Butyrate has been used extensively as a feed additive to improve gut health and to decrease Salmonella colonization in poultry. Salmonella mainly colonizes the ceca so butyrate concentrations should be increased in this gut segment. Discrepancies on the effects of butyrate on Salmonella colonization, described in the scientific literature, could thus be due to butyrate release location effects. In this study, newly developed butyrate formulations were evaluated for their effect on cecal butyrate concentrations and on colonization by Salmonella Enteritidis. In a first trial, broilers were randomly allocated to 7 dietary treatment groups with formulations based on different approaches to modify the butyrate release profile: release from wax matrices based on diffusion/erosion; micropellets supposedly release butyrate around pH 7 in the colon; tributyrin is based on the hydrolysis of esters in the small intestine. Fat-protected butyrate was included as a reference, because of its known effect on reduction of Salmonella colonization. Four days after infection, the number of cfu Salmonella per g cecal content and spleen were determined. Butyrate formulations in a wax matrix significantly reduced the Salmonella colonization in cecal content. In a second trial, wax and fat-protected butyrate treatments were replicated and results from the first trial were confirmed. Compared to the control group a higher proportion of butyrate concentration was observed in ceca for those groups with reduced Salmonella colonization. This was associated with a beneficial shift in the cecal microbiota. In conclusion, formulations that increase cecal butyrate concentrations are superior in protecting against Salmonella Enteritidis colonization.
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