Natural Feed Additives Used in the Poultry Industry addresses recent information on the use of different natural feed additives in poultry nutrition. Chapters in the book focus on the growth, production, reproduction and health of poultry.
- 15 chapters contributed by more than 30 experts and scientists involved in animal and poultry nutrition, physiology, toxicology, pharmacology, and pathology
- Chapters highlight the significance of a variety of herbal plant extracts and derivatives, cold pressed and essential oils, fruits by-products, immunomodulators, organic acids, probiotics, nanoparticles and their role in poultry industry instead of the growth promoter antibiotics.
- Provides details about the use of antibiotic as growth promoters in poultry and the development of bacterial resistance.
- Provides a holistic approach on how natural feed additives can provide an efficient solution to animal health,
- Covers the main categories of poultry, including broiler chickens, laying hens, quails, geese, ducks, and turkey.
- References in each chapter for further reading
This handbook represents an up-to-date review of the existing knowledge on natural feed additives, both in vitro and in vivo and the basis for future research. The text is useful to students of poultry sciences, nutritionists, scientists, veterinarians, pharmacologists, poultry breeders, and animal husbandry extension workers.
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Feed additives are non-nutritive preparations and formulations as well as useful microorganisms that are added to animal diets to enhance the growth, production, feed utilization, nutrient digestibility and absorption, immunity, public health, etc. This book on Natural Feed Additives Used in the Poultry Industry addresses recent information on the use of different natural feed additives in poultry nutrition with regard to growth, production and reproduction and health of poultry. This book contains 16 chapters contributed by 38 experts and scientists of animal and poultry nutrition, animal and poultry physiology, toxicology, pharmacology, and pathology, which highlights the significance of herbal plants and their extracts and derivatives, cold pressed and essential oils, fruits by-products, immunomodulators, organic acids, probiotics, nanoparticles and their role in poultry industry instead of the growth promoter antibiotics. This book provides details about the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in the poultry industry and the development of bacteria resistance to antibiotics. All chapters provide a holistic approach to how natural feed additives can provide an efficient solution to animal health, also covering the main categories of poultry, including broiler chickens, laying hens, quails, geese, ducks, and turkey. This book represents an up-to-date review of the existing knowledge on natural feed additives, both in vitro and in vivo and the basis for future research. This book is useful to the students of poultry sciences, nutritionists, scientists, veterinarians, pharmacologists, poultry breeders, and animal husbandry extension workers.
I was delighted when I received a request from Mahmoud Alagawany and Mohamed E. Abd El-Hack to write a brief foreword to the reprint of this book because, for several years, I have admired their incredible work. Moreover, as a consumer of poultry products, I always search the markets for organic products to keep my body away from the antibiotic residues. So, I believe that the topic of this book is much needed for all people who produce or consume poultry products in their food.
Looking through this magnificent book, I am amazed at the authors' talent and what they achieved with a pencil. It is more than a book of lovely illustrations. It is a mine of information, demonstrating their technique in the minutest detail and it is a source of inspiration and information for those who work in the poultry production field.
In shorts, Alagawany and Abd El-Hack's book is unique and indeed work to treasure for anyone interested in poultry production. So, read it, enjoy it and learn from it. Thank you, Alagawany and Abd El-Hack, for producing such a masterwork.
Improving the growth rate and preventing infectious diseases of food-producing animals, including poultry, are critically required to satisfy the dietary needs of the growing population around the world. Antibiotics are drugs of low or medium molecular weights with variable biological and chemical characteristics. They could be produced naturally from microorganisms or synthesized in the laboratories. Antibiotics have been used extensively in the poultry sector for therapeutic purposes such as treatment and prevention of infectious diseases and reduction of their incidence by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms or destroying them to improve the bird’s health. They also have been applied in sub-therapeutic levels as feed additives to promote the rates of growth, improve weight gain, enhance feed efficiency and increase egg production to provide adequate amounts of eggs and meat of good quality needed by consumers at reasonable costs. Anyway, the extensive use of such antibiotics in poultry diets raised concerns about increasing the incidence of resistant pathogens, which has an adverse effect not only on poultry performance but also on the health of humans.
In the last years, several substances have been used as good alternatives to antibiotic growth enhancers. Herbal plants and its derivatives (extracts, cold-pressed oils and essential oils), probiotics, fruits by-products, organic acids, nanomaterials, blends of such phytogenic feed additives have been accepted as suitable alternatives with distinct mechanisms. The beneficial uses of natural herbal plants in medical sciences have achieved great attention due to promising health benefits in comparison with synthetic pharmaceutics.
Due to its nutritional and immunological effects, such as improved feed efficiency, regulation of endogenous digestive enzymes, efficiency, regulation of endogenous digestive enzymes, immune response stimulation, antiviral, antibacterial, efficiency, regulation of endogenous digestive enzymes, efficiency,
regulation of endogenous digestive enzymes, immune response stimulation, antiviral, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties, medicinal plants seem to be of great importance.
Improving poultry production using probiotics as feed additives is one of the decent alternative options to antibiotics. Probiotics are described as “living microorganisms that confer a benefit on the host health when applied in adequate quantities”. Probiotics as feed additives help in feed digestion by creating the nutrients in an available form for growing faster. Also, supplemented poultry diets with probiotics improved immunity status. Besides, fortified poultry diets with probiotics enhancing meat characterization and egg quality traits; while selected natural feed additives such as whole herbal plants, cold-pressed oil, essential oils proved to be able to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation in poultry, enhancing the digestibility of nutrient.
Also, organic acids are used as natural preservatives for food products and as hygiene promoters that affected microbial growth, which improved the freshness and shelf-life of food items. This book describes the benefits and the hazards of using antibiotics as growth promoters in poultry feeding and also discusses the valuable effects of natural feed additives on poultry production and health and their critical role in the poultry industry.
The improvement in the growth of birds through the use of antibiotics could be obtained by reducing the count of harmful microorganisms, providing beneficial ones by suitable growth media, decreasing the thickness of gut mucosa and regulating the motility of gut, leading to better absorption of nutrients. However, achieving these desirable goals is not devoid of risks. Where, the frequent and improper use of antibiotics can reverse their therapeutic advantages through giving the opportunity to any existent microorganism to develop antibiotic resistance, which can hinder the effectiveness of antibiotics as chemotherapeutic or prophylactic agents in poultry. Additionally, antibiotic resistance genes can be transmitted to the natural environment and contaminate soil, water and plants. Moreover, the indiscriminate application of antibiotics could result in the accumulation of noticeable amounts of drug residues (the parent compounds or their injurious metabolites) in the edible tissues of poultry, including eggs and meat, which are very important sources in human feeding. The residues of antibiotics in poultry products can result in various pathological conditions and hazardous impacts on human health, such as being sensitive to antimicrobials in addition to allergy, cell mutations, imbalanced microbiota in the intestine and the development of bacteria resistance to antibiotics. This chapter describes the benefits and the hazards of using antibiotics as growth promoters in poultry feeding.
Antibiotics are among the most essential veterinary drugs associated with animal and poultry production as they could inhibit the growth of microorganisms or destroy them when used at low levels without damaging the host . The antibiotics are used in the poultry industry for treatment (therapeutic) and prevention (prophylaxis) of diseases, modifying the body physiology, and for growth-promoting purposes . The growth-promoting properties of antibiotics were first observed by Moore et al. . They reported that birds exposed to streptomycin in their diet showed improved growth response. Some other experiments followed this study in chickens and different animal species with similar results [4-7]. Since then, the use of antibiotics as growth promoters became one of the most common well-established practices in the livestock industry and increased with animal production intensification. Antibiotics are utilized in poultry diet as feed additives to improve the growth, feed efficiency and productivity and to ensure food safety [8-10]. However, reaching these desirable objectives is related to some risks, where the inappropriate handling and use of these antibiotics have led to the accumulation of noticeable concentrations of harmful residues in edible poultry tissues and eggs . Consumption of these residues can lead to various health problems and the development of antibiotic resistance in pathogens and/or commensal microorganisms, which may result in severe pathological conditions and consequently threaten the public health . However, the transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes from animals to human pathogens is still unconfirmed. Several works showed a relationship between the improper use of antibiotics at sub-therapeutic levels and the development of antibiotic resistance in microflora [13-17].
Therefore, the antibiotic-treated birds should be held for specific withdrawal periods for the depletion of the antibiotic residues to safe levels in eggs and tissues. Moreover, applicable and straightforward screening methods should be developed for the detection of antimicrobial residues in edible tissues before reaching consumers . Additionally, it is important to search for antibiotic alternatives such as probiotics, prebiotics, synbiotics, phytogenics and others to increase birds’ productivity and help them perform their genetic potentials under commercial conditions . The main objectives of the following sections are to provide an overview on the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in poultry production and to review the public health risks related to the residues of antibiotics (human health effects, antimicrobial resistance) and the techniques of their screening and detection in food from animal origins. Lastly, this chapter highlights the measures and recommendations to control or prevent antimicrobial residues in poultry tissues.
Antibiotics are all bacteriostatic, which could prevent the growth and division of the bacterial cell. Some of them can be bacteriocidal or even caused bacteriolysis. Antibiotics can exert their mode of actions through direct or indirect prevention of nucleic acid replication, interfering with protein development required for the growth of bacteria or interfering with the synthesis of the cell wall [20, 21]. The mechanism of the antimicrobial action of antibiotics is illustrated in Fig. (1). The most common types of antibiotics (aminoglycosides, beta-lactam antibiotics, tetracycline, polypeptide antibiotics, sulphonamides, quinolones, chloramphenicol, and macrolide antibiotics), their action mechanisms, the spectrum of activity and some specific characteristics are represented in Table 1 as extracted from Diaz-Sanchez et al. .
The antibiotics were used in food-producing animals for therapeutic purposes to control a bacterial infection, which leads to disease conditions without causing health effects to the host; or as prophylactic agents in sub-therapeutic concentration to prevent the possible infections in more susceptible animals. Moreover, antibiotics could be mixed with animal feed in subtherapeutic levels to inhibit the activity of natural microbiota in the digestive tract of animals and poultry for growth promotion [2, 10].
The use of antimicrobials for growth promotion in farm animals was discovered in the late 1940s when tetracycline production wastes were fed to chickens as a vitamin B12 source. These wastes led to the rapid growth of birds compared to controls. Stokstad and Jukes  found that tetracycline residues were responsible for this rapid growth, not the vitamin contents. Since this discovery, antibiotics have been widely used in most food-producing animals to increase the rates of growth, feed conversion and egg production without veterinarian prescription [24, 25].
There are various ideas that could be proposed to explain the growth-promoting properties of antibiotics; however, to date, the exact mechanism is not perfectly elucidated. A preliminary theory has related the efficacy of antibiotics as a growth promoter to its antimicrobial effect, which involved in reducing the overall diversity or number of microbiota in the gut [26, 27]. This leads to decreasing the competition between the host and microbiota for nutrients and also reduced the unwanted bacterial metabolites such as bile catabolism and amino acids [28, 29]. The addition of antibiotics to animal or birds diet at low doses could improve the physiological performances by enhancing the nutrient absorption via intestinal epithelia, promoting the synthesis of vitamins and growth factors and destroying the pathogens, thereby reducing the toxin release . Moreover, the antibiotic growth promoters could increase productivity by enhancing the rate of growth and the efficiency of feed conversion and controlling some of the chronic conditions .
While, Niewold  proposed a contradicting theory, in which the growth-promoting impacts of antibiotic is related to its interaction with the immune system of the host rather than its microbial-inhibitory action. He suggested that antibiotic has an anti-inflammatory effect which could save the energy required for production. Where, antibiotic can decrease the host inflammatory responses and, consequently, the pro-inflammatory cytokines which are responsible for reduced appetite and enhanced catabolism of muscles.
With the development of molecular biology and bioinformatics, the shift in composition diversity and structure of microbiota became possible to be included in the livestock diet [33-35]. This shift may result in balanced microorganisms with less capability of inducing inflammatory responses in the host, maximize the harvesting of energy from different nutrients and improve the animal performance to its genetic potential [36, 37].
However, relating a specific type of bacteria to the enhancement of growth or the way of modifying microbiota to more beneficial onesis still a challenge for the researchers . Some researchers showed that antimicrobial growth promoters could reduce the numbers of gut bacteria which produce bile salt hydrolase (BSH) enzyme (an enzyme catalyzes bile acids deconjugation and modifies the metabolism of lipid by the host) [29, 38, 39].
In another study on mice, antibiotics at sub-therapeutic levels altered the composition and metabolic activity of gut microorganisms through selecting the species of bacteria which can extract a higher calories proportion from complex carbohydrate (higher copy number of genes participated in carbohydrate metabolism into short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) . They found that the phenotype with growth-promoting activity could be transferred to hosts free of germs by low doses of antibiotic-selected bacteria, indicating that the growth enhancement was related to the action of altered bacteria, not the antibiotic. Cox et al.  stated that early exposure to antibiotics at low doses in young mice affected the metabolism of the host by the development of age-related microorganisms and modifying the expressions of immune-related genes. Some properties of antibiotics as growth promoters in poultry are described in Fig. (2).Fig. (2)) Mechanism of action of antibiotic growth promoters in poultry.
Antibiotics are usually introduced to birds in their drinking water or feed. After administration, they are absorbed in the bird's GIT (gastrointestinal tract) and the rate of absorption depends on some factors including the physical and chemical characters of the drug, dietary sources and bivalent ions in the GIT . The distribution of antibiotics in animal tissues is influenced by some other variables such as sex, age and species .
For example, the concentrations of Ampicillin, sulphadimidine and oxytetracycline have been reported to increase in the plasma immediately from the first day of administration and were detected in the kidney, liver and breast muscles on the second day . Penicillin is metabolized in the liver and kidney and excreted in the urine. On the other hand, sulphonamides have various metabolic pathways and their main metabolite is an acetyl derivative and this class can affect the thyroids and the hypothalamic-pituitary axis as a primary mode of toxic action. Oxytetracycline showed a wide distribution in different body tissues and organs such as kidney, liver, bones and teeth with little or no metabolism . Burrows et al.  stated that neomycin and gentamycin are not metabolized in the animal body but are depleted from fat and muscles and become persistent in the liver and kidney, affecting their functions. While streptomycin is not readily absorbed in GIT due to its high molecular mass and pass unchanged in feces.
The purposes of using antibiotics in food producing animals are therapeutic, prophylactic or diagnostic ones. Therefore, it is of importance to ensure that the used drug would not be present in tissues above the safe Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) and the tissues should be free from residues of banned drugs [47, 48]. The authorized drugs should have a fixed MRL for the consumer’s safety and it should not increase if the used veterinary practices were controlled. However, the presence of antimicrobial residues in edible poultry tissues and eggs and the unwanted impacts of such residues on the consumers are still an issue of public health concern.
One of the primary causes of antimicrobial residues in poultry products is the failure in determining the withdrawal period of the drug as this period varied greatly depending on the type of the drug, dose and administration route [49, 50]. Using of antibiotics contrary to the label directions or the use of off-label drugs, improper applications and management of antibiotics, continuous use of banned antibiotics, lack of treatment records, difficulties in identification of treated animals, absence of consumer awareness about the undesirable health effects associated with the consumption of antibiotics residues are other important causes for incidences of antibiotic residues [43, 51, 52].
The improper route of administration, overdose, longer duration, using of drugs that are not recommended for poultry (e.g., the use of sulfonamides for laying birds and/or the use of hormones and beta-agonist compounds in poultry as general) can lead to toxic residues in edible poultry tissues or eggs .
Residues of antibiotics in food from animal origins (meat, egg, or milk) represent one of the most critical public health concerns since man is the main consumer of such products with their toxic residues . Public health hazards and pathological impacts of antibiotic residues (immunological, microbiological, or toxicological) have been stated in various researches worldwide [44, 50, 54-56].
Various kinds of antibiotics could act as potent antigens or haptens, which can lead to an allergic reaction. For example, residues of ß-lactam antibiotic residues in meat or milk which induce hypersensitivity reactions in the form of IgE-mediated response which occurred directly after exposure to the antibiotic (as anaphylaxis, serum sickness, cutaneous reactions as urticaria, angioedema and bronchospasm) or non-IgE-mediated response such as hemolytic anemia, acute interstitial nephritis, thrombocytopenia, vasculitis, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, erythema multiforme and toxic epidermal necrolysis [57, 58]. Another example is the anaphylactic reactions (a delayed hypersensitivity response) caused by penicillin . Additionally, the exposure to sulfonamide may induce some skin reactions such as mild rash or toxidermia . On a similar ground, some kinds of macrolides (e.g., clarithromycin and erythromycin) showed a tendency to induce allergic responses, which can modify the hepatic cells leading to hepatic injury . Settepani  stated that residues of chloramphenicol in food could seldom induce fatal blood dyscrasia.
Intestinal microflora has important functions inside the body, such as controlling and preventing the colonization of pathogenic microorganisms in the GIT . However, some researchers have concluded that the administration of antimicrobial agents at subtherapeutic levels produced some alterations and changes in the ecological compositions, reduced the number, or killed some important species of the gut microflora leading to gastrointestinal disturbance [64, 65]. The degree of changes varied depending on the antibiotic dose, administration route, bioavailability, length of exposure and the biotransformation of the antibiotic in the body, including metabolism, distribution and excretion . Streptomycin, flunixin and tylosin are reported to induce such effects . Some antibiotics (particularly of broad-spectrum activity) or their residues can lead to the elimination of intestinal microflora, providing a free field for fungi and yeast multiplication resulting in pathogenic conditions or altered the drug resistance of intestinal microflora [68, 69].
The drug resistance has been observed after exposure to a new antibiotic class or repeated exposure to sublethal doses . Bacteria can resist the antimicrobial action by different mechanisms such as inactivating the enzyme, altering the binding sites on the drug targets, efflux activities and decreasing the cell wall permeability. The bacterial resistance against antibiotics could be intrinsic or acquired. The intrinsic resistance is associated with the bacterial chromosome inherent characters such as gene mutations and induction of enzymes production . The acquired one could result from resistance gene transmission from the environment and/or horizontal transfer from other bacterial species [72, 73]. The mechanism of antimicrobial resistance is represented in Fig. (3).
The transfer of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria represents a health hazard in peoples consumed food of animal origins (meat, egg, milk) contaminated with the toxic residues of antibiotics. As the microorganisms from animal origins, can replace the human microflora or supplement and superimpose loads to the reservoir of resistance genes already exist in human .
The overuse of antimicrobial drugs around the world can also lead to the emergence of antibiotic-resistant genes (ARGs) . The utilizing of the antimicrobials in food animals can select for antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which may spread to humans through the food (food borne-pathogenes), leading to inadequate responses to treatment . For example, using fluoroquinolones in the poultry sector resulted in the development of resistant strains of Salmonella spp. and Campylobacter spp. which have been isolated from the poultry tissues [76-78]. Moreover, the use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in both humans and animals resulted in the development of the multi-resistant Escherichia coli, which created a problem of transmitting their ARGs to the next generations . Table 2 summarizes the antibiotic resistance of some selected microorganisms in poultry.Fig. (3)) Antimicrobial resistance.
Moreover, the administration of antibiotic residues can result in hearing loss, hepatotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, bone marrow toxicity, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity, carcinogenicity, mutagenicity and teratogenicity [67, 130, 131].
Antibiotics can contaminate the environment in different ways viz., during the process of manufacturing, throwing the drug containers and unused drugs or through the animal wastes and manure. Large amounts of antibiotics are excreted by animals in feces and urine as parent compounds or toxic metabolites as a considerable amount of antibiotics are not completely absorbed from GIT [132, 133]. The antibiotic concentration is varied greatly depending on the dilution, duration of exposure and the sampling time after exposure. The highest and most frequently detected residues in animal wastes are those belonging to the tetracycline group, followed by fluoroquinolone [133, 134] while penicillin is unstable in wastes and could be degraded by the soil microorganisms .
Antibiotics can also contaminate the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems via the discharges of effluents from the farms with the bioactive drug residues .
The persistence of antimicrobial residues in the different environments depends on some factors such as physiochemical characters of the residue, characteristics of the environment (soil, water, or air) and climatic conditions including humidity, rainfall and temperature . For example, tetracyclines and fluoroquinolones persist in soil for long periods while sulphonamides  while, sulphonamides showed relative stability and found in the bioavailable form in the environment.
The presence of antimicrobial residues in the soil can affect the microbial communities in such soil, depending on the type and amount of residues and the bacterial species present [139, 140]. These residues can change the structures and abundance of the microbial communities and their activity in degrading the environmental contaminants and inhibit their ecological roles such as the transformation of nitrogen, methanogenesis, and reduction of sulfate in aquatic and soil environments .
There are various analytical techniques available for screening and confirmation of antimicrobial residues in animal products, which are varied according to the types of residues and analyzed food. The analytical techniques include biological, immunological and chromatographic techniques. Microbiological methods are used to monitor the veterinary drug residues in foods derived from animals [50, 56] and are commonly used for detecting the residues of antibiotics in slaughtered animals in Europe . Immunological techniques are sensitive and specific screening techniques based on antigen-antibody reaction. One example is the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which showed high efficacy in the screening of antibiotic residues in meat, particularly tetracycline and tylosin [143, 144]. The other example is the radioimmunoassay technique, which can measure the radioactivities of immunological complexes by a counter .
Chromatographic methods which are confirmatory techniques used for screening of sample that requires further investigations such as liquid chromatography which enables the quantitative and qualitative multi-residues screening in animal tissues however its use showed a rapid decrease in the last two decades . Another technique is the high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), which can analyze multiple antimicrobial residues in a short time with fully automated equipment. It has been used for the screening of antibiotics in fish, meat and internal organs [147, 148]. Moreover, the coupling of HPLC with mass spectrometry (MS/LC) could effectively reduce the time of analysis for better confirmation of the samples, which were positive in initial screening suggesting its simultaneous use for screening and confirmation purposes [149, 150]. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) and Ultra-performance liquid chromatography-Mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS) have also been used widely for quantitative and confirmatory analysis of antibiotic residues in meat, egg as well as milk [151-154].
In recent years, for food safety purposes, modern screening technologies have been developed, such as biosensors. These instruments are made up of two elements, which are bioreceptor (biological recognition element) and transducer (can convert the recognized events into measurable signals) . Biosensors have been reported to be rapid, inexpensive, highly selective and easily handled instruments (not need skilled persons) . Biosensors can be classified based on the types of bioreceptors, which can be organic molecules (antibody, protein, enzyme, or nucleic acid) or living biological systems (tissues, cells, or a whole organism) .
The enzyme-based biosensor, which is commonly applied for herbicides analysis, has been used for the detection of penicillin ; however, the studies on its application for other antibiotics are still few. On the other hand, the cellular biosensor has been reported to be applied for fast and effective detection of multiple antibiotic residues either separately, such as beta-lactam antibiotics [159, 160], tetracyclines [161, 162], quinolones  or simultaneously as chloram- phenicol and quinolones . The transducer biosensors have various common types such as mass-based, electrochemical or optical biosensors.
Surface Plasmon Resonance (SPR) based biosensors, Microdialysis and Solid Phase Micro-Extraction (SPME) methods are also from the modern screening techniques which are capable of analyzing the drug residues in animal tissues [48, 164]. The antibiotic residues in animal products (milk, meat, muscle, liver and kidney) have been detected in several studies by the use of different screening methods, as summarized in Table 3.
Prevention of antimicrobial residues in food from animal origins is an important issue, particularly for veterinarians in the regulatory and pharmaceutical sectors responsible for the assessment of the fates of chemicals and drugs which enter the food chain of the human through consumption of edible tissues . There are some valuable steps that should be followed to achieve this purpose, as reported in previous literature. These steps include: improving the awareness of organizations and individuals about the problems and health risks associated with antibiotic residues in animal products including meat and eggs [21, 164] following the appropriate periods of withdrawal strictly to reach the safe concentrations of antibiotics for consumers and this should be enforced by the government or other regulatory bodies [44, 177], reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics and management of the farms with the best available hygiene practices . Additionally, inactivation of antibiotic residues could be reached by proper cooking, processing and preservation (refrigeration and pasteurization) of the animal products [56, 179]. The concentration of antibiotic residues in edible animal products could be lowered by using resin, activated charcoal and UV irradiation . Moreover, simple, rapid and inexpensive screening techniques and field testes should be developed for the detection of antimicrobial residues in edible tissues before reaching consumers [18, 179, 180]. Proper monitoring procedures are essential to control the irrational use of antibiotics in animal feed and environment and to avoid the emergence of antimicrobial resistance Cheng et al. .
The heat treatment of animal foodstuffs may inactivate antibiotics . Many of the studies have reported that degradation of β-lactams, quinolones, sulfonamides, macrolides, tetracyclines, and aminoglycosides are temperature-dependent and prolonged heating time helps to induce more degradation . Introducing of novel alternatives with the same beneficial impacts of antibiotics growth promoters such as synbiotics, prebiotics, probiotics and organic acids should be considered .
Promotion and development of ethnoveterinary practices obtained from herbal plants as alternatives to antibiotics are also highly recommended due to their availability, accessibility, safety, efficacy, affordability and ease of production and preparation . Ethno-pharmacology can also combat the problems of antibiotic resistance and residues accumulation in animal products .
Antibiotics have been used extensively in the poultry industry for the treatment or prevention of infectious diseases. Subtherapeutic levels of antibiotics have been applied as feed additives to promote the growth rate, increase weight gain, and improve feed utilization and egg production. But, the indiscriminate application of antibiotics could result in the accumulation of residues in edible tissues and eggs, which represent an essential source in human feeding. Such residues can pose health hazards to consumers, such as hypersensitivity and development of antibiotic resistance. The antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains (pathogenic and nonpathogenic) can be disseminated into the environment and transmitted to humans via the food chain leading to severe problems for public health. The occurrence of antibiotic residues is mainly related to the improper use (using f extra-label or illegal drugs) and the failure in determining the specific withdrawal period. Therefore, for therapeutic purposes, antibiotics should be used in proper doses for proper periods. Additionally, the indiscriminate use of antibiotics at subtherapeutic levels for growth-promoting purposes should be prohibited by regulatory bodies. The withdrawal period should be followed and the rules associated with the permissible limits of antimicrobial residues should be strictly enforced. More so, developing sensitive and reliable techniques to monitor the antibiotic residues is important to save the consumer health and to decrease the contamination of the environment. Promotion of ethnoveterinary practices and keeping the best available hygienic conditions are necessary to obtain safe animal products and to reduce the emergence of antibiotic resistance in pathogenic microorganisms.
The author confirms that this chapter contents have no conflict of interest.
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