Lallemand Animal Nutrition
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May 15, 2020

Competitive exclusion mimics mother nature

May 15, 2020

Lallemand Animal Nutrition has announced the Australian release of a unique and natural starter culture derived from healthy, pathogen-free birds.

Lallemand Animal Nutrition Country Manager, Alex Turney, says a healthy gut microbiota is essential for effective digestion and to maintain natural defences.

“Chicks are particularly sensitive to external challenges until their gut microbiota becomes established,” he says.

“In nature, this gut microbiota comes from both the environment and mother hens.

“However, in modern commercial conditions, eggs are hatched in near sterile conditions.

“This means microflora can only be sourced from the environment, which can impair or delay the development of a normal gut microbiota.”

AVIGUARD is a freeze-dried preparation of gut bacteria from healthy, pathogen-free adult chickens.

Formulated as a water dispersible powder, it is sprayed onto day-old chicks to promote the early establishment of a beneficial digestive microflora.

Lallemand Animal Nutrition Country Manager, Alex Turney, says AVIGUARD works on the principle of ‘competitive exclusion’ or CE.

“CE refers to the colonisation of healthy bacteria in the intestine to prevent colonisation by undesirable pathogens,” he says.

“This concept was first described in the 1950s, originally as a means to help prevent salmonella in broiler chickens.

“Initially, researchers fed diluted gut contents from mature, free-range hens to commercially-reared chicks.

“This treatment showed an increased resilience to salmonella contamination.

“Finnish microbiologists redefined this concept in the early 1970s, showing that competitive exclusion was linked to the administration of viable anaerobic bacteria.1

“In more recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in CE as the industry looks for natural solutions to help maintain bird health and performance, particularly necrotic enteritis.”

CE helps to protect intestinal integrity via director competition for nutrients and receptors, stimulating the immune system, direct attack on pathogenic bacteria and by acting as a physical barrier that blocks access to the mucosa.2

“AVIGUARD helps to establish a balanced population of healthy microbiota to colonise the intestine and outcompete potentially harmful bacteria, thereby reducing the need for treatment with antibiotics,” Alex says.

“It simply mimics what happens in nature where the microbiota comes from the environment and hens.”

AVIGUARD has been used commercially for more than 25 years, with numerous scientific studies confirming benefits in preventing colonisation by enteropathogens, such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli and Clostridium perfringens.

1. Nurmi, E. & Rantala, M (1973). New aspects of Salmonella infection in broiler production. Nature. 241:210-211.
2. Reynolds, D. (2019). International Hatchery Practice 33(8):7-9.