Effect of Enterococcus faecium on the Digestive Tract of Poultry as a Probiotic


Abstract: This project investigates the microbiological and biochemical characteristics of chicken and turkey caeca. Microbiological characteristics were represented by CFU of Escherichia coli, faecal Enterococci and Lactobacilli determined in 1 g of chyme and biological ones by enzymatic activity of the cellulases expressed in CMC units. In all experiments, a probiotic preparation based on Enterococcus faecium was added to the feeding mixture and drinking water at various concentrations or in the form of aerosol on the body or egg surface. Counts of Escherichia coli in CFU in 1 g of faecal chyme were determined on Endo agar, counts of CFU of faecal Enterococci on selective agar for faecal Enterococci and counts of Lactobacilli on Rogosa agar. Enzymatic activity of cellulases was determined according to the Miller method. Counts of CFU of Escherichia coli, faecal Enterococci, Lactobacilli and enzymatic activity of cellulases were compared in experimental and control treatments. Theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that the counts of Escherichia coli CFU would be higher in control treatments and CFU counts of both faecal Enterococci and Lactobacilli as well as enzymatic cellulases activity (in CMC units) lower in control treatments compared to the experimental ones. Similar results were also obtained in our experiments with chickens and turkeys. Polymerase chain reaction using specific primers was performed to identify Enterococcus faecium.

Keywords: Enterococci, enzymatic activity of cellulases, Escherichia coli, Lactobacilli, probiotic

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