Ocimum gratissimum oil as an alternative to in–feed antibiotics in animal agriculture
Digestive disorders as a result of withdrawal of in–feed antibiotics in poultry nutrition have resulted in the use and search for alternatives to alleviate the problem. In the light of this an experiment was carried out to determine the in–vitro antibacterial activity of Ocimum gratissimum (African basil or locally called scent leave) oil on bacteria isolated from the gut of 6 weeks old broiler birds. Ocimum oil was extracted from the aerial parts (leaves and flowers) freshly harvested from the plant. The oil was use tested against Salmonella Spp and Clostridia perfringens isolated from different sections of the gut. Results obtained indicated an inhibition of Salmonella Spp growth by 14.5 ± 1.92 in the duodenum, jejunum and caecum. A value of 14.5 ± 2.06 was recorded for Clostridia in the jejunum. Values recorded in the duodenum, ileum and caecum were 12.5 ± 2.52, 13.7 ±2.87 and 13.0 ± 2.00 respectively. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) regarding which bacteria the oil was most effective against. It can be concluded from results obtained that Ocimum gratissimum oil (from the aerial parts) of the plant has potential to inhibit the growth of either Salmonella Spp or Clostridia across different sections of broiler gut.
Keywords: Animal agriculture, Antibiotics, Ocimum gratissimum oil