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J Appl Microbiol. 2018 Jun;124(6):1334-1346. doi: 10.1111/jam.13690. Epub 2018 Feb 8.

Bacillus probiotics: an alternative to antibiotics for livestock production.

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Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Faculty of Science, Mahidol University-Osaka University Collaborative Research Center for Bioscience and Biotechnology (MU-OU:CRC), Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


The use of probiotics as feed supplements in animal production has increased considerably over the last decade, particularly since the ban on antibiotic growth promoters in the livestock sector. Several Bacillus sp. are attractive for use as probiotic supplements in animal feed due to their ability to produce spores. Their heat stability and ability to survive the low pH of the gastric barrier represent an advantage over other probiotic micro-organisms. This review discusses important characteristics required for selection of Bacillus probiotic strains and summarizes the beneficial effect of Bacillus-based feed additives on animal production. Although the mechanism of action of Bacillus probiotics has not been fully elucidated, they are effective in improving the growth, survival and health status of terrestrial and aquatic livestock. Bacillus strains also have utility in bioremediation and can reduce nitrogenous waste, thereby improving environmental conditions and water quality. Finally, recent innovative approaches for using Bacillus spores in various applications are discussed.


Bacillus ; antibiotics; antimicrobials; probiotics; spores

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