Feeding broilers trace minerals could help control Salmonella.

In a WATT Poultry Chat interview, Dr. Raquel Burin, a technical account manager for poultry at Zinpro Corp., explained the function of trace minerals in the gut and how they can strengthen the poultry immune system.

Austin Alonzo: What are mineral complexes?

Raquel Burin: Trace minerals, including zinc, manganese, and copper, they are essential for the proper function of several biological processes in the body. To give you an example, zinc alone is a factor of more than 300 enzymes. So it's not a surprise that this trace mineral is required in almost every metabolic pathway of the body, having a direct impact on animal performance as well as animal health and welfare.

In fact, the concept of supplementing trace minerals to prevent infectious disease is something very well explored in science already, especially in human medicine. So you can find a lot of research papers showing the impact of trace minerals on host-bacterial interactions, or even how they work in harmony with the immune system to prevent infectious disease caused by viruses or bacteria.

Zinpro trace minerals they are present in a different complex, which is complex with amino acids, and that's why they're way better absorbed by the animal. So we decided to explore how these improved trace minerals could control Salmonella in poultry. And as we already know Salmonella is an important foodborne pathogen that can negatively impact the food safety system of companies around the globe.

We've seen in our in vivo trials two important results. The first one is that in contrast to the inorganic sources, Zinpro trace minerals, they reduce the Salmonella loads in the gastrointestinal tract of birds, and also the ability of Salmonella to invade internal organs like the liver, spleen and even the reproductive tract. The second message is that these reduced loads contributed to reduce fecal shedding of these microorganism to the environment and also the prevalence of Salmonella in birds at market age, which are the birds that are ready to be processed and sent to the consumer.

Austin Alonzo: How do mineral complexes control Salmonella in poultry?

Raquel Burin: Zinpro mineral complexes help by building a strong first line of defense, maintaining intact the main portals of entry for infections, which would be the respiratory or gastrointestinal tract. So it would be expected that by building this strong first line of defense, we will also contain the invasion of Salmonella in poultry. 

At a molecular level, we've seen that Zinpro mineral complexes help to promote a better and stronger intestinal epithelial integrity by inducing tight junction proteins, which are those proteins that help to hold one epithelial cell to another, avoiding spaces between the cells that can allow translocation of Salmonella into the organism of the animal. Boosts the immune system by inducing cytokines, chemokines, which are the chemical signals that helps to recruit more inflammatory cells to the location of infection, once again, with the objective to contain Salmonella invasion. Secretion of antimicrobial peptides, to reduce the pathogenic cells present in that environment, in the intestinal lumen.

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Finally, we've also evidenced that Zinpro mineral complexes shifts the diversity of the microbiota into a more beneficial one. So as you can see, Zinpro mineral complexes, are like tools that can be used by the birds to fight infections, so they can continue to perform, while still capable to prevent a disease.

Austin Alonzo: Why does the source of trace minerals impact their mode of action?

Raquel Burin: So first, we need to understand that building a strong first line of defense requires great amounts of minerals coming from the inside of the body. So that's why improving mineral absorption is so valuable during infectious challenge. So inorganic trace minerals, or even some trace minerals that claim to be organic, have different chemical structures. Those are the structures that actually will determine the way of their transport across the cells and the way of their absorption.

One of the advantages of using a Zinpro mineral complex is that Zinpro uses a technology that protects these trace minerals by attaching them to amino acids, making this molecule much more stable, increasing the efficiency of their transport across the cells, and consequently making them more bioavailable to them.

This technology also contributes, or avoids, that these trace minerals dissociate, when they travel down the gastrointestinal tract encountering low pH's in those environments, and also avoids the interaction with possible antagonists that may be present in the feed or inside the intestinal lumen.

Austin Alonzo: Alright, Raquel, was there anything else you'd like to add?

Raquel Burin: Please go and visit Zinpro.com to learn more about the Zinpro first line of defense.

This transcript edited for length and clarity.