Evaluating Lactobacillus reuteri and Escherichia coli Nissle as Probiotic for Broiler Chicken

Morgan Roberts, Tennessee State University


Probiotics are promising additives for improving broiler chicken health and performance. In this study, we evaluated the antimicrobial activity of two probiotic strains of Lactobacillus reuteri and Escherichia coli Nissle (EcN) probiotic strains against major pathogens (Salmonella Typhimurium, Enterica, and Cholera). Encapsulated and freeze-dried probiotics were incorporated into broiler feed at 100 cfu/g. In a 5-week trial, 160-day-old broiler chicks were randomly assigned to four groups: (1) L. reuteri (100 cfu/g), (2) EcN (100 cfu/g), (3) positive control (wall material mixture), and (4) negative control (no probiotics or wall materials). Wheat bran served as the carrier for L. reuteri and EcN. L. reuteri exhibited strong antimicrobial activity against all tested pathogens, while EcN displayed no significant antimicrobial effect, despite prior in vivo evidence. Both probiotics had an impact on feed consumption, but birds fed L.reuteri was seen to increase the feed consumption (FC) and birds fed EcN had improved feed conversion ratio (FCR). Over the 5-week period, L. reuteri had a higher FCR compared to the negative control, while EcN exhibited a lower FCR. L.reuteri was observed to increase body weight gain (BWG), particularly within the first 3 weeks. EcN led to a 132g increase in BWG compared to the control diet, and birds fed wall/carrier materials gained 22g more. Carcass characteristics did not significantly differ among groups. In summary, L. reuteri increased the feed consumption while EcN had an increasing impact on BWG which correlates to the low feed that was converted, with limited effects on carcass composition.

Subject Area

Animal sciences|Food Science|Microbiology

Recommended Citation

Morgan Roberts, "Evaluating Lactobacillus reuteri and Escherichia coli Nissle as Probiotic for Broiler Chicken" (2023). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI30693703.