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Exploring alternatives to antibiotics as health promoting agents in poultry- a review

Ajit Singh Yadav1,*, Gautham Kolluri1, Marappan Gopi1, Kumaragurubaran Karthik2, Yashpal Singh Malik2 and Kuldeep Dhama2

1ICAR-Central Avian Research Institute, Izatnagar-243122, UP, India
2ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar-243122, UP, India

Corresponding Author Email: asinghcari@gmail.com (Ajit Singh Yadav)

Page No: 368 - 383

Keywords: Poultry production, Antibiotics, Probiotics, Prebiotics, Synbiotics, Organic acids, Plant extracts, Phytobiotics and Herbs

Received - May 05, 2016; Revision - May 09, 2016; Accepted - May 21, 2016 Available Online - May 25, 2016

doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.18006/2016.4(3S).368.383


Poultry industry has undergone rapid growth during last three decades. For which even higher usage of antibiotics, both as growth promoters as well as therapeutic agents, has been adopted. However, due to the fear of resistance development in bacterial populations to antibiotics, presence of antibiotic residues in poultry products and increasing consumer demand for products free from antibiotic residues, search for alternatives that could replace antibiotics without causing loss to productivity or product quality has accelerated. Such alternatives in poultry include the use of organic acids, probiotic microorganisms, prebiotic substrates that benefit proliferation of beneficial bacterial populations or synbiotic (combinations of prebiotics and probiotics) ensuring better production and maintaining health of the birds. Others include vitamins and minerals, herbal drugs, plant extracts, phytobiotics and antimicrobial peptides. Probiotic organisms provides competition to pathogenic organisms for intestinal colonizing sites, reduce the diversion of nutrients for harmful microbes and the toxins produced by them and stimulates the immune systems. Similarly, prebiotic offers an alternative, as it alters the intestinal microbes and immune system to reduce colonization by pathogens and allows proliferation of beneficial microflora in the gut. Even using synbiotic is a better strategy for enhancing poultry production, however, more research is needed for selection of probiotic, prebiotics or synbiotics either alone or in combination that can result in the selection of strains capable of performing effectively in the gastrointestinal tract. The contents of this review will be useful for researchers to enrich their knowledge on alternatives of antibiotics in poultry birds without compromising performance of birds and bird welfare.

Journal of Experimental Biology and Agricultural Sciences © COPYRIGHT 2016 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED