Article ID: 0200010
Necrotic enteritis caused by Clostridium perfringens has reemerged as a severe poultry disease worldwide since the ban on the routine use of antibiotics in animal feed. Probiotics are considered alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters. Bacillus species are the most common microorganisms used as probiotics in the feed industry. The current study investigated the growth and surfactin levels of Bacillus licheniformis in solid-state fermentation using different substrates and evaluated the effects of B. licheniformis-fermented products on growth performance and intestinal morphology in broilers exposed to C. perfringens. The highest viable biomass and surfactin concentration of B. licheniformis-fermented products was observed at 2% molasses and 20% soybean meal supplementation during fermentation (P < 0.05). B. licheniformis-fermented product-derived surfactin inhibited the growth of C. perfringens in vitro in a dose dependent manner (P < 0.05). B. licheniformis-fermented product supplementation (2g/kg) significantly improved the body weight and average daily gain weight of broilers challenged with C. perfringens (P < 0.05). B. licheniformis-fermented products significantly alleviated necrotic lesions and ameliorated intestinal morphology in broilers exposed to C. perfringens (P < 0.05). Collectively, these observations demonstrate that B. licheniformis-fermented products improve growth performance and gut morphology in broilers under C. perfringens challenge. B. licheniformis-fermented products may have the potential to be used as alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters for preventive treatments against C. perfringens in broilers.