New methods to address Antibiotic Resistant Salmonella and E.coli in pigs
1 October 2020
It has been estimated that by 2050 Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR) will be the leading cause of death in humans, with Salmonella and E. coli being a major part of the issue (Figure 1) as they are one of the main reasons for piglet health issues and antibiotic usage on farms (Figure 2) and transmissible to people via the food chain.
AMR is rapidly becoming a serious worldwide health concern, and for understandable reasons. As of 2016, WHO estimated that AMR is the root cause of 700,000 deaths annually, with approximately 2 million infections in the USA alone with 300 million people expected to die from AMR infection between 2014 and 2050 (UK Review on AMR publications: http://amr-review.org/Publications). In the year 2050 – if we continue using antibiotics like we do today – both in human medicine and our food chain, WHO is estimating that 10 million will die as a result of AMR. That will be more than die as a result of cancer.
Currently there is no scientific consensus as to what extent the misuse or over-use in human medicine vs animal protein production is causing AMR, but with no clear scientific evidence we can do two things. As with climate change, we can wait for undisputable scientific evidence, which can take several decades to produce, by which time the issue will have grown and be harder to combat, or accept that we are part of the issue and choose to be part of the solution. Whether we like it or not, the perception of society is that farming is becoming increasingly unsustainable. And the use of antibiotics is a growing part of that negative perception. AMR is a global trend that will influence the way we produce our food in the future, and we as an industry need to be proactive.
In addition, the EU-wide ban on the use of zinc oxide at medicinal levels in piglet feeds that will come into effect in 2022 adds further pressure to identify new methods to address E. Coli and Salmonella. Use of pig slurry on soils has led to a significant increase in soil concentrations of zinc, causing environmental concerns that this may lead to leaching of zinc into water sources in concentrations that may pose a risk to aquatic species. This, and the fact that the use of zinc oxide can increase the presence of methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which carry a zinc oxide resistance gene called czrC (cadmium and zinc resistance gene C), both support the cause for new, antibiotic free methods to maintain animal productivity and welfare to be used in agriculture.
Trouw Nutrition has developed a new solution to the problem: Fysal Solute. Containing hydrolyzed copra meal as a source of Mannobiose (an indigestible disaccharide of Mannose) that provides in vitro binding affinity to Salmonella and supports a functional immune system and fermented Rye (Rye overgrown with mycelium of Agaricus subrufescens) as a source of beta glucans, glycoproteins, bioactive peptides, prebiotics and phenolic compounds to aid in the in vitro binding affinity to Salmonella and E.coli as well as supporting a functional immune system and the growth beneficial bacteria, it acts by three main mechanisms:
- By competitive exclusion of less desirable bacteria by promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria
- By binding Salmonella and E.coli leading to less bacteria attaching to the intestinal cell wall
- By supporting a functional immune system under challenging conditions
Fysal Solute can dramatically reduce shedding and transmission of pathogens within the herd and, therefore, the risk of infection to healthy animals, as the primary infection route is faecal-oral and contamination risks increase with pathogen load (Figure 3 and 4).