The use of propolis as an antimicrobial in livestock – an overview

S. Manav1*, M. Yilmaz1, H. Baytekin2, K. Çelik2, A. Çağli1
1Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Adnan Menderes University Aydin, Turkey
2Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University, Çanakkale, Turkey

(Manuscript received 17 October 2019; accepted for publication 22 April 2020)

Abstract. The purpose of the present study was to review scientific reports on propolis used in livestock, to analyze them and to make appropriate summaries and conclusions. Propolis is a natural resinous substance collected by honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) from different plant parts such as buds, branches, leaves and exudates. Propolis is a known source of polyphenols and the flavonoids which have been widely studied as biochemical markers for botanical origin and to explain their antioxidant capacity as a key factor in chemoprevention. Antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anticancer biological activities of propolis are known. Propolis has been used as a remedy in traditional medicine systems all over the world, mainly to treat wounds, burns, sore throat and stomach ulcer, etc. Modern science has confirmed the antimicrobial and antiviral action of propolis and has discovered numerous other beneficial pharmacological properties of bee glue: immunomodulating, anti-inflammatory, antiobesity, antitumor, and many others. For this reason, a significant number of products containing propolis have been developed and commercialized: medical devices, over-the-counter preparations, health foods and beverages, cosmetics. Recently, studies on the effects of propolis on animal husbandry and animal health have increased due to many issues, such as organic animal breeding, feeding or treatment methods, reducing the use of antibiotics. One of these areas is the use of propolis to improve the growth performance and productivity of the livestock. Propolis has been determined to have antibacterial and antiviral effects in humans and animals.