PhD Defense: Intestinal microbiota and broiler health


Broiler chickens are created through genetic selection and are fast-growing, highly efficient chickens for human meat consumption. In the past, antibiotics have been used preventively to achieve high production performances. Antibiotic resistance, however, has become one of the biggest threats for global health, and therefore Europe banned in-feed antibiotic growth promoters from livestock feed in 2006. After the ban, intestinal health problems in broilers significantly increased. Those intestinal health problems are often associated with an imbalance in the microbiota. Microbiota is defined as the assemblage of living microorganisms present in a defined environment. Knowledge on the development and variation of the intestinal microbiota will be of great value to optimize the health of broilers and to prevent the need for therapeutic antibiotics. The objective described in this thesis is to improve the understanding of the interaction between the intestinal microbiota and broiler health.The first part of the thesis is about how to designintestinal microbiota research in poultry.  Considerable variation of intestinal microbiota composition has been observed both within and across studies. The second part of this thesis focuses on if phenotypic characteristics can explain the intestinal microbiota composition and its variation in poultry farms. In the third part, the focus shifts from observational studies to intervention studies.  


Start date and time
End date and time
Het Academiegebouw (Domplein 29) and digital
PhD candidate
J.G. Kers
Intestinal microbiota and broiler health
PhD supervisor(s)
prof. dr. J.A. Stegeman
prof. dr. H. Smith
dr. F.C. Velkers
dr. ir. E.A.J. Fischer