• Comparison of Chicken Cecal Microbiota after Metaphylactic Treatment or Following Administration of Feed Additives in a Broiler Farm with Enterococcal Spondylitis History.

      Hankel, Julia; Bodmann, Björn; Todte, Matthias; Galvez, Eric; Strowig, Till; Radko, Dimitri; Antakli, Ali; Visscher, Christian; HZI,Helmholtz-Zentrum für Infektionsforschung GmbH, Inhoffenstr. 7,38124 Braunschweig, Germany. (MDPI, 2021-08-23)
      Minimizing the clinical signs of Enterococcus cecorum infections causing enterococcal spondylitis in broiler herds is successful when initiated as metaphylaxis in the first week of life. Mechanistically, either the Enterococcus species present at that time are reduced by antibiotic treatment or antibiotic treatment might induce changes in intestinal microbiota composition with an indirect and subsequent influence. The aim of the present study was to examine the cecal microbiota of chickens after administering lincospectin or different additives to evaluate whether these additives have lincospectin-like effects on microbiota. Therefore, 157,400 broiler chickens were reared in four chicken houses (~40,000 birds each) on a broiler farm with history of enterococcal spondylitis. Each flock was treated either with lincospectin or water soluble esterified butyrins, Bacillus (B.) licheniformis or palm oil was added via drinking water during the first days of life. Ten birds per house were dissected at days 11, 20 and 33 of life and cecal microbiota were analyzed (16S rRNA gene sequencing). Lincospectin treatment elicited significant changes in the cecal microbiota composition until slaughter age. Among the tested additives, effects of B. licheniformis on cecal microbiota composition were most similar to those seen after the treatment with lincospectin at day 11.