Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Poultry probiotic cuts its coat to beat bad bacteria

Date:
March 27, 2013
Source:
Norwich BioScience Institutes
Summary:
A strain of probiotic bacteria that can fight harmful bacterial infections in poultry has the ability to change its coat, according to new findings. The probiotic is currently being taken forward through farm-scale trials to evaluate how well it combats Clostridium perfringens.

Lactobacillus johnsonii.
Credit: Kathryn Cross, IFR

A strain of probiotic bacteria that can fight harmful bacterial infections in poultry has the ability to change its coat, according to new findings from the Institute of Food Research.

The probiotic is currently being taken forward through farm-scale trials to evaluate how well it combats Clostridium perfringens -- a cause of necrotic enteritis in poultry and the second most common cause of food poisoning in the UK

The researchers at IFR, which is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, had previously found that the probiotic Lactobacillus johnsonsii, when given to young chicks, prevents the colonisation of C. perfringens. Now, in research published in the journal PLOS ONE, they have found that the probiotic bacteria have the ability to alter their coat. They speculate that this could be one way in which the probiotic outcompete C. perfringens.

The researchers noticed when examining the bacteria that a small number of them appear smooth. They identified genes responsible for making a special coat, or slime capsule, which the bacteria surround themselves in. This protects the bacteria from stomach acids and bile salts, and helps them come together to form biofilms. It may also protect against drying out when outside the host. The natural appearance of smooth mutants could be a ploy used by the bacteria to introduce variation into its populations, making them able to take advantage of different environments.

By turning off one or more of the coat genes, they could see what effect this had on its ability to stick to gut tissues. "The next step is to understand the regulation of the genes involved in making the coat" said Dr Arjan Narbad, who led the studies. "We want to find out whether changing the coat affects the probiotic's fitness to colonise and inhabit the gut."

This in turn could prevent C. perfringens from colonising the gut. This competitive exclusion could be one reason why the probiotic strain prevents the growth of other harmful bacteria.

Understanding the role of the slime capsule coat will inform the commercial development of this strain as a preventative treatment for C. perfringens infection in poultry, especially in regard to how the probiotic is stored and produced. Through the technology transfer company Plant Bioscience Ltd, the strain has been patented and is now in large-scale farm trials to assess its efficacy. As these bacteria have previously been used in the food chain and are considered safe for human consumption, this probiotic strain could become new way of controlling C. perfringens.

As there is a growing pressure to reduce the use of antibiotics in farming, new products are needed to maintain animal welfare standards, reduce the huge costs of necrosis in poultry and help keep our food safe.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwich BioScience Institutes. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Nikki Horn, Udo Wegmann, Enes Dertli, Francis Mulholland, Samuel R. A. Collins, Keith W. Waldron, Roy J. Bongaerts, Melinda J. Mayer, Arjan Narbad. Spontaneous Mutation Reveals Influence of Exopolysaccharide on Lactobacillus johnsonii Surface Characteristics. PLoS ONE, 2013; 8 (3): e59957 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059957

Cite This Page:

Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Poultry probiotic cuts its coat to beat bad bacteria." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130327190538.htm>.
Norwich BioScience Institutes. (2013, March 27). Poultry probiotic cuts its coat to beat bad bacteria. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130327190538.htm
Norwich BioScience Institutes. "Poultry probiotic cuts its coat to beat bad bacteria." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130327190538.htm (accessed September 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

Raw: Elephant Undergoes Surgery in Tbilisi Zoo

AP (Sep. 18, 2014) Grand the elephant has successfully undergone surgery to remove a portion of infected tusk at Tbilisi Zoo in Georgia. British veterinary surgeons used an electric drill to extract the infected piece. (Sept. 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins