Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 10611–10618 | Cite as

The use of probiotics as eco-friendly alternatives for antibiotics in poultry nutrition

  • Mahmoud Alagawany
  • Mohamed E. Abd El-Hack
  • Mayada R. Farag
  • Swati Sachan
  • Kumaragurubaran Karthik
  • Kuldeep Dhama
Review Article


Antibiotics as growth promoters in poultry have been used for long time for improving feed efficiency and performance. Due to their various side-effects such as antibiotic resistance, destruction of beneficial bacteria in the gut, and dysbiosis, it is required to think about some alternatives. Probiotics are one of the options in this regard for improving poultry production. Probiotics are defined as “live microorganisms that, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.” They are available in various forms for use as feed additives. Probiotics as feed additives aid in proper digestion of feed hence make the nutrients available for faster growth. Immunity can also be improved by addition of probiotics to poultry diets. Moreover, probiotics aid in improving meat and egg quality traits. Various infectious diseases of poultry can be countered by use of probiotics in their feed. A proper selection of probiotic strains is required for gaining optimal effects. This review focuses on the mechanisms of action of probiotics and their importance in poultry feed supplementation for enhancing production and safeguarding health of poultry.


Probiotics Mode of action Beneficial aspects Health benefits Poultry 



All the authors of the manuscript thank and acknowledge their respective institutes, universities, and organizations for necessary help in compilation of this manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahmoud Alagawany
    • 1
  • Mohamed E. Abd El-Hack
    • 1
  • Mayada R. Farag
    • 2
  • Swati Sachan
    • 3
  • Kumaragurubaran Karthik
    • 4
  • Kuldeep Dhama
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Poultry, Faculty of AgricultureZagazig UniversityZagazigEgypt
  2. 2.Department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Veterinary MedicineZagazig UniversityZagazigEgypt
  3. 3.Immunology Section, ICAR – Indian Veterinary Research InstituteIzatnagarIndia
  4. 4.Central University Laboratory, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences UniversityChennaiIndia
  5. 5.Division of Pathology, ICAR – Indian Veterinary Research InstituteIzatnagarIndia

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