Endotoxins and Their Negative Impact on Poultry

2 August 2016, at 12:00am

GLOBAL - Endotoxins, present everywhere in a broiler’s environment, pose a genuine threat that can impair immune system and performance. A multi-strategy (myco)toxin risk management solution can counteract both endotoxins and mycotoxins.

Endotoxins are part of the outer membrane of the cell wall of all Gram-negative bacteria (e.g. E. coli, Salmonella, Shigella, Pseudomonas) that are released from bacterial cell walls by shedding or through bacterial lysis.

These toxins, also called lipopolysaccharides (LPS) because of their structure, consist of a lipid and a polysaccharide (Figure 1). While there are many natural sources of endotoxins, for example, air, dust, food, water, and faeces, the major source is the gastrointestinal tract.