marine algae

Seaweed to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry

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As part of a partnership with the Olmix group, INRA researchers have shown that a compound extracted from green algae inhibits the growth of pathogenic bacteria in vitro and stimulates the production of immunity mediators by intestinal epithelial cells. Such a preparation could be used in farm animal feed to improve their robustness against infections and thus reduce the use of antibiotics. These results were published on March 8, 2016 in the Journal of Applied Phycology.
 
Aarine algae are chlorophyllous aquatic plants fixed on the seabed. They are classified into three groups according to the nature of their pigments, namely brown algae (Pheophyceae), red algae (Rhodophyceae) and green algae (Chlorophyceae or ulvales). The cell wall of these marine algae rich in sulphated polysaccharides has physico-chemical and biological properties that could have potential applications in the pharmaceutical and biomedical industry, in cosmetology, in agriculture or as food and feed additives.
 
The Olmix Group, created in 1995, specialises in the valorisation of green algae in Brittany, from harvesting to their transformation into natural and innovative products for the plant, animal and human nutrition and health sectors. In order to identify beneficial bioactive molecules, the Olmix group has prepared, from Ulva armoricana marine green algae harvested in Brittany, an extract of sulfated polysaccharides called MSP (Marine Sulfated Polysaccharides).
As part of a research partnership between the Olmix group and the Infectiology and Public Health Joint Research Unit of the Inra Val de Loire centre, an MSP was studied in vitro to test its ability to inhibit the growth of bacteria and stimulate the production of immunity mediators. The bacterial growth inhibitory power of MSP was observed on a panel of 42 strains of pathogenic bacteria isolated directly from farm animals or their environment. Among them, Pasteurella multocida, Manheimia haemolytica, Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus suis were found to be sensitive to the action of the MSP and were more sensitive than Salmonella or E. coli. In addition, MSP induced an increase in the production of cytokines, mediators of the immune response, in an in vitro system of differentiated porcine intestinal epithelial cells, indicating a potential immune-stimulating action by MSP.
 
 
Such a preparation could be used in the feed of farm animals to improve their resistance to infection and thus reduce the use of antibiotics".says the INRA in a press release. It could also be a potential adjuvant in vaccine strategies. Incorporated in feed, it could inhibit the growth of pathogens and stimulate the immune response, thereby reducing the use of antibiotics in livestock. » Marine algae as a source of sulphated polysaccharides could be used in feed for farmed animals to inhibit the growth of pathogens and stimulate the immune response. 
 
In a long-term perspective, INRA and Olmix would like to have active raw materials that can be administered without adverse effects in the feed of production animals, providing them with a benefit in terms of preserving their health and digestive comfort. Such adjunctive methods could reduce the incidence of situations requiring therapeutic approaches and thus potentially reduce the use of antibiotics.
 
 

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