Colistin will formally withdrawal. What can we use?

Column:Industry News Time:2016-09-05

Colistin sulfate (CS) will formally retreat from the arena of history as a growth promotion in the animal feed from April 30th, 2017. What shall our famers utilize then so as CS is about to be prohibited?

A number of medicated additives can be used in feed except for CS. What can be used to substitute for CS? Here are some analysis to help you make the best choice.

1. Firstly, let’s have a look at antibacterial spectrum and ability of Antibiotic I in the Announcement 168 of Ministry of Agriculture.

2. Clear answers can be found therefore to the following questions

Category 1 , gram-positive bacterium antibiotics: salinomycin, Maxus, bacitracin zinc, bacitracin methylene disalicylate (BMD), virginiamycin (Stafac), avilamycin (Maxus), enramycin, flavomycin, kitasamycin, etc. Do these antibiotics work?


Answer: Nope! It can be seen from the antibacterial spectrum that CS is used for gram-negative bacterium, while all the above antibiotics are for gram-positive bacterium and have no preventive effect over diarrhea caused by gram negative bacterium like escherichia coli or salmonella.


Category 2 , broad-spectrum antibacterial antibiotics: olaquindox, aureomycin, oxytetracycline. Do these antibiotics work?

Answer: They have partial substitution effect that shall be used with particular attention to effects and safety.

A. Olaquindox: mainly for gram-negative bacterium with favorable effects of anti-diarrhea. However, it can be only used for piglet lighter than 35 kg. Pigs, poultry, fisheries and other animals weighs more than 35 kg cannot be fed with olaquindox. Moreover, due to its natural property to be easy remain, feed with it for piglet would better be manufactured on a specialized production line. It’s estimated to be probably prohibited by the end of 2016.

B. Aureomycin: broad-spectrum antibacterial antibiotics with certain effects for negative bacterium. It can partially substitute for colistin. It shall be paid particular attention to that aureomycin is one of the oldest and mostly used antibiotics that has led to wide tolerance. It’s suggested to conduct some research on the usage and tolerance of aureomycin in the targeted market.

C. Oxytetracycline calcium: broad-spectrum antibacterial antibiotics with better effects for gram negative bacterium than aureomycin. It’s less used in animal feed production and breed process than aureomycin thus with relatively lower tolerance. Oxytetracycline calcium is the optimum substitution for CS. However, it smells bad, especially after pelletizing. Surveys on the consumers’ sensitivity of smell shall be conducted in ahead.



CS is an exclusive antibiotics for gram-negative bacterium. No antibiotics within the allow list of the Ministry of Agriculture is the perfect substitute for CS and most gram-positive bacterium antibiotics actually don’t have substitution effect at all. It’s recommended to choose oxytetracycline calcium or aureomycin and the effects will be better when combined with plant extracts, high-dose acidifier, zinc oxide, zymin and other additives good for intestinal health.

The above discusses the antibiotics that can well substitute for CS, according to which there’s no “ideal substitute”. Why not look at it from another perspective that if there’s proper natural ingredients can be used as CS alternatives? After all, antibiotics other than CS is facing great potential to be restricted or even prohibited under the increasingly strict control by the Ministry of Agriculture.

That is precisely why proper natural elements shall be chosen to substitute for antibiotics. Of course, it’s impossible to realize breeding without antibiotics under the current circumstances of China’s breeding environment. Yet, feed without antibiotics can be achieved first then to reach a situation where the whole breeding is without antibiotics step by step. How to realize feed with no antibiotics and what could use to substitute for antibiotics after its prohibition?

The implementation of antibacterial peptide, plasma protein, microecologics and plant extracts, that boost certain effects in promoting pig growth, improve feed efficiency and increase production effectiveness, in present practices has provided operational examples for antibiotics alternatives.

The following table shows comprehensive performance comparison among several antibiotic substitutes.


1. “+”refers to positive effects of the substitutes in corresponding attributes, the number of “+” refers to its degree.

2. “-”refers to negative effects of the substitutes in corresponding attributes, the number of “-” refers to its degree.

3. “○”means no effects has shown in corresponding attributes.


Following conclusions can be at least drawn from the above table

1.Antibacterial peptide and herbal medicine can both function as antibiotics to kill source of the diseases, such as bacterium, funguses, mould and parasitic, while other antibiotic substitutes don’t show similar effects.

2. Antibiotics has no effect on virus while antimicrobial peptide, herbal medicine and plasma protein have certain inhibiting effects.

3. The long-term and low-dose use of antibiotics can cause damage to one’s body immune adjustment ability while antimicrobial peptide, as a natural disease-resistant element, boosts obvious advantage in terms of it among several antibiotic substitutes.


Combining remains, side effects and conveniences, it’s shown that the overall performance of antibacterial peptide is the best, especially its effects on immune adjustment, rendering it a strong competitor for antibiotic substitute. Interviews of relevant participations in the industry about the subject of “no antibiotics”on the media is here to be quoted as many hold the idea that antibiotic substitutes are just part of the problem, what’s more important is one’s own immune system exceeding any other product.


Antimicrobial peptide is the very superior product that has the same effect of broad anti-disease-sources as antibiotics while can even effectively adjust and strengthen immune system of pigs thus to improve the health conditions of them radically.


Location: Guangdong

With the extension of time the ratio of sow swine fever antibody titer of 1: 512 ratio or more (excellent antibody rate) was significantly improved.

(Published in the "pig" magazine)

Mice fed with antimicrobial peptides, macrophage activity significantly increased with increased antimicrobial peptide dosage.

Sows feed with antimicrobial peptide presented significantly higher colostrum immunoglobulin (IgG / IgM / IgA) than control

(Published in the " pig industry" magazine)