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Effects of antimicrobial feed additives on gut microbiology
and blood parameters of weaned piglets
A. Kroismayr, K. Schedle, J. Sehm, M. Pfaffl, C. Plitzner, H. Foissy, T. Ettle, H. Mayer, Einfluss von antimikrobiell wirksamen Futterzusatzstoffen auf die Mikro-
biologie des Verdauungstrakts und Blutparameter von Absetzferkeln
1 Introduction
oils derived from different plants have been tested over theyears to identify their effects on animal performance. Es- As a result of antibiotic resistance in human pathogenic bac- sential oil extracts from Oregano, with its chemical main teria, alternatives for Antibiotic Growth Promoters (AGP) component carvacrol, has been used as feed additive and have been developed in recent years. Herbs and botanicals was investigated in numerous feeding trials where it showed can be seen as such an alternative (WENK, 2003). Essential a positive influence on piglets performance (e.g. WALD et Zusammenfassung
In einem Fütterungsversuch mit 120 Absetzferkeln (8 kg Anfangsgewicht) wurden 2 Futterzusatzstoffe (ätherische Öle
aus Oregano, Anis und Zitrusfruchtschalen bzw. Avilamycin) mit einer unbehandelten Kontrollgruppe verglichen.
Nach 50 Tagen Verfütterung verbesserten die ätherischen Öle numerisch den Gewichtszuwachs, Futterverzehr und
die Futterverwertung (+5 %, +3 % und –1 %), während Avilamycin geringere Effekte aufwies (+1 %, –1 % und
–2 %). Am Versuchstag 22 wurden von den 3 Behandlungen jeweils 12 repräsentative Tiere geschlachtet und Blut-
proben sowie Chymusproben aus dem Ileum, Caecum und Colon entnommen. Die beiden Futterzusatzstoffe hatten
keinen Einfluss auf das Blutbild, reduzierten jedoch die Gehalte an anaeroben und aeroben Keimen, flüchtigen Fett-
säuren und Ammoniak im Chymus des Ileums, Caecums und Colons, sowie die Gehalte an biogenen Aminen im Cae-
cum. Die pH-Werte und die Gehalte an Trockenmasse (T) in den untersuchten Darmabschnitten blieben unverän-
dert mit Ausnahme eines erhöhten T-Gehalts im Colon bei Verfütterung ätherischer Öle. Diese Befunde weisen darauf
hin, dass die eingesetzten ätherischen Öle ähnlich dem Avilamycin eine antimikrobielle Aktivität in vivo aufweisen.
Schlagworte: Ferkel, phytogene Futterzusatzstoffe, ätherische Öle, Oregano, antimikrobielle Leistungsförderer,
In a feeding trial involving 120 weaned piglets (8kg initial body weight) two feed additives (essential oils blend deri-
ved from oregano, anise and citrus peels vs. Avilamycin) were compared with a negative control group. After 50 days
of feeding essential oils improved numerically weight gain, feed intake and feed to gain ratio (+5 %, +3 % and –1 %),
whereas Avilamycin effects were less pronounced (+1 %, –1 % and –2 %). At experimental day 22 twelve representa-
tive animals from each treatment group were slaughtered and blood samples as well as chyme samples from ileum, cae-
cum, and colon were retrieved. Both feed additives did not affect blood analysis but reduced contents of anaerobic
and aerobic germs, volatile fatty acids, and ammonia in chyme of ileum, caecum and colon as well as contents of bio-
genic amines in caecal chyme. The pH value and dry matter (DM) contents in chyme of the respective intestinal seg-
ments remained unchanged except for an increased colonic DM content due to essential oils. These results indicate
that essential oils tested in the present study exert an antimicrobial activity in vivo similar to Avilamycin.
Key words: Piglets, phytogenic feed additive, essential oils, oregano, antimicrobial growth promoter, avilamycin.
A. Kroismayr, K. Schedle, J. Sehm, M. Pfaffl, C. Plitzner, H. Foissy, T. Ettle, H. Mayer, M. Schreiner and W. Windisch al., 2001; MOLNAR and BILKEI, 2005). According to RODE- Table 1: Composition of basal dietsTabelle 1: Zusammensetzung der Basalrationen HUTSCORD and KLUTH (2002), the reason for this positiveinfluence could be the antimicrobial activity of essential Feed ingredients (%)
oils, which has been observed in vitro (SIVROPOULOU et al., Grower II
In the present study, the effect of addition of a blend of essential oils derived from oregano, anise and citrus peels to a weaner piglet diet was compared to the antibiotic growth promoter Avilamycin. Thereby, the main focus of the ex- periment was to investigate the mode of action of these feed additives on gut microbiology in young pigs. Moreover, ef- fects of the essential oil blend or Avilamycin on blood para- meters and growth performance were investigated.
2 Material and Methods
2.1 Experimental design, housing and feeding
A total of 120 (65 male and 55 female) newly weaned piglets (crossbred of Large White × Pietrain, 28 days of age, mean body weight of 8.2 ± 2.3kg) were used to study the ef- fects of two feed additives (essential oils and Avilamycin) on gut parameters and performance. Piglets were distributed among 40 blocks containing 3 animals according to genet- ics (litter), sex and initial live weight. The animals of each block were allotted to three treatments: (1) feed with no ad- ditions of potentially growth enhancing agents like antibi- otics, organic acids, probiotics, or excessive contents of Zinc and Copper (negative control group), (2) feed supplied with an essential oil blend (essential oils group), and (3) feed sup- plied with the antimicrobial feed additive Avilamycin (Avil-amycin group).
uct contains 20 g of the essential oils blend. The product was Over the time course of the experiment, the animals were added at amounts of 2 g per kg of finished starter and grow- fed 3 different types of diet formulations, a starter diet er I diets (corresponding to 40 ppm essential oils), and 1 g(day 1 to 7), a grower I diet (day 8 to 22) and a grower II per kg of finished grower II diet, respectively (corresponding diet (day 23 to day 50). The composition of these diet for- to 20 ppm essential oils). Analysis of carvacrol (the major compound of the essential oil blend) by the Institute of Ap- For the essential oils group, the botanical product Bio- plied Botany and Pharmacognosy, University of Veterinary min® P.E.P. 1000 (Biomin GmbH, Austria) was used. This Science, Vienna, using the SPME GC technique (ARTHUR product is permitted in the EC to be fed as feed additive to and PAWLISZYN, 1990) revealed 9.5 g of the chemical com- piglets (Reg. (EC) No 1831/2003). It contains essential oils ponent per kg of the phytogenic feed additive. For the derived from Oregano (Origanum vulgare), Anise (Pimpinel- starter, grower I and grower II diets, the respective carvacrol la anisum) and Citrus peels (Citrus sinensis). Chicory (Ci- contents were 23.1, 15.1 and 8.5 mg per kg of finished feed chorium intybus) powder acts as carrier substance. As main while other feeds contained no or only traces of carvacrol.
active ingredients the product contains the phenolic For the Avilamycin group, Maxus100 (Elanco Animal monoterpenes Carvacrol, Thymol, Anethol and the cyclic Health LTD) was used. It is based on the active ingredient monoterpene – hydrocarbon Limonen. One kg of the prod- Avilamycin (Tetracycline) which was permitted for use as Effects of antimicrobial feed additives on gut microbiology and blood parameters of weaned piglets AGP in EC during time course of the experiment (year Sampling and analysis of chyme and blood 2005). Maxus 100 contains 10 % Avilamycin. The product The 12 selected blocks of animals were professionally was added to the starter, grower I and grower II diet at slaughtered in the farms own processing plant after morn- amounts of 0.4 g per kg (corresponding to 40 ppm Avil- ing feeding. During bleeding, blood was collected (25 ml amycin). Analysis of Avilamycin by AGES (Austrian Agency EDTA tubes; 0.5 ml EDTA per 25 ml whole blood) and for Health and Food Safety) using agar diffusion method (Eli Lilly and company, Indianapolis, USA) revealed 42.0, 44.5 From each animal about 100g of chyme from terminal and 44.5 mg per kg of finished starter, grower I and grower ileum (at least 15 cm before end of ileum), caecum and II diet while for other diets the respective contents were below colon (at the flexura centralis) were collected, immediately limit of detection or quantification (< 5 mg per kg).
analyzed for pH value (Testo 206, pH meter, Testo AG, The entire study comprised 3 consecutive experimental Germany), separated into several 10 ml plastic bottles and replicates processing 10, 15 and 15 blocks of animals. For all experimental replicates, piglets were housed in the same All chyme samples were analysed microbiologically by air-conditioned room equipped with 3 pens with identical plate-count technique. One gram of chyme sample was ho- construction (slatted floor, heated lying area, a height ad- mogenized in (1/4 strength) Ringer’s solution and decimal- justable nipple drinker, a cup drinker and a round feeding ly diluted. Appropriate dilutions were spread plated on se- hopper). The three treatments (negative control, essential lective media and incubated for analysis of aerobic/ oils, Avilamycin) were allotted to each one of the 3 pens.
anaerobic total colony count (plate-count agar, 30 °C for Feed and water was offered ad libitum to the piglets 72 h, aerobic/anaerobic conditions), lactobacilli (MRS agar, 37 °C, 72 h, anaerobic), lactococci (M17 agar, 37 °C, On 22nd day of each experimental replicate, 4 blocks of anaerobic), bifidobacteria (Wilkins-Chalgren agar modi- animals (2 female and 2 male castrated) with body weights fied by the addition of acetic acid (1 ml/L) and mupirocin ranging most close to the median of the entire pens were (100 mg/L), 72 h, anaerobic), enterococci (kanamycin- sacrificed in order to obtain samples of gut contents and tis- esculin-azide agar, 37 °C, 48 h), clostridia (DRCM agar, sues for further investigations (mean body weight of sacri- 37 °C, 72 h, anaerobic) and enterobacteria (VRB agar, ficed animals: 13.7±1.7kg). The remaining animals were maintained in their pens and were fed until day 50 to ob- For volatile fatty acid (VFA) analysis exactly 500 mg serve zootechnical performance over the entire production chyme were mixed with 4 ml aqua destilate, 2 ml internal standard (oenanthic acid, 0.1 mg/ml) and 300 μl azidiol.
This mixture was acidified with 50 μl 6n HCl. After 2 h in-cubation the samples were centrifuged at 9000g for 10 min- 2.2 Sample collection and analysis
utes. After centrifugation the liquid phase was used for gaschromatographic analysis, which was made on a Carlo-Erba 5000 gas-chromatographer (direct injection method) ac- Animals were weighed individually at the start of the trial and cording to Restek applications note # 591155B (Restek cor- on trial days 21 and 50. Feed intake of pens was evaluated daily during the first 21 trial days (representing all animals), Biogenic amines were analyzed with HPLC according to and then at day 22, 29, 36, 43 and 50 (representing animals the method described by MAYER et al. (2006).
not sacrificed). Feed to gain ratio was calculated for days 0 to Ammonia contents of chyme samples were analyzed pho- 21 (all animals) and days 0 to 50 (animals not sacrificed) from tometrically with an enzymatic test kit (Boehringer/R-Bio- respective pen means of growth data and feed intake.
Frozen blood samples were sent to a commercial veteri- nary laboratory (Vetmed Labor, Ludwigsburg, Germany) Feed samples of all diets were collected at the beginning of and a blood screening was made. A small blood analysis each new feeding period and were analyzed for their con- (leucocytes, erythrocytes, hemoglobin, hematocrit, mean tents of dry matter, crude protein, crude fat, crude fibre, cell volume (MCV), hemoglobin per erythrocyte (HBE), starch, sugar and crude ash according to standard methods mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC), thrombocytes) and a differential blood analysis (basophil A. Kroismayr, K. Schedle, J. Sehm, M. Pfaffl, C. Plitzner, H. Foissy, T. Ettle, H. Mayer, M. Schreiner and W. Windisch granulocytes, eosinophil granulocytes, neutrophil granulo- slightly reduced feed to gain ratios compared to the nega- cytes, lymphocytes, monocytes) was conducted with an au- tive control (for the 50 day period: +5 %, +3 % and –1 %).
For the Avilamycin group, the numerical differences weresmaller and less consistent (+1 %, –1 % and –2 %). How-ever, none of these figures reached statistical evidence.
2.3 Statistics
One animal of trial group 3 (Avilamycin) had to be exclud- Microbial investigations showed that colony counts were ed from statistical analysis because of irregular growth data.
influenced by both feed additives (Table 3). Compared The data was submitted to two-way analysis of variance to the negative control, both feed additives decreased with the dietary treatment (1, 2, 3) and animal block (1, 2, (p < 0.05) anaerobic germ count in the ileal chyme and the 3 … 40) as factor levels. For feed intake and feed conver- same tendency was found for aerobic bacteria. In caecum, sion ratio the pen was used as statistical factor instead of an- counts of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, lactococci and imal block. The following tables present the mean values of clostridia were lower (p < 0.05) in the essential oil group the animal groups and the pooled standard error (S.E.) as than in the Avialmycin group, whereas negative control had retrieved from the analysis of variance. The mean values intermediate counts. In caecum, contents of bifidobacteria were tested by a multiple comparison procedure (Student- were decreased in the Avilamycin group (p < 0.05) com- Newman-Keuls test). Significant differences among means pared to the other groups and counts of clostridia in chyme (p < 0.05) are marked by superscript letters a,b,c. Values of essential oil group was lower (p < 0.05) compared to the showing a tendency to differ (p < 0.1) are marked by super- script letters in parenthesis (a), (ab), (b). Additionally, the Contents of volatile fatty acids (VFA) in the ileal chyme means of the essential oils group and the Avilamycin group were not systematically influenced by either feed additives were compared via a linear contrast with the means of the (Table 4). On the contrary, in ceacum both feed additives negative control group. Significant differences (p < 0.05) are decreased (p < 0.05) acetic acid concentration and the same tendency was observed in colonic chyme. Essential oils andAvilamycin in the diets led to numerically decreased con-tents of summarized VFA in caecum (–9 %; –12 %) and 3 Results
Biogenic amine concentrations in ileal and colonic chyme were not influenced by either feed additive (Table 5). In As shown in Table 2, animals supplied with essential oils ceacum, essential oils and Avilamycin led to decreased (p < showed a numerically higher weight gain, feed intake and 0.05) contents of Methylamin, Isopropylamin and Sper- Table 2: Zootechnical performanceTabelle 2: Zootechnische Leistungen Neg. control
Ess. Oils
Effects of antimicrobial feed additives on gut microbiology and blood parameters of weaned piglets Table 3: Colony counts in the chyme of ileum, caecum and colonTabelle 3: Keimzahlen im Ileum-, Caecum- und Colon-Chymus Neg. control
Ess. Oils
Colony counts in the chyme of ileum (log[CFU]1)per g fresh matter)Aerobic bacteria, sum (12/12/12)2) Colony counts in the chyme of caecum (log[CFU]1)per g fresh matter)Aerobic bacteria, sum (12/12/12) Colony counts in the chyme of colon (log[CFU]1)per g fresh matter)Aerobic bacteria, sum (12/12/12) (xx/yy/zz) = number of samples with detectable colony counts (xx: Neg. Contr, yy: Ess. Oils, zz: Avilamycin) Means without similar superscripts differ significantly (p < 0.05) (a) (b) Means without similar superscripts show tendency to differ significantly (p < 0.10)* Means are statistically different from respective negative control level (p < 0.05) midin. Concentrations of Agmatin, Dimethylamin and lymphocytes 51 %; hemoglobin 10 g/dL; erythrocytes Tyramin in chyme of the three investigated gut areas were 6T/L; HBE 17 p/g; MCV 60 fl; MCHC 28 g/dL; neu- trophil granulocytes 44 %; thrombocytes 320 g/L.
Dry matter (DM) contents of ileal and caecal chyme were similar for all treatments, but DM of colonic chyme was in-creased (p < 0.05) in the essential oil group compared to 4 Discussion
other groups (Table 6). Ammonia contents of chyme werenumerically decreased in the essential oils group (ileum: This study aimed to investigate gut parameters thought to –18 %; ceacum –24 %) and in the Avilamycin group be influenced by feed additives with antimicrobial activity (ileum: –7 %; caecum: –17 %; colon: –17 %). However, like AGP (Antibiotic Growth Promoters), organic acids or these differences were statistically not significant. pH of phytobiotic substances. Antibiotic activity of feed additives chyme was not influenced by treatment.
may lead to less growth of undesired microbes in the intes-tine, less exposure to microbial products stressing the or- ganism, and a higher absorption of nutrients, all of these Blood analysis did not differ between the 3 trial groups. The factors resulting in an improved growth performance of following average contents of blood parameters were found piglets kept under common housing conditions (GREIFE in the blood samples: leukocytes 17 g/L; hematocrit 37 %; and BERSCHAUER, 1988). Following this paradigm it was A. Kroismayr, K. Schedle, J. Sehm, M. Pfaffl, C. Plitzner, H. Foissy, T. Ettle, H. Mayer, M. Schreiner and W. Windisch Table 4: Contents of volatile fatty acids in the chyme of ileum, caecum and colonTabelle 4: Flüchtige Fettsäuren (VFA) im Chymus von Ileum, Caecum und Colon Neg. control
Ess. Oils
VFA in chyme of ileum (mmol/kg fresh matter)Acetic acid VFA in chyme of caecum (mmol/kg fresh matter)Acetic acid VFA in chyme of colon (mmol/kg fresh matter)Acetic acid Means without similar superscripts differ significantly (p < 0.05) (a) (b) Means without similar superscripts show tendency to differ significantly (p < 0.10)* Means are statistically different from respective negative control level (p < 0.05) not the primary ambition of this study to get performance swine intestinal tract. The inhibitory action of aromatic data. It was more important to take a view at parameters of compounds like carvacrol is related to the hydrophobicity gut physiology associated with microbial activity, which and on their partition in the cytoplasmic microbial mem- may possibly explain the growth promoting effect of essen- branes (LANCIOTTI et al., 2003). Such lipophilic com- tial oils. Therefore we investigated a blend of essential oils pounds posses a high affinity for cell membranes and they derived from oregano, anise and citrus peels in comparison affect lipid ordering and the bilayer stability resulting in a In vitro trials showed that numerous essential oils or their In the present study essential oils as well as Avilamycin de- main active compounds exert antimicrobial activity. Espe- creased contents of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria in the cially oregano and anis essential oils are well known for such ileal chyme. This is in accordance to the antimicrobial ac- an antimicrobial activity against various bacterial strains tivity of the both feed additives. Moreover, it seemed that (SIVROPOULOU et al., 1996; HAMMER et al., 1999; WENK, antimicrobial activity of the essential oils product led to 2003; SI et al., 2006). Similarly, NAMKUNG et al. (2004) re- lower contents of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria, lactococ- port that a herbal extract containing oregano and thyme ap- ci and clostridia in the caecum. Surprisingly the feed an- pears to reduce proliferation of coliformic bacteria. tibiotic (Avilamycin) had no effect on that microbiota in The main active compound of the essential oils blend this gut area. The reductive effect of the essential oils prod- used in the present study was the phenolic substance car- uct on clostridia was also found in the colon whereas Avil- vacrol. This lipophilic substance was found to be a very ef- amycin led to decreased contents of bifidobacteria. But in ficient antimicrobial compound in vitro (BEN ARFA et al., another study testing oregano essential oils as feed additives 2006). Similarly, SI et al. (2006) report carvacrol to have a to piglets no influence on gut microflora could be observed high antimicrobial potential against pathogenic bacteria in (GÖSSLING, 2001). It may therefore be hypothesized that Effects of antimicrobial feed additives on gut microbiology and blood parameters of weaned piglets Table 5: Contents of biogenic amines in chyme of ileum, caecum and colonTabelle 5: Biogene Amine im Chymus von Ileum, Caecum und Colon Neg. control
Ess. Oils
Biogenic amines in chyme of ileum (mg/kg fresh matter)Colamin (12/12/12)1) Biogenic amines in chyme of caecum (mg/kg fresh matter)Colamin (12/12/12) Biogenic amines in chyme of colon (mg/kg fresh matter)Colamin (12/12/12) (xx/yy/zz)= number of samples with detectable biogenic amines (xx: Neg. Contr; yy: Ess. Oils; zz: Avilamycin) a b Means within row without similar superscripts differ significantly (p < 0.05)* Means within row are statistically different from respective control level (p < 0.05) Table 6: Dry matter, ammonia contents and pH values in chyme of ileum, caecum and colonTabelle 6: Trockenmasse, Ammoniakgehalte und pH-Werte im Chymus von Ileum, Caecum und Colon Neg. control
Ess. Oils
a b Means within row without similar superscripts differ significantly (p < 0.05) A. Kroismayr, K. Schedle, J. Sehm, M. Pfaffl, C. Plitzner, H. Foissy, T. Ettle, H. Mayer, M. Schreiner and W. Windisch sensitivity of microbial colony counts based on plate-count Ammonia contents and pH values in chyme were not in- techniques is limited when used as parameter of antimicro- fluenced by one of the both feed supplements tested in the bial activity of essential oils or APG in vivo. Nevertheless, present study. But it is interesting that in the group fed es- the present study clearly demonstrates that essential oils sential oils, ammonia contents were numerically lower ex- may decrease bacterial contents in the investigated gut cept in the colon. Ammonia in the gastrointestinal tract is areas, especially in the terminal ileum.
often considered as putrefactive product released by bacte- The volatile fatty acids (VFA) are produced in the gas- ria like E. coli (SHIM et al., 2005). Therefore, decreased trointestinal tract by microbial fermentation of carbohy- ammonia contents are a sign for lower bacterial activity.
drates and endogenous substrates (IMOTO and NAMIOKA, Consequently the numerical reduction of Ammonia con- 1978; BERGMAN, 1990). In the present study, VFA contents centration in the essential oil group is in accordance to the of chyme were generally in accordance with literature concept of an antimicrobial activity of the essential oil (MÖLLER, 2001). The essential oils additive and Avilamycin decreased contents of acetic acid in the caecum (p < 0.05) Blood analysis ranged within normal values without and the colon (p < 0.1), and, numerically the sum of all in- being changed by Avilamycin or essential oils, respectively.
vestigated VFA. MÖLLER (2001) tested an oregano essential This is in accordance to data of CHO et al. (2006) indicat- oil in weaner piglets and reports that contents of VFA ing that essential oils do not directly affect blood analysis.
(C – C ) in the gut were numerically decreased in the small In total, normal blood analysis values indicated an overall intestine. MANZANILLA et al. (2004) showed that the pro- proper health status of animals independent of the intesti- portion of acetate to butyrate was increased in the caecum nal effects of the feed additives tested in the present study.
and colon of early weaned pigs when adding an oregano The changes in chyme parameters observed in the present based essential oil product to the piglets’ diets. In total, es- study give rise to the hypothesis that the mode of action of sential oils clearly change microbial VFA production in the the essential oil blend is similar to that of the feed antibiot- piglets’ intestine. According to the similarity of the effects ic Avilamycin. Bacterial activity in the gut was reduced by on VFA observed in the present study for both feed addi- both additives as bacterial counts as well as contents of tives, the reduced production of VFA due to the essential volatile fatty acids, biogenic amines, and ammonia were re- oils may be interpreted as a result of an antimicrobial activ- duced. This may explain the positive effects of essential oils on piglets’ performance reported in literature. RODE- Biogenic amines in chyme are produced by intestinal mi- HUTSCORD and KLUTH (2002) summarized the effects of crobes via decarboxylation of amino acids. This can stress di- numerous essential oils on weaner piglets and mentioned gestion and may have negative effects on performance.
that growth rate and feed to gain ratio can be improved on Moreover, the formation of biogenic amines has toxicologi- average by 2 % in each case. WALD et al. (2001) reported cal impacts in the gut. These negative effects can be over- even higher growth rates and feed to gain ratios by 7 % due come by feeding nutritional antibacterials (DIERICK et al., to oregano essential oils in piglet diets. More recent data 1986). Also the use of organic acids as feed additives is from MOLNAR and BILKEI (2005) confirm the growth pro- known to reduce the intestinal load of biogenic amines moting effect of oregano feed supplement in piglets. Fur- (ECKEL et al., 1992). In the present study there was no sta- thermore, WENK (2003) mentions that herbs, spices and es- tistically significant influence of either feed additive on pro- sential oils can stimulate feed intake of animals. In the duction of biogenic amines in the ileum and colon but there present study, animals supplied with the essential oils addi- were lower contents of some biogenic amines in the caecum tive tended to consume more feed. Daily weight gains were chyme. Moreover, summarized contents of all investigated numerically highest in the essential oils group and feed to biogenic amines were numerically lower in both groups with gain ratios were slightly decreased by both feed additives. In feed additives. In total, the influence of the tested essential another study testing the same feed additive as in the pre- oils on production of biogenic amines in the three investi- sent experiment, the growth promoting effect of the essen- gated gut sequences was very similar to the investigated AGP tial oils revealed to be statistically significant (STEINER et al., (Avilamycin). Given that biogenic amines are products of the gut microflora, in analogy to argumentation of reduced In summary, we conclude that antimicrobial activity of VFA concentrations these results give further rise to the ex- essential oils used as feed additives to weaner piglets is one istence of an antimicrobial activity of essential oils in vivo.
of the major mode of action explaining the well established Effects of antimicrobial feed additives on gut microbiology and blood parameters of weaned piglets growth promoting effect of these substances. Further evi- GREIFE, H. A. and F. BERSCHAUER (1988): Übersichten zur dence of this hypothesis is provided by more detailed in- vestigations on nutrient digestibility (ZITTERL-EGLSEER et HAMMER, K. A., C. F. CARSON and T. V. RILEY (1999): An- al. 2007) as well as on histological and molecular biological timicrobial activity of essential oils and other plant ex- parameters of gut tissues (KROISMAYR et al. 2007).
tracts. J. Appl. Microbiol. 86 (6), 985–990.
IMOTO, S. and S. NAMIOKA (1978): VFA production in the pig large intestine. J. Anim. Sci. 47 (2), 467–476.
5 Acknowledgement
IMOTO, S. and S. NAMIOKA (1978): VFA Metabolism in the pig. J. Anim. Sci. 47 (2), 479–487.
The authors whish to thank Biomin GmbH, Herzogen- KROISMAYR, A., J. SEHM, M. W. PFAFFL, K. SCHEDLE, C.
burg, Austria, for supporting this study.
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Arthur Kroismayr, Schedle Karl, Christian Plitzner, Hel-
SHIM, S. B., I. H. WILLIAMS and M. W. A. VERSTEGEN mut Foissy, Thomas Ettle, Wilhelm Matthias Windisch,
(2005): Effects of dietary fructo-oligosaccharide on vil- Department of Food Science and Technology, Division of lous height and disaccharidase activity of the small intes- Animal Food and Nutrition, University of Natural Re- tine, pH, VFA and ammonia concentrations in the large sources and Applied Life Sciences, Gregor Mendel-Straße intestine of weaned pigs. Acta Agr. Scand. A:- An. 55 33, 1180 Vienna, E-Mail: Helmut Mayer, Matthias Schreiner, Department of Food
Science and Technology, Division of Food Chemistry, Uni- JOHNSON and Z. DU (2006): Antimicrobial activity of es- versity of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, sential oils and structurally related food additives towards Gregor Mendel-Straße 33, 1180 Vienna, Austria selected pathogenic and beneficial gut bacteria. J. Appl.
Julia Sehm, Michael Pfaffl, Physiology Weihenstephan,
Center of Life and Food Science, Technical University Mu- SIVROPOULOU, A., E. PAPANIKOLAOU, C. NIKOLAOU, S.
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STEINER, T., C. ZHANG and A. KROISMAYR (2006): Eva- Corresponding author
luierung eines phytogenen Futterzusatzstoffes. Vet. Med.
report V8, Vienna.
Wilhelm Matthias Windisch, Department of Food Science
WALD, C., H. KLUTH and M. RHODEHUTSCORD (2001): and Technology, Division of Animal Food and Nutrition, Effects of different essential oils on the growth perfor- University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, mance of piglets. Proc. Soc. Nutr. Physiol. 10, 153–155.
Gregor Mendel-Straße 33, 1180 Vienna, Austria WENK, C., 2003: Herbs and botanicals as feed additives in monogastric animals. Asian Austral. J. Anim. Sci. 16 (2),282–289.
ZITTERL-EGLSEER, K., W. WETSCHEREK, A. STONI, A. KRO- ISMAYR and W. WINDISCH (2007): Bioverfügbarkeit derätherischen Öle eines phytobiotischen Futterzusatzes undder Einfluss auf die Leistung bzw. Nährstoffverdaulich-keit bei Absetzferkeln. Bodenkultur accepted.


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