Oral treatment of chickens with Lactobacillus reuteri LM1 reduces Brachyspira pilosicoli-induced pathology.

Journal of medical microbiology

PubMedID: 23161764

Mappley LJ, Tch├│rzewska MA, Nunez A, Woodward MJ, Bramley PM, La Ragione RM. Oral treatment of chickens with Lactobacillus reuteri LM1 reduces Brachyspira pilosicoli-induced pathology. J Med Microbiol. 2013;62(Pt 2):287-96.
Avian intestinal spirochaetosis (AIS) results from the colonization of the caeca and colon of poultry by pathogenic Brachyspira, notably Brachyspira pilosicoli. Following the ban on the use of antibiotic growth promoters in the European Union in 2006, the number of cases of AIS has increased, which, alongside emerging antimicrobial resistance in Brachyspira, has driven renewed interest in alternative intervention strategies. Lactobacillus-based probiotics have been shown to protect against infection with common enteric pathogens in livestock. Our previous studies have shown that Lactobacillus reuteri LM1 antagonizes aspects of the pathobiology of Brachyspira in vitro. Here, we showed that L. reuteri LM1 mitigates the clinical symptoms of AIS in chickens experimentally challenged with B. pilosicoli. Two groups of 15 commercial laying hens were challenged experimentally by oral gavage with B. pilosicoli B2904 at 18 weeks of age; one group received unsupplemented drinking water and the other received L. reuteri LM1 in drinking water from 1 week prior to challenge with Brachyspira and thereafter for the duration of the study. This treatment regime was protective. Specifically, B. pilosicoli was detected by culture in fewer birds, bird weights were higher, faecal moisture contents were significantly lower (P<0.05) and egg production as assessed by egg weight and faecal staining score was improved (P<0.05). Also, at post-mortem examination, significantly fewer B. pilosicoli were recovered from treated birds (P<0.05), with only mild-moderate histopathological changes observed. These data suggest that L. reuteri LM1 may be a useful tool in the control of AIS.