Research Topic

The Use of Phytogenic Feed Additives to Enhance Productivity and Health in Ruminants

About this Research Topic

Plants produce a diverse array of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs), which are biologically active and can exert beneficial effects on ruminal fermentation, feed digestion, growth performance, milk and meat quality, nutrient absorption, and immunity. Consequently, PSMs can be used as alternatives to antibiotic feed additives in ruminant production. The development of new preventive and therapeutic strategies against resistance to synthetic anthelmintics used to control gastro-intestinal parasites has also increased the interest in plant medicines containing PSMs.

Previous studies have shown that PSMs possess antimicrobial effects against ruminal bacteria, protozoa, and fungi, but their effects on ruminal microorganisms depend on the plant species and their chemical composition. Additionally, previous results showed that PSMd can also be used as methanogen inhibitors. Additionally, some PSMs have been considered as potential alternatives to reduce the worm burden, nematode female fecundity, and egg hatchability, thereby making them strong and safe anthelmintics with beneficial effects on animal health. Therefore, the selection of a phytogenic feed additive as a potential nutraceutical requires good knowledge and interaction between different scientific disciplines, such as animal physiology
and nutrition, phytochemistry, parasitology, and to some extent, ethology and toxicology.

The aim of this Research Topic is to present current research on using phytogenic additives to enhance the productivity and health status of ruminants resulting from better feed utilization efficiency and immune response. We would like to welcome manuscripts on sustainable alternatives to antimicrobials (antibiotics) and anthelmintics (chemotherapeutics) used in ruminants in order to enhance feed utilization production performance, milk and meat quality and health. Articles on various feed additives from natural sources, such as the incorporation of tree leaves, plant extracts, plant bioactive compounds, medicinal plant seeds, and other additives with phytogenic properties, are particularly welcome, given their positive impact on feed utilization, feed efficiency, performance and health status of ruminants. We welcome Original Research, Review, Mini-Review, Perspective, and Brief Research Report Articles, as well as relevant Book Reviews.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the effects of feeding phytogenic feed additives on:

1) Feed utilization (intake, digestion, and absorption)
2) Ruminal fermentation and fermentation kinetics
3) Greenhouse gases emission
4) Milk and meat quality
5) Manufacturing properties of milk
6) Reproduction
7) Lactating animal welfare
8) Parasitic helminths and anthelmintic resistance
9) Animal health
10) Phytogenics and gene interaction


Keywords: plant secondary metabolites, ruminants, phytogenic feed additives, animal health, nutraceutical


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Plants produce a diverse array of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs), which are biologically active and can exert beneficial effects on ruminal fermentation, feed digestion, growth performance, milk and meat quality, nutrient absorption, and immunity. Consequently, PSMs can be used as alternatives to antibiotic feed additives in ruminant production. The development of new preventive and therapeutic strategies against resistance to synthetic anthelmintics used to control gastro-intestinal parasites has also increased the interest in plant medicines containing PSMs.

Previous studies have shown that PSMs possess antimicrobial effects against ruminal bacteria, protozoa, and fungi, but their effects on ruminal microorganisms depend on the plant species and their chemical composition. Additionally, previous results showed that PSMd can also be used as methanogen inhibitors. Additionally, some PSMs have been considered as potential alternatives to reduce the worm burden, nematode female fecundity, and egg hatchability, thereby making them strong and safe anthelmintics with beneficial effects on animal health. Therefore, the selection of a phytogenic feed additive as a potential nutraceutical requires good knowledge and interaction between different scientific disciplines, such as animal physiology
and nutrition, phytochemistry, parasitology, and to some extent, ethology and toxicology.

The aim of this Research Topic is to present current research on using phytogenic additives to enhance the productivity and health status of ruminants resulting from better feed utilization efficiency and immune response. We would like to welcome manuscripts on sustainable alternatives to antimicrobials (antibiotics) and anthelmintics (chemotherapeutics) used in ruminants in order to enhance feed utilization production performance, milk and meat quality and health. Articles on various feed additives from natural sources, such as the incorporation of tree leaves, plant extracts, plant bioactive compounds, medicinal plant seeds, and other additives with phytogenic properties, are particularly welcome, given their positive impact on feed utilization, feed efficiency, performance and health status of ruminants. We welcome Original Research, Review, Mini-Review, Perspective, and Brief Research Report Articles, as well as relevant Book Reviews.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, the effects of feeding phytogenic feed additives on:

1) Feed utilization (intake, digestion, and absorption)
2) Ruminal fermentation and fermentation kinetics
3) Greenhouse gases emission
4) Milk and meat quality
5) Manufacturing properties of milk
6) Reproduction
7) Lactating animal welfare
8) Parasitic helminths and anthelmintic resistance
9) Animal health
10) Phytogenics and gene interaction


Keywords: plant secondary metabolites, ruminants, phytogenic feed additives, animal health, nutraceutical


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

30 October 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

30 October 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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