September 3, 2015 - Could Probiotics Replace Antibiotics in Farm Animals?


Thursday, September 3, 2015 - In order to curb infectious diseases among farm animals, antibiotics are widely used. 70% to 80% of all antibiotic use goes into farm animals through feed and injections.
In 2006, the EU had banned using antibiotics in feed to fatten and beef up livestock. So farmers were forced into other options, such as prebiotics and probiotics to help create a high enough gut probiotic population that would discourage pathogenic bacteria and parasites from flourishing.

In 2013, a team of German scientists found that piglets fed the probiotic Enterococcus faecium showed reduced numbers of extra-intestinal pathogenic E. coli (ExPEC) strains in their intestinal mucosa. This recent study determined that ExPEC strains and their disease-causing genes were greatly lessened with E. faecium. The recent study also determined that there are E. coli strains which are beneficial, and those strains were not disturbed by E. faecium, even as it destroyed pathogenic E. coli.

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