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Antibiotic Reduction — The Way Forward For Our Industry

Antibiotic resistance is one of the most pressing public health challenges of the twenty-first century. There are increasingly strict regulations regarding the choice, duration, and quantities of antibiotics used across Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa. Hence, the choice of whether to use an antibiotic needs to be based on reasonable justification.

Added to this, there is great interest in antibiotic alternatives globally. However, exclusively replacing antibiotics with an antimicrobial derived from a plant or chemical source may not the best way forward.

At Kemin, we know that a long-term solution to reduce antibiotic use using integrated health management is key. Such an approach helps us leverage sustainable alternatives using a tailormade method that makes the most of biosecurity, genetics, and feed. 

Antibiotic Reduction — The Way Forward For Our Industry

The lack of new antibiotics available on the market means that it is crucial to preserve the efficacy of already existing ones, especially when dealing with the critically important antibiotics for human health. Reducing antibiotic usage is crucial — both due to resistance and new regulations to reduce use. This poses significant challenges for pig health professionals and pig producers who strive to improve the livelihood of animals and who now have to do so by reducing overall antibiotic use.

In the pig industry, the failure of antibiotic therapy has an important impact on the wellbeing of pigs. From a practical perspective, the time required to perform the required preliminary analyses is another factor to take into account. For example in case of pig dysentery, sensitivity testing take some time, which poses management and welfare challenges. In general, one of the important causes of antibiotic use in the pig industry are enteric health challenges.

In particular during the pre-weaning period, more recent antibiotics have historically been used, including those considered to be of particular relevance for human health (e.g. fluroquinolones, cephalosporin, colistin). Risks of transmission of bacterial agents from sows to piglets (e.g. Clostridium spp, E. coli) also lead to the prophylactic and metaphylactic use of antibiotics. During the post weaning period, enteric diseases are still a main cause of antibiotic use. As pigs are kept in group and can be coprophagous, enteric diseases can spread fast.

Viral infections such as PRRS can also be factors that contribute to antibiotic use when they lead to secondary infections or depress immunity. In this regards, sound vaccination programs and adequate immune support are valuable health management tools.

At Kemin, we tackle these challenges using our preventative health focus — drawing upon the World Health Organization’s ‘One Health’ approach whereby we believe that our responsibility lies in working together with organizations in various sectors to achieve improved public health outcomes.

At Kemin, it is our priority to reduce antibiotic use in birds by providing you with the best possible alternatives and applicable services. To make this possible, our science-based solutions leverage the beneficial effects of intestinal health management and immune support. And we do so in two main ways:

1. Strengthening the digestive tract:

  • CLOSTAT® - our probiotic solution contains spores of Bacillus sp. ATCC PTA-6737 (patented by Kemin) originating from natural enteritis resistant chickens. CLOSTAT promotes a healthy microbiome and reduces the risks of enteritis.
  • ButiPEARLTM - our microencapsulated and highly concentrated source of butyrate enables superior handling ease and sustained release along the GIT. ButiPEARL improves overall intestinal integrity.
  • FormaXOLTM – Our non-antibiotic solution uses encapsulation technology and empowering synergism drawing on organic acids and functional flavors. FormaXOL controls pathogenic gram-negative bacteria in animals.

2. Improving immune status:

  • AletaTM – Our unique Beta-Glucan product derived from algae (Euglena gracilis) improves immune status.


Added to this, Kemin’s preventive health solutions benefit your pigs in the following ways by offering:

  • Excellent uniformity;
  • Optimal feed conversion;
  • Effective immunity;
  • Vaccination efficiency;
  • Piglet quality at weaning.

Our experts are always available for farm visits or remote advice. In doing so, we can help you tailor-make solutions for antibiotic reduction. Our large network of global experts has the experience needed to equip you with the most effective antibiotic reduction programs.

Moreover, our Customer Lab Service (CLS) performs multiple laboratory analyses and supports rapid on-farm tests to monitor the health status of your pigs.

Learn More About The Economics Of Pigs Preventive Health

Did you know that if Formyl (encapsulated organic acids) and Aleta challenged with E. coli, the need for antibiotic can be minimized. Our results have shown a reduction of over 250 mg of antibiotics administered per kg of body weight gain (parenteral, feed and drinking water), while supporting average daily gain and reducing mortality.

Did you know that when added to sows diets during late gestation and lactation, CLOSTAT can improve the number of piglets born alive (+5%), shortens the piglet birth intervals, improve piglet weight (+5%) and intestinal microbiome?

Did you know that when using of Aleta during antibiotic free pig batches, the mortality rates are similar compared to previous batches using antibiotics such as amoxicillin, which are often needed in for meningitis control?  

Read more about the effect of Aleta on pig performance in a PRRS herd

Did you know that if FormaXOL is given to piglets, the buffering capacity of the feed can be reduced as encapsulated calcium does not have a buffering effect in feed, and diarrhoea risk is reduced? This will have an ROI >3, the exact number depending on the level of challenge and litter size.

Read more about the standard and the better answer to E. Coli management in sows

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