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February 4, 2019

Probiotics’ promise inage of antibiotic resistance


February 4, 2019

LAHORE: In developing countries, foodborne infections have risen dramatically with expansion of poultry. One such infection is caused by a bacterium -Campylobacter - affecting the poultry and then humans when they consume the infected chicken

The main route of transmission is via undercooked meat and meat products as well as raw or contaminated milk. Campylobacter is generally considered as normal inhabitant in bird (avian) species and spread of Campylobacter spp in chickens is quite common. Often meat and meat products are infected by Campylobacter jejuni acquired from feces during slaughtering. It seldom ails animals, but if transmitted to humans via food chain it can cause disease. Under-cooked food can also cause this infection. Most significant specie identified in caecum is Campylobacter jejuni causing gastrointestinal disease in humans (campylobacteriosis). Only 500-800 cells of Campylobacter jejuni can cause infection through contaminated food or water in 24 to 72 hours.

Symptoms of campylobacteriosis in humans include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, dehydration, fever, headache and chills. Diarrhea may range from mild to severe and at times dysentery most commonly in young children. The complications of campylobacteriosis include “Guillain Barre Syndrome” (GBS), “Reactive Arthritis” and “Miller Fisher Syndrome”. GBS, an autoimmune disorder causing neuromuscular paralysis, is rare (one case per 1000 cases).

Therefore microbial control at source is one of the important management strategies for the success of poultry production and human health. Reducing Campylobacter infection in poultry would lower the risk of consumers of contaminated meat considerably. The strategies to prevent colonization of C. jejuni in the chick intestinal tract is the key means to lessen disease frequency in humans. Different approaches have been used to this effect including vaccines, passive immunization of the chicken, use of bacteriophages in chicken diet, bacteriocins or organic acids. To reduce disease burden, antibiotics are frequently used in the poultry industry.

Prophylactic as wells as misuse of antibiotics in poultry industry has increased the antibiotic resistance, letting entry of antibiotic residues in food chain. Given a rising level antibiotic resistance, the most acceptable and cost effective substitute to antibiotics is the use of probiotics.

Probiotics’ potential is huge as they are now normally used in the livestock and are expected to completely phase out the use of the antibiotics.

Probiotics are live microbial food supplements which when administered in adequate amounts confer health benefit to host by improving symbiosis (intestinal microbial balance). The major organisms used as probiotics include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. There are many reported effects of lactobacilli having inhibitory effects against pathogens such as Salmonella, E.coli, Listeria monocytogenes and Campylobacter.

Aim of the present study was to isolate, characterize and develop indigenous probiotic lactobacilli mitigate Campylobacter jejuni incidence. Lactobacilli were isolated from poultry, fermented foods and human feces.

The isolates having activity against Campylobacter jejuni were evaluated for their probiotic properties. The selected strains were safe having no antibiotic resistance and were further monitored for their effect on reducing Campylobacter jejuni in poultry gut.

The selected probiotics successfully reduced Campylobacter jejuni load in experimental trials in broiler chicks (>80% reduction).

(Contributed by Madiha Khan and Aftab Ahmad Anjum, University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore. Mail: [email protected])

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