Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a probiotic feed additive to non and pseudo-ruminant feeding: a review

J Appl Microbiol. 2020 Mar;128(3):658-674. doi: 10.1111/jam.14416. Epub 2019 Sep 8.


The production of livestock and poultry faces major challenges to meet the global demand for meat and dairy products and eggs due to a steady increase in the world's population and the ban of antibiotics in animal production. This ban has forced animal nutritionists to seek for natural alternatives to antibiotics. In this context, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has received considerable attention in the last decade. It has been reported that feed supplementation with live yeast cells improve feed efficiency, enhance feed digestibility, increase animal performance, reduce the number of pathogenic bacteria, improve animal health and reduce the negative environmental impacts of livestock production. The current review sheds light on the effects of the use of live S. cerevisiae cells in the diets of nonruminant and pseudo-ruminant's animals and the mechanisms by which they exert its effects. This review work revealed that the addition of S. cerevisiae in poultry feed causes a phenomenon called competitive exclusion of pathogenic bacteria capable of causing disease adhere to the yeast surface, and so removing a large amount of harmful micro-organisms and allowing the Animal defend more effectively, the production of antimicrobial agents, the balancing the gut microbiota and stimulation of host adaptive immune system and improving gut morphological structure, thus these benefits are reflected on the overall poultry health. In addition, in the presence of live S. cerevisiae cells, the immunity of rabbits was improved due to the high number of white blood cell. In addition, apparent digestibility of acid and neutral detergent fibre was improved in horses and rabbits. Saccharomyces cerevisiae in pig diets augment mucosal immunity by increasing IgM and IgA activity against pathogens, enhance intestinal development and function, adsorb mycotoxins, modulate gut microbiota and reduce postweaning diarrhoea.

Keywords: Pseudo-ruminant; Saccharomyces cerevisiae; live cells; microflora; monogastric; probiotic additive.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed*
  • Animals
  • Horses
  • Poultry
  • Probiotics*
  • Rabbits
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae*
  • Swine