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Control of Clostridium perfringens-induced necrotic enteritis in broilers by target-released butyric acid, fatty acids and essential oils

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The efficacy of target-released butyric acid, medium-chain fatty acids (C6 to C12 but mainly lauric acid) and essential oils (thymol, cinnamaldehyde, essential oil of eucalyptus) micro-encapsulated in a poly-sugar matrix to control necrotic enteritis was investigated. The minimal inhibitory concentrations of the different additives were determined in vitro, showing that lauric acid, thymol, and cinnamaldehyde are very effective in inhibiting the growth of Clostridium perfringens. The in vivo effects were studied in two trials in an experimental necrotic enteritis model in broiler chickens. In the first trial, four groups of chickens were fed a diet supplemented with butyric acid, with essential oils, with butyric acid in combination with medium-chain fatty acids, or with butyric acid in combination with medium-chain fatty acids and essential oils. In all groups except for the group receiving only butyric acid, a significant decrease in the number of birds with necrotic lesions was found compared with the infected, untreated control group. In the second trial the same products were tested but at a higher concentration. An additional group was fed a diet supplemented with only medium-chain fatty acids. In all groups except for that receiving butyric acid in combination with medium-chain fatty acids and essential oils, a significant decrease in the number of birds with necrotic lesions was found compared with the infected, untreated control group. These results suggest that butyric acid, medium-chain fatty acids and/or essential oils may contribute to the prevention of necrotic enteritis in broilers.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Pathology, Bacteriology and Avian Diseases, Research Group Veterinary Public Health and Zoonoses, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium 2: Department of Reproduction, Obstetrics and Herd Health, Research Group Veterinary Public Health and Zoonoses, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium 3: INVE Nutri-Ad, Dendermonde, Belgium

Publication date: April 1, 2010

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