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Findings from Multi-Year, Global Study on Enteric Health Revealed at 2016 Poultry Science Association Annual Meeting

Data Suggests Improvements in Intestinal Integrity Score can Translate into Financial Savings

GREENFIELD, Ind.— Findings from a five-year, 54-nation study of broiler enteric health trends, including how improvements in broiler enteric health may impact the health of poultry producers’ businesses, will be shared during the Poultry Science Association (PSA) Annual Meeting in New Orleans, on Tuesday, July 12. The presentation will highlight key findings from the study which identified the most common enteric health issues facing the broiler industry across time and geographic regions. The PSA presentation will also discuss data from earlier studies in context with the recently completed enteric health research to show how small improvements in broilers’ intestinal health correlates with live performance. Dr. Kristi Baker, Elanco Knowledge Solutions, will present the findings during a 5 p.m. poster session in the exhibit area of the Hilton New Orleans, Riverside.

As the global poultry industry continues to focus on the judicious use of antibiotics, data and analytic tools offer producers resources to more precisely manage their flocks’ health and introduce timely, location-specific intervention strategies. The research presented at PSA was conducted between January 2011 and December 2015, using data from Elanco’s Health Tracking System (HTSi) to calculate an Intestinal Integrity Index (I2) score for broiler flocks in five geographic regions:  Asia Pacific (APAC), Europe, North America, South America, and Turkey/Middle East/Africa (TMEA). The Intestinal Integrity Index is a composite score that takes into account multiple clinical conditions and can be used as an indicator of intestinal health in broiler flocks.

The I2 score was used to compare the intestinal health of producers’ flocks across regions and over time. While the enteric health study yields insight into the presence and severity of intestinal conditions, considering the study findings in context with previous studies suggests that data-driven analysis can benefit producers’ business from a financial perspective.

Poultry producers can benefit from the results of the study in three key ways. First, the I2 score of an individual poultry operation can be compared with global and regional averages for benchmarking. Second, tracking the I2 score over time may help producers understand the impact of changes in poultry health protocols on intestinal integrity. Finally, it has been shown that the I2 score correlates closely with live performance parameters, such as daily weight gain and feed conversion.  For example, previous data analysis has found that as the I2 score increases by one point, average daily gain increases by 0.04g. Additionally, a one point increase in the I2 score has been shown to improve the feed conversion ratio by 0.0013 (or 1.3 points FCR).  Data-driven approaches to flock health management allow producers to precisely determine which flocks may need intervention strategies. “Through insights yielded from analytic, data-driven resources such as those collected during the five-year enteric health study, producers are able to apply a much more micro-focused approach to monitoring flock health and intervening when necessary,” said Dr. Baker.

Study findings show that gizzard erosion is the most common intestinal health condition, followed by cellular sloughing, excessive intestinal fluid and E. acervulina. The enteric health of producers’ broiler flocks included in the study varied across regions. For example, producers in North America, Europe, South America and TMEA regions all had relatively stable I2 scores between 93 and 94 during the five-year study. However, producers in the APAC region had a lower I2 score of 91 and scores in this region improved significantly over the monitoring period. These findings alsoindicate that enteric health monitoring and intervention practices should be conducted at the company or farm level.

As data continues to produce health and performance insights for producers using analytic products and services like HTSi, poultry producers continue to investigate how intestinal health impacts performance, animal welfare and food safety. To that end, Elanco is partnering with a leading poultry company in Europe to evaluate how the I2 score correlates with yield and carcass quality in the processing plant. Results of this investigation are expected to be available in 2017.

About Elanco: Elanco provides comprehensive products and knowledge services to improve animal health and food-animal production in more than 70 countries around the world. We value innovation, both in scientific research and daily operations, and strive to cultivate a collaborative work environment for more than 6,500 employees worldwide. Together with our customers, we are committed to raising awareness about global food security, and celebrating and supporting the human-animal bond. Founded in 1954, Elanco is a division of Eli Lilly and Company. Our worldwide headquarters and research facilities are located in Greenfield, Indiana. Visit us at Elanco.com.  

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