Lactic Acid Bacteria as Alternative to Antibiotics in Broilers

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Illustration of lactic acid bacteria. (Source: Tetracera Indica)

The problem of excessive use of antibiotics in the field becomes an interesting topic to discuss. Some targets of antibiotics are now resistant to them. Resistance is a condition where bacteria cannot be killed anymore using antibiotics because the bacteria have undergone genetic changes so that it is resistant to the drugs given. What’s the solution?

The antibiotics given to humans and animals must be monitored carefully, especially livestock for food commodities or business commodities. Antibiotics should be given according to doctor’s instructions. In farms, giving antibiotics is very important because various diseases caused by bacteria are found in the field. Therefore, antibiotics support the livestock excellent condition.

Chicken is a livestock that is widely traded in Indonesia. Apart from being easy to maintain, business results are obtained faster than large animals such as cows, goats, or sheep. Therefore, improving livestock performance must be maximized with or without antibiotics. If antibiotics are no longer working at their best, then efforts should be made to replace antibiotics on the market with ingredients that are safer, effective, and beneficial for both livestock and human health.

Development of feed products with the addition of probiotics from lactic acid can be one of the solutions in improving the condition of livestock by effectively feeding the feed without having to use antibiotics to avoid pathogenic bacteria. Lactic acid bacteria are a group of gram-positive bacteria, which do not produce spores, are spherical or stem shaped producing lactic acid as the main metabolic end product.

Lactic acid bacteria are commonly found in the environment and can be inoculated and replicated in very large quantities so these bacteria can be used as production media to prevent diseases in the environment.

A research conducted by Sabdoningrum et al. (2019) revealed the effectiveness of lactic acid bacteria as a substitute for antibiotics in broilers. The study used a completely randomized design in which chickens were randomly selected with the same weight and environmental conditions.

This study was divided into seven groups with four replications. For the first treatment, broilers were only given their feed while for the second treatment, they were given the feed with Lactobacillus acidophilus. Feed with Lactobacilluscasei was given for the third treatment. The fourth treatment was feed with Lactobacillus fermentum, the fifth treatment gave feed with Lactobacillus plantarum , the sixth treatment gave feed with Pediococcus, and the seventh treatment gave the feed with a mixture of the five bacteria aforementioned.

The results of the study explained that the feed consumption and weight gain in broilers were not significantly different, but it was very influential in terms of feed efficiency. The seventh treatment (feed with a mixture of lactic acid bacteria: Lactobacillus acidophilus , Lactobacillus casei , Lactobacillus fermentum , Lactobacillus plantarum , and Pediococcus showed the best results of all treatments.

Giving lactic acid bacteria can increase the pH value of the environment, so groups of bacteria which cannot stand the acid will die, or they cannot grow. When this Lactobacillus type of lactic acid bacteria colonies grows and develops on the surface of the digestive tract, it can inhibit fungal growth and suppress the growth of pathogenic Escherichia coli bacteria and gram-negative bacteria.

Types of lactic acid bacteria Lactobacillusacidophilus and Lactobacillus casei have been proven to be used as probiotics that can increase weight growth in chickens. Meanwhile, the Lactobacillusfermentum , Lactobacillusplantarum , and Pedicoccus have been proven as anti-bacteria that can inhibit the growth of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.

The conclusion obtained from the study is that lactic acid bacteria can be used as a food mixture to improve the performance of broilers in avoiding diseases from pathogenic bacteria and improve the effectiveness of feed consumption. The research is interesting to be further developed by exploring other types of lactic acid bacteria to get the best formula so that it can be useful for people who need a scientific breakthrough in their animal farming. (*)

Author: Erma Safitri

Details of research available at:

ivj.org.in/users/members/viewarticles.aspx?Y=2019&I=786

The Combination Effect of Probiotic Prebiotic Lactic Acid Bacteria on Efficiency of Feed Usage on Broiler Chicken (Sabdoningrum E.K. et al., 2019). Correspondence email: rma_fispro@yahoo.com

This post is also available in: Indonesian

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