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Probiotics Are Considered Antibiotic Substitutes In France

- Jul 25, 2018 -

Probiotics are considered antibiotic substitutes in France

The yeast and yeast fractions have been identified as safe and effective antibiotic substitutes by the French Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Agency ANSES*.

ANSES recently published a report reviewing the effectiveness and safety of antibiotic alternatives in the livestock industry and studying a wide range of potential solutions.

Effective antibiotic reduction solution

The report is based on a list of numerous commercial substances, all of which claim to provide a solution that helps reduce the use of antibiotics in animal production. ANSES has selected the most relevant scientific statements using a proven methodology.


The French agency report marks a new milestone in the analysis of antibiotic reduction. Photo: Phileo Lesaffre Animal Care

After reviewing hundreds of scientific publications, ANSES subsequently selected a small portion for further research to determine the most effective antibiotic alternatives for future use in animal production.

Achieved new milestones

The French agency report marks a new milestone in the analysis of antibiotic reduction. This includes its impact on Phileo's ongoing work and strategy; Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (Sc) yeast is named as one of the few effective and safe solutions.

The report specifically recognizes the quality of scientific data produced by Phileo to support the use of Actisaf. Scientific publications from 36 selected digestive disorders in weaned piglets, such as 10 probiotics, rely on the beneficial effects of yeast to help support piglet health.

Protected weaned piglets

One major published study, which compared Sc yeast and Colistin, showed that when supplemented as a preventive solution, Sc yeast helped to deliver high protection to weaning piglets. Trevisi et al. (2015) recorded 70% survivability with Actisaf in piglets challenged with E.coli, compared to 90% with Colistin or 30% with no supplementation.


In addition, yeast products improve the protection of suckling piglets when used as a preventive supplement for sow feed. Zanello et al. (2013) recorded a significant increase in IgG concentrations in colostrum and plasma of piglets when the sows were supplemented. Preventive supplementation also helps to reduce neonatal diarrhea in 25% of piglets and increases litter size by 0.4.
Reduce pathogen shedding
    An alternative solution to this antibiotic is also considered effective in reducing the risk of pathogen shedding contamination. Weaned piglets supplemented with yeast product showed significantly lower shedding than the control group after challenge with enterotoxigenic K88 E. coli. This is associated with less diarrhea and better performance.
    The IAEA concluded that “probiotics in pigs may help reduce the use of antibiotics”, giving them a high level of prophylactic treatment.
Rabbit performance benefits
    Sc yeast is also considered to be an effective alternative to antibiotics in rabbit production. Here, as an area where a large amount of antibiotics are used, it is interesting that live yeast can support the animal husbandry performance of rabbits. Belhassen et al. (2016) recorded a lower mortality rate compared with the dose of Actisaf in the diet compared with the control group (4% and 27%, respectively, P < 0.05). >
Figure 2 - Effect of fruit flies in sow and weaned piglets on the percentage of E. coli K88 in total E. coli after severe experimental challenge.


ANSES also checked the security of selected products. For example, when reviewing 8 live yeasts, only 3 Sc yeast projects were considered safe for animals, consumers, and the environment.

Actively respond to the reduction of antibiotics

The complete ANSES report urges the livestock industry to be more aggressive in reducing the use of antibiotics. According to the preliminary conclusions of the report, the probiotic family is promising to help reduce the use of antibiotics, especially when supplemented as a preventative solution.

Methods developed by ANSES to evaluate new and reliable scientific data and characterize efficient alternatives are also valuable. In fact, in the near future, ANSES may recommend “specific state” products that help reduce the use of antibiotics.

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