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Biochar, bentonite and zeolite supplemented feeding of layer chickens alters intestinal microbiota and reduces campylobacter load

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This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.A range of feed supplements, including antibiotics, have been commonly used in poultry production to improve health and productivity. Alternative methods are needed to suppress pathogen loads and maintain productivity. As an alternative to antibiotics use, we investigated the ability of biochar, bentonite and zeolite as separate 4% feed additives, to selectively remove pathogens without reducing microbial richness and diversity in the gut. Neither biochar, bentonite nor zeolite made any significant alterations to the overall richness and diversity of intestinal bacterial community. However, reduction of some bacterial species, including some potential pathogens was detected. The microbiota of bentonite fed animals were lacking all members of the order Campylobacterales. Specifically, the following operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were absent: an OTU 100% identical to Campylobacter jejuni; an OTU 99% identical to Helicobacter pullorum; multiple Gallibacterium anatis (>97%) related OTUs; Bacteroides dorei (99%) and Clostridium aldenense (95%) related OTUs. Biochar and zeolite treatments had similar but milder effects compared to bentonite. Zeolite amended feed was also associated with significant reduction in the phylum Proteobacteria. All three additives showed potential for the control of major poultry zoonotic pathogens.

History

Volume

11

Issue

4

Start Page

1

End Page

13

Number of Pages

13

eISSN

1932-6203

ISSN

1932-6203

Publisher

Public Library of Science (PLoS)

Additional Rights

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0)

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

Yes

External Author Affiliations

RMIT University, School of Applied Sciences and Health Innovations Research Institute (HIRI), Bundoora, Victoria, Australia; Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria, Australia

Author Research Institute

Institute for Future Farming Systems

Era Eligible

Yes

Journal

PLoS ONE

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