Nisin as a Novel Feed Additive: The Effects on Gut Microbial Modulation and Activity, Histological Parameters, and Growth Performance of Broiler Chickens
Department of Animal Nutrition, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wołyńska 33, 60-637 Poznań, Poland
Division of Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture, Institute of Zoology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Wojska Polskiego 71c, 60-625 Poznań, Poland
Department of Animal Nutrition Physiology, National Research Institute of Animal Production, 32-083 Balice, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 December 2019 / Revised: 3 January 2020 / Accepted: 6 January 2020 / Published: 8 January 2020
In an era with an increasing number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains, there is a need to find a novel and efficient alternative to the antibiotics commonly used in animal nutrition. As natural proteins synthesized by most known bacteria, bacteriocins are considered future candidates. To date, nisin (E234), the best-known bacteriocin, is used as a preservative against food-borne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes in the food industry. However, there are scarce data about the application of nisin in the diet of livestock, including poultry. In this study, we evaluated the effect of nisin in broiler chicken diets on selected microbial populations, the activities of which are related to gastrointestinal health, growth performance, and gut histomorphology. We found that nisin application positively affects the feed conversion ratio and exerts a similar effect as the ionophore coccidiostat monensin in the case of microbiota modulation. Additionally, nisin supplementation decreased microbial fermentation in the jejunum. No changes in ileal histomorphology or internal organ weights were noted. We conclude that nisin may be considered a natural and safe antimicrobial agent and growth promoter in broiler chicken nutrition.