Seaweed to reduce antibiotics usage in livestock

[France] In a recent publication, researchers from France’s national agriculture research agency (INRA) found that compounds extract from seaweed is effective in fighting against pathogenic bacteria living in intestines of pigs. The agency suggested that this may be a good way to reduce the use of animal antibiotics.

The study, funded by France’s Banque Publique d’Investissement (BPI), was published in the Journal of Applied Phycology. This In vitro study showed that marine sulphated polysaccharides (MSP) extracted from Ulva armoricana increased the production of cytokines by porcine intestinal epithelial cells.

Brittany based algae additives producer, Olmix, was also involved in this study. Olmix is a company specializing in the use of natural compounds extracted from brown, red, and green seaweed.

“Marine sulphide polysaccharides is an essential component of the cell walls of seaweed. In particular, brown and green seaweed, have been used as feed for pigs and chickens since World War II, and yet no one had looked at their effects on digestive system of animals. ” said Pi Nyvall Collen, Scientific Director at Olmix.

MSP are commonly used as mycotoxins to destroy molds that often affect the quality of animal feed. From here, Collen determined the possible positive effects on the animals’ digestive system.

In this experiment, several pathogenic bacteria were incubated with MSP. The growth of two main families of bacteria, both Gram-positive and Gram-negative, was significantly slowed down. Some of the bacteria was being destroyed at concentrations below 1 milligram per milliliter. Then, the researchers looked at the effect of MSP on intestinal epithelial cells from pigs.

“These epithelial cells are the first barrier of defense and their role is to distinguish pathogenic bacteria and the harmless intestinal flora.” says Mostapha El Berri. E=Intestinal epithelial cells play a key role in mediating immunity because they stimulate immune response to fight against invasive microbes by secreting cytokines.

“The second part of the experiment showed an increased production of cytokines in the presence of MSP, meaning that the intake of MSP improves the health of animals, reducing the need for antibiotics.

The excessive use of antibiotics has induce bacterial resistance that become a health issue for human and animals. On March 10, in a plenary session, Member of European Parliaments proposed to reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock, and encourage preventive treatments for animals. The statement comes amid MPs revision of EU legislation on veterinary medicines. The new regulation provides incentives for the research of new drugs and treatment methods.

 

Photo: Seaweed swept ashore on Saint-Michel-en Greve beach in Bretagne being collected by local authorities. Saint-Michel-en-Greve, FRANCE- 31/05/2011  /Credit:LE SAUX LIONEL/SIPA/1105311647.

Exclusively reported by Algae World News

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