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The role of added feed enzymes in promoting gut health in swine and poultry

  • Elijah Kiarie (a1), Luis F. Romero (a1) and Charles M. Nyachoti (a2)


The value of added feed enzymes (FE) in promoting growth and efficiency of nutrient utilisation is well recognised in single-stomached animal production. However, the effects of FE on the microbiome of the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) are largely unrecognised. A critical role in host nutrition, health, performance and quality of the products produced is played by the intestinal microbiota. FE can make an impact on GIT microbial ecology by reducing undigested substrates and anti-nutritive factors and producing oligosaccharides in situ from dietary NSP with potential prebiotic effects. Investigations with molecular microbiology techniques have demonstrated FE-mediated responses on energy utilisation in broiler chickens that were associated with certain clusters of GIT bacteria. Furthermore, investigations using specific enteric pathogen challenge models have demonstrated the efficacy of FE in modulating gut health. Because FE probably change the substrate characteristics along the GIT, subsequent microbiota responses will vary according to the populations present at the time of administration and their reaction to such changes. Therefore, the microbiota responses to FE administration, rather than being absolute, are a continuum or a population of responses. However, recognition that FE can make an impact on the gut microbiota and thus gut health will probably stimulate development of FE capable of modulating gut microbiota to the benefit of host health under specific production conditions. The present review brings to light opportunities and challenges for the role of major FE (carbohydrases and phytase) on the gut health of poultry and swine species with a specific focus on the impact on GIT microbiota.

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Corresponding author

*Corresponding author: Dr Elijah Kiarie, fax +44 1672 517778, email


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The role of added feed enzymes in promoting gut health in swine and poultry

  • Elijah Kiarie (a1), Luis F. Romero (a1) and Charles M. Nyachoti (a2)


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