Yeast Cell Wall a functional nutrient to improve animal health


Yeast Cell Wall can exert several beneficial effects on animal health trough: binding harmful bacteria, binding mycotoxins and improving immune function thanks to its content of functional polysaccharides: mannan oligosaccharides (MOS) and (1,3)-(1,6)-β-D-glucan.

MOS, located in the outer layer of the cell wall are capable to bind bacteria, limiting their growth and the capability to adhere to the gut mucosae by interacting with bacterial fimbriae, responsible for adhesion to gut mucosae (Fig. 1). 

Figure 1 interaction between bacteria and yeast cell wall (Santovito et al., 2018)

At the same time Yeast cell wall are also capable to bind several mycotoxins, making them harmless. Studies demonstrated that the strong binding capacity of YCW is very high for Aflatoxins, Fumonisin, and Zearalenone and moderately high for T-2 Toxin. 

Yeast cell wall even contain β-glucans, with a broad-spectrum activity: humoral (myeloperoxidase and antibody titer) cell-mediated (phagocytosis, respiratory burst and cytotoxicity) specific (antibody production) and aspecific (oxidative burst, complement) immune response. 

All the above beneficial effects limit the negative impact of the most common disease, as reviewed by Santovito et al. (2018). The supplementation of yeast cell wall improved immune function and mitigated the negative effects in piglets and broilers challenged with Salmonella enteritis, Clostridium perfringens or Avian Influenza. It was also demonstrated that the supplementation of yeast cell wall reduced Salmonella prevalence and shedding, thus limiting the diffusion of the pathogen with beneficial effects for human and animal health. 

The improvement of the immune function together with a direct action against bacteria make Yeast Cell Wall a valid strategy to limit antibiotic utilization in animal production.