Application of Baltic Pine (Pinus sylvestris) Needle Extract as a Gut Microbiota-Modulating Feed Supplement for Domestic Chickens (Gallus gallus)

Juris Rubens, Juris Kibilds, Martins Jansons, Inga Piginka-Vjaceslavova, Ilze Barene, Irena Daberte, Laima Liepa, Aija Malniece, Arturs Rubens, Vytaute Starkute, Egle Zokaityte, Modestas Ruzauskas, Elena Bartkiene, Vadims Bartkevics, Iveta Pugajeva (Coresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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The valorization of wood industry residues is very desirable from a circular economy perspective. Pine needle extracts are known for their health-promoting properties and therefore can be used as herbal remedies and nutritional supplements. Since the withdrawal of antibiotics as growth promoters in the European Union, natural feed additives that improve poultry health and production are needed. It was proposed that pine needle extract could be a good alternative to antibiotic usage at sub-therapeutic concentrations. The results relevant to our assumption could be obtained by using domestic chickens as an in vivo model for the evaluation of gut microbiota-altering properties of pine needle extract as an herbal supplement. We tested the antimicrobial effects of Baltic pine (Pinus sylvestris) needle extract. Then, we used chicken (Gallus gallus) that received feed supplemented with two different concentrations of the extract for 40 days to evaluate the changes in gut microbiota using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. This preliminary study demonstrated trends toward dose-dependent desirable changes in broiler microbiome, such as a reduction in the relative abundance of Campylobacter.

Original languageEnglish
Article number297
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2023


  • antimicrobial activity
  • feed supplements
  • gut microbiota
  • phytobiotics
  • Scots pine

Field of Science*

  • 1.6 Biological sciences
  • 4.3 Veterinary science
  • 4.4 Agricultural biotechnology

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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