PATHOGENS: THE CHALLENGE

The challenge faced in the agricultural community is the prevention of contamination of farm products with food borne pathogens, such as Salmonella and campylobacter spp.. In relation to, for example, Salmonella, much is known about the sources of infection, the means of transmission, and the management factors necessary for effective control. In chicken flocks, for example, infection can arise from vertical transmission from infected breeders, horizontal transmission from contaminated feed or replacements. Infection can also come from a variety of environmental sources such as wild birds, rodents, insects and other factors that can support the viability of the bacteria. Farm managers have instituted strict bio-security programs to reduce the risks associated with salmonella and other pathogens. Programs such as sanitation and disinfections, vaccinations and other programs have been instituted to minimize pathogens, yet their re-occurrence continues to haunt farm managers. Towards this challenge, Bio-Ag Consultants & Distributors have developed products incorporating a Probiotic, that can assist farm managers in their control programs.

Probiotics:
Probiotics have been described as the opposite of antibiotics. While antibiotics destroy life, probiotics build up or promote life. The function of a probiotic is to improve the growth and development of the normal, desirable microbial population in the gut, allowing them to maintain domination over the undesirable organisms.
A probiotic can be a live (viable) culture of a microbial species, a dead (non-viable) product of microbial fermentation or an extract of plant origin. Our EnzoLac is a microbial growth stimulant manufactured by using a special patented fermentation process, which produces this lactic acid, lactobacillus fermentation product. Plant enzymes are added to this. Enzymes enhance the efficiency of the probiotic and create a balance in the digestive system to ensure optimum health and productivity. .
 
Competitive Exclusion:
The term, "competitive exclusion", is used to describe the process by which beneficial bacteria exclude bad bacteria or pathogens. It implies the prevention of entry and establishment of a bacterial population into the gut. To succeed, the good bacteria must be better suited to establish or maintain itself in that gut environment.
Before the chick hatches, its intestines are sterile but very quickly, after hatching the intestinal microflora is produced. This microflora is a vital part of the bird, both in the digestive process and in the resistance to, even the exclusion of, pathogenic organisms. The young can receive a competitive flora of beneficial bacteria as well as harmful bacteria from the adult and from the environment. Under modern breeding conditions and sanitized housing environments, the establishment of the gut intestinal flora (bacteria) can be delayed, making the young very susceptible to colonization of unwanted, transient bacteria that can be found in the bedding or litter, in pen mates, or in contaminants in feed and/or water. By utilizing EnzoLac at the very young stage of life, beneficial intestinal flora is established and animals are protected. Further, there is an increased production of volatile fatty acids (VFA) and lactate in recipients, which assist in lowering the pH in the intestinal tract. This combination of low pH and high VFA concentrations, creates an environment unfavorable to unwanted bacteria. Another factor to consider, in the mode of action, is the production of antibacterial substances. These include ammonia, hydrogen peroxide, bacterial enzymes, bacteriophages, and bacteriocins, all identified as substances that can inhibit enteropathogens.

How It Works:
The normal bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract are well known for helping livestock maintain a healthy, growing condition. It is important that these bacteria be established early in life and be well maintained. If the digestive bacteria are not well maintained, the risk of infection and disease is greatly increased. Once the disease organism is established, the animal’s health condition is reduced and sickness, even death, can occur.

Applications:
Early Life: The importance of early administration to the young animal of Enzo-lac as a competitive exclusion agent is critical to successful development of beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract, to provide the barrier needed to resist pathogenic bacteria colonization. The earlier the better.
 
After Anti-Microbial Treatment: Anti-microbial treatments kill not only the harmful organism but also have the capability to disrupt the normal balance of the gut micro-organisms, harming the bacteria which are the basis of the competitive exclusion effect. The use of Enzo-lac restores a healthy flora and prevents pathogenic re-colonization.
Stress: In times of stress, there is a general consensus the stress causes not only immunosuppression but also causes possible interference with the establishment of protective microflora. Physiological stress such as high-low temperatures, feed deprivation, moving, handling, vaccinations–all can attribute to a gut imbalance. To reduce the risk of opportunistic pathogen load, one should consider the application of Enzo-lac post stress.

Benefits of Our Probiotic:
• Improves overall health and productivity in all livestock
• Strengthens helpful microbial populations and suppresses harmful bacterial growth in the digestive system
• Counteracts ill effects of antibiotic treatment by sustaining the populations of good bacteria
• Maximizes production
• Produces quality products
• Stable with an extensive shelf life; no need for refrigeration
• Gets new livestock on to feed quickly
• Can be incorporated into the grain ration, TMR or top-dressed.
• Assists in treatment of off feed/sick animals e.g. pneumonia, diarrhoea, shipping fever

Conclusion:
In a world demanding food safety, the use of Enzo-lac becomes a very important tool in the farm manager’s program of control. Its use, timing and applications will grow as research and field experiences are run and documented. Already, research has been done with respect to Enzo-lac in minimizing salmonella risk and interesting results have been shown in the reduction of E.coli and campylobacter loads. Testimonials from farm operators and managers attest to the efficacy of our probiotic, Enzo-lac.