Human health is a broad category that encompasses the entirety of the food production system. Livestock production practices have important effects on human health because livestock not only are a primary food source but also can be the source of pathogenic bacteria that may enter the food chain indirectly. As government regulation and public scrutiny restrict the prophylactic use of antibiotic and antimicrobial interventions, other techniques must be used to reduce the burden of animal‐borne pathogenic bacteria entering the food system. Prebiotics (isolated compounds that enhance natural microflora and thereby decrease pathogens) and probiotics (live microbes that are administered to livestock to enhance microbial diversity and crowd out pathogens) represent two unique opportunities for alternative measures in pathogen reduction. This review addresses the link between animal production and human health, the agricultural sources of pathogenic organisms, and the probiotic and prebiotic approaches that have been evaluated in an effort to reduce carriage of foodborne pathogenic bacteria by livestock.
Part of the book: Probiotics and Prebiotics in Human Nutrition and Health