Microfloral profile of the broiler midgut intestinal tract and cecum after addition of lupulone (hop β-acid) through drinking water and challenge with Clostridium perfringens
Tillman, Glenn Edward
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The use of antibiotic growth promotants in poultry rearing is a public health concern due to antibiotic resistance in bacteria and the harborage of resistance genes. Presently, lupulone, a hop β-acid from Humulus lupulus, was evaluated as a feed antibiotic alternative. The intestinal microflora of broilers was quantified after addition of lupulone to water and challenge with Clostridium perfringens. Microbial DNA was extracted from the broiler midgut and cecal sections and bacterial groups were quantified using real-time PCR. The predominant cecal bacterial groups were Clostridium leptum, C. coccoides and Bacteroides, whereas Lactobacillus, Enterobacteriacea and Enterococcus dominated the midgut. Lupulone at 125 ppm significantly decreased the C. perfringens subgroup in both the midgut and cecum and Lactobacillus in the midgut. Overall, no significant changes were noted in the microbial profile for the cecum or the midgut. Lupulone could be further evaluated as a measure against C. perfringens in poultry.