Mechanism of action of phytogenics, organic acids and prebiotics against necrotic enteritis

Necrotic enteritis is a major concern in poultry farms because of its association with decreased performance. After the ban of antibiotic growth promoters, a group of feed additives emerged as tools to fight necrotic enteritis. In this article, we explore the mechanism of action of phytogenics, prebiotics and organic acids.


Phytogenics are effective against necrotic enteritis through several mechanisms of action:

  • Direct microbiocide action: phytogenics have natural microbiocide properties. In multiple trials, we have shown that the administration of our products based on phytogenics reduces the count of Clostridium perfringens in the intestine.
  • Thanks to their antiinflammatory and antioxidant activities, phytogenics protect the epithelial tissues and reinforce the gut barrier.
  • Phytogenics stimulate both the innate and the adaptative immune systems. Poor immunity is associated with an increased risk of necrotic enteritis.
  • Some phytogenics increase the natural digestive enzymatic activity, improving feed digestion. Undigested feed in the intestine is a substrate for the growth of Clostridium perfringens.
  • Certain phytogenics can protect the birds against coccidiosis, which is one of the most important predisposing factors to necrotic enteritis.


Prebiotics are carbohydrates, non-digestible by the birds, that serve as a substrate for the beneficial flora and stimulate its growth. When the counts of beneficial flora increase, the counts of pathogenic microorganisms such as C. perfringens drop, following a principle called “competitive exclusion”.

Organic acids

Organic acids are useful to fight necrotic enteritis, especially when combined with phytogenics. Organic acids:

  • Decrease the pH in the proximal part of the small intestine. Undigested feed, oxidized fats or nutrients with low bioavailability increase the pH in the small intestine, favoring the growth of Clostridium perfringens.
  • Some organic acids have bacteriostatic activity and work synergistically with phytogenics to reduce the counts of Clostridium perfringens in the digestive system.

Products of choice

GrowthPlus© is intended to maintain and improve digestive health. It is formulated with synergistic ingredients:

  • Bactericidal and fungicidal plant extracts, combined with organic acids for better effectiveness, that reduce the number of pathogenic microbes in the digestive system.
  • Plant extracts with prebiotic effect, that promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
  • Immunostimulant and antioxidant plant extracts.
  • Silicates with mycotoxin binding function.

PlusProtect Digestive© is intended to maintain and improve digestive health in birds, rabbits and aquatic species of all ages. It is given through drinking water and is formulated with synergistic ingredients:

  • Essential oils with bactericidal and fungicidal activity
  • Immunostimulant and antioxidant essential oils
  • Plant extracts with prebiotic effect.

For more information on this topic and on our products, do not hesitate to contact us through

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