Disease risks are a fact of life for farmers, ranchers and food animal producers whether they are raising crops, pigs, poultry, fish or shrimp. At the root of enteric infections is an imbalance in the intestinal immune-microbiota axis.

The complex interactions between feed, microbiome and host immune system have emerged as a primary focus for devising new strategies to combat livestock intestinal health issues. Bacteria ‘talk’ to each other using chemicals as words, in a signalling system now known as quorum sensing (QS).

Numerous bacterial species make small-molecule signals, called autoinducers (AI), that they release into their immediate environment to track changes in cell numbers. As the bacterial population grows, increasing in density, AI concentrations accumulate. Rather than individual bacterial cells expressing virulence factors, QS enables bacterial populations to achieve a population large enough for virulence factor expression, such as the production of extracellular toxins that damage the intestinal wall, reduce productivity and cause clinical disease. Click here to read the full article. – All About Feed