December 14, 2017

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Probiotics and natural products containing saponin appear to influence intestinal health by mechanisms other than interference with cycling of Eimeria spp. This study was conducted to investigate the differences in the cloacal microbiome in birds administered either a saponin-containing product (Biosupreme®), a probiotic containing both Lactobacillus and Bacillus spp. (GutPro ®), or a combination of the two. A pen trial was performed to examine the effects of three different product treatments on the gut bacterial communities of turkeys. We examined four different treatments: 1) negative control, 2) GutPro, 3) BioSupreme, and 4) BioSupreme + GutPro. Products were administered ad libitum via the drinking water for the duration of the trial. A total of 20 swabs were taken per treatment each at four different timepoints (days D07, D14, D21, and D28 of age). We used PCoA plotting as a way to compare the shifts in entire bacterial community in response to treatments. Each point represents a single sample, and samples are colored by treatment. At all timepoints, treatments significantly shifted the microbiome (P<0.05), indicating that all treatments are having a meaningful effect on the turkey gut microbiome.


What are the specific effects of BioSupreme and GutPro?

We then looked for specific bacterial groups of interest that were impacted by treatments with BioSupreme, GutPro, or both. The following list includes bacteria that were significantly impacted by treatments:

  • Bacteroides – significantly increased (P<0.05) at day 7 in GutPro group
  • Parabacteroides – significantly increased in treatment groups at days 14 and 28
  • Lactobacillus – increased at all timepoints in all groups, significant (P<0.05) at days 14 and 28 (shown to illustrate below)
  • Enterococcus – decreased at all timepoints in individual BioSupreme/GutPro groups, significant (P<0.05) at days 14 and 21
  • E. coli – significantly decreased at day 28 of age (P<0.05)
  • Pseudomonas – significantly decreased in all treatment groups at day 28

Bacterial diversity is a measure of a healthy bacterial population – in general, the more diverse the microbiome, the healthier the gut environment. We found that the three treatments had no negative effect on bacterial diversity in the turkey gut.



GutPro and BioSupreme both elicit positive effects on the turkey gut microbiome. These include increases in good bacteria such as Lactobacillus, Bacteroides, and Parabacteroides, and corresponding decreases in potential pathogens such as Enterococcus, E. coli, and Pseudomonas. Further studies are currently being conducted to evaluate the effects in broilers and evaluate the effect on Clostridium and Salmonella spp.

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by Timothy Johnson, Ph.D.

Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota and Hannah Menges

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