control.

This article was originally published in Progressive Cattleman.

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Mycotoxins Ruminants Articles
news-1724 Mon, 13 Nov 2017 09:25:00 +0100 How Phytogenic Feed Additives Can Deliver Long-Term Performance Benefits to the Dairy Industry http://www.biomin.net/articles/how-phytogenic-feed-additives-can-deliver-long-term-performance-benefits-to-the-dairy-industry/ Achieving and maintaining high feed intakes in calves, followed by good muscle and skeletal growth in young stock, are the targets for successful dairy producers. Phytogenic feed additives can help achieve these targets by improving the palatability and digestibility of starter feeds. How Phytogenic Feed Additives Can Deliver Long-Term Performance Benefits to the Dairy Industry

Photo: iStockphoto_kerdkanno

Producing highly productive dairy cows with good longevity starts with healthy, prosperous calves. Even though producers are usually aware of this, sickness and losses in calves are still major discussion topics. According to the Dairy Heifer Raiser overview from the USDA (2012), mortality in pre-weaning heifers was 4.2%. The biggest cause of pre-weaning mortality are digestive disorders and respiratory problems. Calf losses before weaning have a short-term economic impact, but they also influence the future genetic and earning potential of the production unit. Another economically relevant factor for successful dairy cow production is the achievement of good growth development in calves. In a study from Cornell University, Van Amburgh et al. (2009) showed that early life events appear to have long-term effects on performance. Soberon and Van Amburgh (2013) concluded that 100 g of additional pre-weaning daily weight gain could result in approximately 155 kg of additional milk yield during the animal's first lactation.

What is a Phytogenic Feed Additive

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Key factors for calf development

Any factor that challenges the health or growth rate of calves should be prevented. Important measures that farmers can take which are associated with optimal calf development include:

  • Ensuring an adequate supply of colostrum for new born calves
  • Optimizing housing conditions
  • Offering plentiful fresh water
  • Supplying sufficient high quality milk or milk replacer and starter

In particular, the supply of water and starter feed are vitally important for adequate rumen development, which will subsequently lead to muscle and skeletal development and growth.

The importance of calf nutrition

Calves are young, non-ruminant animals that develop into ruminants over the course of only a few months. During this time, calves undergo tremendous change. Their first diet is composed of 100% liquid milk and transitions to being 100% solid feed (roughage and concentrates). This dramatic change in their nutrition represents a huge challenge for calves in terms of ensuring a sufficient level of feed intake. Calves are also susceptible to environmental stressors such as housing or grouping changes, which can influence feed intake and the digestion and utilization of feed, resulting in poor health and growth development.

Supporting solutions

During this challenging time, a feed additive that improves the palatability of the feed and supports the development of the gastrointestinal tract can be of great benefit. Specially selected phytogenic feed additives (PFAs) that have flavoring properties and support the optimal functioning of the intestinal tract can help ease calves through this critical period in their development. Digestarom® is a unique blend of herbs, extracts and essential oils that improves the palatability of feed, ensuring that calves reach and maintain optimal feed intake levels. Furthermore, Digestarom® also enhances digestibility, which is a pre-requisite for the efficient conversion of raw materials into growth performance, while also reducing intestinal stress. Improved digestibility of feed means there are less free nutrients available in the gut to nourish pathogenic bacteria. By adding Digestarom® to the diets of calves, the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the gut is limited, reducing the bacterial challenge faced by the calf. Moreover, Digestarom® directly supports the gastrointestinal tract through its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties.

Pool analysis of trials with Digestarom®

The positive effects of Digestarom® in calves have been observed in a number of field and scientific trials in pre-weaning and weaning calves (males and females). A pool analysis was conducted to evaluate improvements with Digestarom® based on the results of several trials. Parameters evaluated for the pool analysis were average daily weight gain (ADWG), average daily feed intake (ADFI) and feed conversion (FCR). Average daily weight gain was recorded in eleven trials, while ADFI and FCR were recorded in seven trials. Trials for the pool analysis were conducted in the United States and Europe. The performance of calves in the control groups were compared to calves receiving Digestarom® in milk/milk replacer or calf concentrates. Th e groups receiving milk replacer and/or feed supplemented with Digestarom® were compared to non-medicated milk replacer/feed or to medicated milk replacer/feed. Th e Control group in the illustrated results (Figures 1 and 2) combines the medicated and non-medicated milk replacer/feed. Th e majority (82%) of the trials were conducted with between 48 and 56 calves, while 18% of the trials were conducted with 100 or more calves. Nine of the eleven trials lasted 56 days, one trial lasted 42 days and the fi nal trial lasted 72 days.

Figure 1. Improvements (absolute numbers) of Digestarom® compared to Control calves in a pool-analysis [“n” represents the number of trials in which a parameter was recorded; the orange line represents the Control group of medicated and non-medicated calves].

Figure 1. Improvements of Digestarom®

Figure 2. Improvements (relative numbers) of Digestarom® compared to Control calves in a pool-analysis [“n” represents the number of trials in which a parameter was recorded; the orange line represents the Control group of medicated and non-medicated calves].

Figure 2. Improvements of Digestarom®

Consistency in performance improvements

Figure 3. Average performance improvement with Digestarom®

Results of the pool analysis showed consistent improvements in ADWG, ADFI and FCR when Digestarom® was present (Figure 1 and Figure 2). Average daily weight gain improved by 75.2 g or 8.9% when the diet was supplemented with Digestarom®. Average daily feed intake improved by an average of 86.8 g or 5.3%, while fed-out feed was also utilized 4.1% more effi ciently (an improvement of 8.7 FCR points) in the presence of Digestarom®. The pool analysis results indicate that there is a direct positive economic benefit when Digestarom® is added to the diet, because of a more effi cient transformation of feed into growth performance. When the economic benefits of Digestarom® supplementation in young stock are combined with the conclusions drawn from a meta-regression by Soberon and van Amburgh (2013), Digestarom® supplementation could increase first lactation performance by an additional 116.6 kg (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Average performance improvement with Digestarom® suggests an additional 116.6 kg of milk in the first lactation.

Conclusion

To operate a successful dairy production business, and to realize the potential of calves, we need to focus on their health and growth rates. As well as a good management program, calves can benefi t from the supplementation of a selected phytogenic feed additive such as Digestarom® to ensure a smooth transition from liquid to solid feeding in the first three months of life. In numerous trials, Digestarom® improved feed intake and gut performance resulting in better weight gains.

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Phytogenics Ruminants Articles
news-1722 Mon, 13 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0100 BIOMIN Opens New Production Facility in China http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/biomin-opens-new-production-facility-in-china/ The new Wuxi-based plant produces innovative Biotronic® and Mycofix® product lines. BIOMIN Opens New Production Facility in China13 November 2017 – BIOMIN has further expanded its capacity to serve clients in the fast-growing Chinese market and internationally with the opening of a production plant in Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, in China.

“BIOMIN is strongly committed to serving clients in China,” stated Dr Hannes Binder, Managing Director of BIOMIN. BIOMIN has been active in the Chinese market for nearly 20 years, having opened its first production unit in China in 2004.

The latest addition to the firm’s global production network encompasses a 5,600m² building featuring offices, a warehouse and laboratory designed to provide both quality control and analytical services for customers. “This investment reflects our high ambitions for the future,” commented Dr Binder.

Biotronic® and Mycofix® capacity

“We value the opportunity to provide customers with the right mix of innovative, high quality products and cutting-edge services,” explained Jack An, Managing Director of BIOMIN China. “With this new Wuxi facility, we intend to support and further develop client relationships,” he added.

The BIOMIN facility in Wuxi has two automated acidifier production lines with a total installed capacity of 32,000 tons per year, and four packing lines. The configuration will produce five products within the Biotronic® product line, a family of enhanced acidifiers.

Another automated production line with installed capacity of 32,000 tons per year produces the firm’s leading mycotoxin-deactivating feed additive, Mycofix®. With the new facility coming online, BIOMIN doubles its global capacity to produce Mycofix®.

Production strictly abides by FAMI-QS, HACCP and ISO 9001 certifications, and quality system audits occur at least twice per year.

State-of-the-art laboratory

The Wuxi facility includes a more than 360m² scientific laboratory designed in accordance with feed safety management and testing process rules and requirements. The lab fulfills two key functions: quality control of products made on-site and mycotoxin analysis for BIOMIN customers.

For the past decade, high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) has been the method of choice of BIOMIN China for mycotoxin detection services for customers. The new facility includes both HPLC and a more advanced technology: liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry/mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).

The newer method offers high throughput, high sensitivity, and high accuracy for a lot more mycotoxins and metabolites, including masked mycotoxins.

Opening ceremony

The opening ceremony and tour of the new BIOMIN facility in Wuxi took place on 30 October 2017 in the presence of 500 distinguished guests, including several directors of local authorities and representatives of the Austrian Consulate General Shanghai Commercial Section.

The morning session preceded the Wuxi stop of the Asia Nutrition Forum, which featured academic and industry experts’ presentations on key topics facing the livestock and ruminant sectors.

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Mycotoxins Probiotics Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Press Releases
news-1738 Sun, 12 Nov 2017 09:02:00 +0100 Symposium on Gut Health in Production of Food Animals http://www.biomin.net/news/symposium-on-gut-health-in-production-of-food-animals/ A three-day symposium titled Gut Health in Production of Food Animals will be held November 13-15, 2017, in St. Louis, Missouri. The aim of this meeting is to discuss the role of good health in animal production and the dynamic and essential role the gut plays in it.

The symposium will include all species in animal agriculture and cover different aspects of the gut and important factors in gut health maintenance and disease. The symposium will provide a platform to present the latest research findings, from the fundamental aspects of defining and measuring gut health to the complex and interactive roles of the intestinal microbiota, intestinal epithelium, immune cells, and nutrition in modern animal production. This symposium offers an opportunity to engage in scientific discussions and exchange opinions with university, government, and industry researcher.

BIOMIN is excited and proud to be supporting this event as a Gold Sponsor. Biomin experts Chasity Pender, PhD, Technical Manager will talk on Effect of synbiotic supplementation on intestinal development and integrity of broilers and Erika Hendel, VMD PhD, Technical Manager will speak on In-depth Analysis of Mycotoxin Contamination in US Feed and Feed Ingredients from 2014 to 2017.

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Yeast Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Acidifiers Poultry News
news-1721 Fri, 10 Nov 2017 09:00:00 +0100 Over 350 Industry Professionals Explore Antibiotic Reduction, Sustainable Farming at BIOMIN Asia Nutrition Forum in New Delhi http://www.biomin.net/press-releases/over-350-industry-professionals-explore-antibiotic-reduction-sustainable-farming-at-biomin-asia-nutrition-forum-in-new-delhi/ From October 24-25, 2017, livestock and feed representatives from south Asia gathered to discuss recent trends and the future of the Asian protein economy. Over 350 Industry Professionals at ANF India10 November 2017 – The BIOMIN Asia Nutrition Forum held at Hotel Novotel in New Delhi on October 25, 2017 attracted over 350 enthusiastic participants from South Asia. All attendees were accorded a grand welcome at Hotel Novotel by the BIOMIN team on October 24, which was followed by a welcome dinner.

Held every two years, the Asia Nutrition Forum is the premier scientific assembly for connecting with peers, fostering partnerships and exchanging information, experiences and best practices.

BIOMIN strongly believes in giving back to the community and the Asia Nutrition Forum is a platform for connecting experts, researchers and academics with the customers.

On October 25, customers were enthralled with the performance of ‘Gatka’ a traditional form of combat training in which wooden sticks are used. This traditional Sikh martial art form is popular among the masses and is recognized as a sport nationwide.

Following this performance, Edward Manchester, Regional Director, BIOMIN Asia-Pacific gave a brief introduction about the significance of Asia Nutrition Forum.

In his welcome speech, he said that the venue for this year’s Asia Nutrition Forum in India is special, as New Delhi represents the rich historical and cultural heritage of India.

“The Asia Nutrition Forum is acclaimed as the credible platform for knowledge sharing and has consistently shared invaluable technical knowledge for the betterment of the industry and this series of seminars are held across Asia every two years,” Edward Manchester stated.

Moderating the series of technical seminars, Dr. Sujit Kulkarni, Managing Director, BIOMIN India said that the Asia Nutrition Forum acts as an agent of change. “This event is significant and the theme for Asia Nutrition Forum ‘Driving the Asian Protein Economy’ shows how BIOMIN is committed to sustainable development,” he said.

Following this, he introduced the first speaker to the customers and marked the beginning of series of technical seminars.

Dr. Theo A. Niewold, PhDLivestock rearing without antimicrobial growth promoters

Dr. Theo A. Niewold, PhD, Professor Nutrition and Health, University of Leuven, Belgium in his technical session pointed out that there is increased awareness on gut health and stated that antimicrobial growth promoters are on the way out.

In his session on “Livestock rearing without antimicrobial growth promoters is perfectly possible using anti-inflammatory feed compounds and feeding strategies” Dr. Theo A. Niewold informed the audience that non-antibiotic anti-inflammatory compounds i.e. natural products rich in bioactive compounds have similar positive effects minus the disadvantages.

Explaining about the causes of inflammation and various types of inflammation in his presentation, Dr. Theo A. Niewold said that anti-inflammatory compounds promote growth and pointed out the process of intestinal anti-inflammatory reflex and the intestine’s complex and dynamic ecosystem.

“Encapsulation is needed for concentration in small intestines to have anti-inflammatory effect” he said and emphasized the critical role that biomarkers can play in developing anti-inflammatory feed compounds.

Dr. Robert F. WidemanProbiotics as alternatives to antibiotics 

In the next session “Probiotics as alternatives to antibiotics for treating lameness due to bacterial infections in broilers”, Dr. Robert F. Wideman, Jr., PhD, Emeritus Professor, Center of Excellence for Poultry Science, University of Arkansas, USA explained how various experiments have proved the effectiveness of probiotics as alternatives to antibiotics.

“Probiotics decrease the incidents of lameness by 50% and studies have proved that there is significant reduction in bacterial chondronecrosis with osteomyelitis (BCO)” he said pointing out a study.

“Probiotics stimulates and protects mucous and it is a proven thing that probiotics can provide effective alternative to antibiotic for reducing BCO lameness,” he added.

Health secrets of the gut

Dr. Daniel Petri, PhD, Global Product Line Manager Microbials at BIOMIN, in his session on “Health secrets of the gut” explained in detail the key role played by gut and pointed out that intestinal microbiota influence the immune system of the host with long lasting effect. “The gut is the largest component of the immune system, and so gut health is crucial,” he added.

He described how the gut quickly gets colonized by microbiota from the environment and informed about the high risk of colonization with unwanted microbes in newly hatched chicks. “Protective gut microbes are not yet established in these chicks and so they respond slowly and hence they are at high risk,” he added.

Protein for all

In the post-lunch session, “Protein for all”, Dr. Pavan Kumar, Animal Feed/Soy Meal Manager, U.S. Soybean Export Council (USSEC) gave key statistics on the protein consumption in India with comparative figures in other developing and developed countries.

“Chicken meat is the most affordable animal protein and there is no doubt that appropriate intake of protein will result in stronger India,” he added.

Dr. Pavan Kumar suggested that all poultry entrepreneurs should adopt at least two villages in their vicinity and educate the people about the importance of protein consumption and its benefits.

“Creating awareness among the people in India about protein consumption is the need of the hour and this will have a positive effect resulting in win-win situation,” he concluded.

Feed Converter-Gift to gut health

Dr. Sudipto Haldar, Agrivet, Kolkata in his session on “Feed Converter-Gift to gut health” underlined that an uninterrupted mucous layer is important and said that the condition called ‘dysbiosis’ affects the small intestinal mucous layer, which in turn negatively impacts productivity.

“Dysbiosis also alters intestinal fluid dynamics, dynamicity of gut microbiota and gut health,” he said and underlined that when the gut health is not good, the immune response system redirects protein away from muscle development to tissue repair. “The intestinal system is the engine that drives all others,” Dr. Sudipto Haldar said.

He stressed that phytogenic feed additives have enormous potential and informed that PFAs have anti-bacterial properties, improve nutrient digestibility and increase fluidity of cell membrane. “Phytogenic additives cut down the cost of gut immunity. A good gut gives good return,” he remarked.

The role of R&D for an organization to become a pioneer

Dr. Eva Maria Binder, PhD, Vice President Research, ERBER AG in her session on “The role of R&D for an organization to become a pioneer” told the participants about the ERBER Group R&D process and the history and growth of BIOMIN over the years. “Our R&D is basically this: breaking things down to molecules so that we exactly measure how our products work, and that is how we stand out and are unique,” she added.

Explaining in detail about how BIOMIN became a leader in mycotoxin management, Dr. Eva Maria Binder said that the strong R&D team helped the firm to become a pioneer in many areas.

“We are collaborating with about 200 universities and research institutions and our entire operations is R&D based,” she said and informed about the company’s R&D activities, for example nutrigenomics and precision farming.

With this session, the series of technical seminars, which was highly informative in content came to a close. Thanking all the speakers, who came from the US, Belgium and Austria, Edward Manchester, Regional Director, BIOMIN Asia-Pacific said that the sessions offered a fresh perspective on the alternatives to antibiotics.

“The sessions were wide-ranging and highlighted scientific inputs in the respective areas. I encourage the participants here to try and follow these valuable inputs and suggestions in their operations,” he said in his concluding remarks.

He also thanked Dr. Sujit Kulkarni for the excellent arrangements in making the Asia Nutrition Forum, a huge success among BIOMIN customers in South Asia.

Following this, Dr. Hannes Binder, PhD, Managing Director at BIOMIN in his special address thanked all the speakers and the participants for their support. “BIOMIN is committed to provide excellent products and service to drive the Asian protein economy,” he pointed out.

Apart from hundreds of participants from India, customers from other South Asian countries like Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar and Sri Lanka too participated in the New Delhi leg of the Asia Nutrition Forum.

Towards the end of the event, Dr. Sujit Kulkarni, Managing Director, BIOMIN India conducted an interview with Dr. Hannes Binder and Dr. Eva Maria Binder to let the customers know about their career path hand in hand as scientists. Participants were enthralled by the interview, in which both the top executives shared their life journey with ERBER Group.

On a specific question on BIOMIN’s future plans for India, Dr. Hannes Binder told that the continuous overwhelming support of BIOMIN customers in India and South Asia would encourage them to set up a production facility in India at the right time.

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Probiotics Poultry Ruminants Pigs Aquaculture Press Releases
news-1723 Thu, 09 Nov 2017 09:14:00 +0100 Science & Solutions No. 49 - Ruminants http://www.biomin.net/magazines/science-solutions-no-49-ruminants/ In this issue: How Phytogenic Feed Additives Can Deliver Long-Term Performance Benefits to the Dairy Industry; The Performance Inhibitor Hiding in Feed; What’s Wrong With My Herd? Part 5: Ketosis IN THIS ISSUE:

Science &amp; Solutions No. 49 - Ruminants

How Phytogenic Feed Additives Can Deliver Long-Term Performance Benefits to the Dairy Industry
Achieving and maintaining high feed intakes in calves, followed by good muscle and skeletal growth in young stock, are the targets for successful dairy producers. Phytogenic feed additives can help achieve these targets by improving the palatability and digestibility of starter feeds.

The Performance Inhibitor Hiding in Feed
Mycotoxin contamination is not usually the first thought of most producers, but it may be an underlying contributor to poor performance. Crops are subject to mycotoxin contamination both during growth in the field and in storage. Each year’s crop provides its own unique set of challenges.

What’s Wrong With My Herd? Part 5: Ketosis
A handy diagnostic checklist of symptoms, causes and remedies.

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Mycotoxins Phytogenics Ruminants Magazines
news-1720 Wed, 08 Nov 2017 10:59:00 +0100 Regional Results of Global Mycotoxin Occurrence Through September 2017 http://www.biomin.net/blog-posts/regional-results-of-global-mycotoxin-occurrence-through-september-2017/ Results of the BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey conducted from January to September 2017 indicate that deoxynivalenol (DON) and fumonisins (FUM) are the most common mycotoxins found in feedstuffs. The BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey constitutes the longest running and most comprehensive survey of its kind, using advanced analytic tools. It details the incidence of the main mycotoxins occurring in agricultural commodities, which include: aflatoxins (Afla), zearalenone (ZEN), deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 toxin (T-2), fumonisins (FUM) and ochratoxin A (OTA).

The survey focuses on components that are used for feed such as corn, wheat, barley, rice, soybean meal, corn gluten meal, dried distillers grains (DDGS) and silage, among others.

From January to September 2017, 51197 analyses were conducted on 13153 finished feed and raw commodity samples sourced from 69 countries.

Top threats

Overall, deoxynivalenol and fumonisins were detected in 78% and 71% of all samples at average levels of 769 ppb and 2,221 ppb, respectively. Out of all samples, 49% are contaminated by ZEN, whereas Afla, T-2 and OTA are present in less than 25% of samples; 24%, 18% and 20%, respectively (Figure 1).

Figure 1. Occurrence of mycotoxins worldwide through Q3 2017. Average of all samples collected by BIOMIN.
Figure 1. Occurrence of mycotoxins worldwide through Q3 2017. Average of all samples collected by BIOMIN.

Co-contamination

A full 94% of all samples contained at least one mycotoxin, and 75% of all samples contained two or more mycotoxins (Figure 2).

Figure 2. Co-occurrence of mycotoxins worldwide through Q3 2017.
Average of all samples collected by BIOMIN.
Figure 2. Co-occurrence of mycotoxins worldwide through Q3 2017. Average of all samples collected by BIOMIN.

With 4 mycotoxins above the risk threshold, Europe faces a high contamination risk. The most prevalent mycotoxin in this region was DON, detected in 72% of the samples, followed by ZEN, detected in 52% of the samples. One finished feed sample from Spain had a maximum concentration of DON of 28,470 ppb and the highest maximum FUM concentration was detected in a Turkish sample (9,972 ppb).

Asia

In Asia the average concentration of 5 mycotoxins is above the risk threshold, hence this region is facing a severe contamination risk. The most prevalent mycotoxin was FUM, detected in 82% of samples, followed by DON, detected in 78% of samples analyzed. Although the incidence of Afla was rather low (34% of samples analyzed contaminated with this mycotoxin), the average concentration is worrisome and represents a threat for animals and humans.

The average concentration of FUM in this region represents a threat to pigs and poultry. A finished feed sample from Malaysia registered a maximum concentration of FUM of 46,515 ppb. The highest concentration of DON was 13,206 ppb and it was detected in a Chinese wheat bran sample.

North America

North America faces a high risk of mycotoxin contamination with 4 mycotoxins above the risk threshold. DON and FUM were the most prevalent mycotoxins in feed samples, detected in 78% and 60% of samples respectively. The average concentrations of FUM and DON in this region maybe a problem for pigs and poultry. Maximum concentrations of DON and FUM were very high in this region (51,374 and 28,605 ppb respectively).

South and Central America

These regions face a high contamination risk having 4 mycotoxins average concentrations above the risk threshold. DON is the highest prevalent mycotoxin and was found in 84% of samples, followed by FUM and ZEN, identified in 77% and 48% of samples respectively. Afla, T-2 and OTA were detected in 24%, 25% and 4% of samples respectively. South America shows the highest maximum concentration of FUM worldwide (218,883 ppb) and it was detected in a Brazilian corn sample.

Middle East

With 4 mycotoxins average concentrations above the risk threshold, the Middle East faces a high contamination risk. The most prevalent mycotoxins in this region were DON and FUM and ZEN detected in 69%, 68% and 53% of samples respectively. The highest maximum concentration detected in Middle East were 8,841 ppb FUM and 4,801 DON.

Africa

With 4 mycotoxins above the risk threshold South Africa faces a high contamination risk. DON, FUM and ZEN were the most prevalent mycotoxins detected in 71%, 66% and 38% of samples respectively.

Conclusion

These BIOMIN Mycotoxin Survey findings show that recent mycotoxin occurrence is quite high. The mycotoxin problem can be addressed through valid farm management strategies and the use of a registered mycotoxin deactivator whose efficiency is scientifically proven.

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Mycotoxins