Three important gears make up the intestinal health of animals and intestinal immunity is one of these.
Each of these three gears affects the other two. The intestinal microbiota of an animal is protected by the intestinal barrier/integrity, and their effectiveness is greatly enhanced by the largest immune organ in the body, the intestine.
The intestine is exposed to a large diverse intestinal microbiota, both pathogenic and commensal, which is kept in check by the intestinal immune system via:
All of the above components work together to protect the animal from pathogens.
The primary function of the immune system is to protect animals from environmental threats that can impede their survival. The immune system identifies threats and eliminates these threats as quickly as possible and develops an immunological memory.
An immunological memory allows animals to remember specific pathogens and helps to eliminate these pathogens faster with subsequent exposures to the same pathogen.
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.
In modern animal production innate immunity is key to the survival of young animals. Modulation of innate immunity will therefore enhance the ability of the animal to repel a pathogenic challenge, which could lower the need for expensive medical interventions. Modulating innate immunity will also enhance the efficacy of vaccinations given to pullets and will help to mitigate the negative effects of weaning stress in piglets.
Nonspecific immunomodulation is an attempt to heighten immunologic capabilities at a time when an animal could be exposed to one or several pathogens and /or be immunocompromised.
Nonspecific immunomodulation can be advantageous during:
Feeding animals Beta 1,3 Glucan, an indigestible glucose fibre, has shown successful results with regards to prime innate immunity in both poultry and swine, thereby enhancing the ability of these animals to resist pathogens.
The intestinal health of animals is incredibly important, yet incredibly intricate. Kemin has therefore developed a three-geared approach to address intestinal immunity, intestinal microbiota and intestinal integrity holistically.
To strengthen intestine immunity, Kemin developed Aleta™, a highly bioavailable source of linear Beta 1,3 Glucan, that can help support intestinal health through innate intestinal immune modulation.