As mentioned already, the intestine is the largest immune organ in the body and is often the first line of defence against the invasion of pathogens. However, due to the severe pressure on modern animal production, these animals are exposed to excessive levels of physiological stress that lead to immune suppression. As a result, these animals are very susceptible to enteric diseases.
In order to protect layer and breeder pullets from serious poultry diseases an intense vaccination schedule is followed during the rearing phase.
While these vaccination schedules are vital for their survival and future production they can also negatively affect the birds’ immune system.
Piglets are also often weaned at a young age before acquired immunity has had time to develop. This means piglets are entirely reliant on innate immunity for their survival.
Developing and maintaining intestinal immunity in modern swine and poultry production is therefore a vital gear in improving these animals’ intestinal health.