Broiler Experiments Assess Anti-Campylobacter Activity of Live Enterococcus faecalis Strain

BELGIUM - New research reveals that although the probiotic, Enterococcus faecalis, colonised the caeca of broilers, it was inactivated in the birds' gastrointestinal tract.
calendar icon 21 January 2013
clock icon 3 minute read

Contrary to previous in vitro experiments, in which Enterococcus faecalis inhibited Campylobacter jejuni growth, no inhibition was observed in in-vivo experiments in a trial in Belgium recently reported in Poultry Science.

Bacterial gastroenteritis caused by thermotolerant Campylobacter species, mainly C.jejuni, has been the most reported zoonotic disease in many developed countries in recent years, according to J. Robyn of the Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research in Melle, Belgium and co-authors there and at Ghent University.

They suggest in this paper that reducing Campylobacter shedding on the farm could result in a reduction of the number of campylobacteriosis cases.

In two independent broiler seeder experiments, in which broiler chickens were orally inoculated with two amounts of E.faecalis MB 5259, the group established whether a live E.faecalis strain was capable of reducing caecal Campylobacter colonisation in broiler chickens.

In previous in vitro experiments, report Robyn and co-authors, it was demonstrated that this E.faecalis displays anti-Campylobacter activity. The effect of pH and bile salts on this E.faecalis, however, showed that its growth and survival may be impaired during passage through the gastrointestinal tract of broiler chickens. Despite these results, they added, this E.faecalis was capable of colonising the broiler caeca.


Robyn J., G. Rasschaert, D. Hermans, F. Pasmans and M. Heyndrickx. 2013. In vivo broiler experiments to assess anti-Campylobacter jejuni activity of a live Enterococcus faecalis strain. Poult. Sci. 92(1):265-271. doi: 10.3382/ps.2012-02712

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