1.0                                                    INTRODUCTION
                     Intensifying concerns about the use of antibiotic growth promoters in meat and poultry production has increased interest in the application of probiotics and prebiotics as natural alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters, and for prevention of diseases in food animals (Chinoy, 1997).

            In some developing countries, the traditional use of papaya is being investigated as an alternative to conventional treatments for a range of ailments. C. papaya has a wide range of medicinal properties including antiseptic, antimicidal, anti-parasitic, anti-inflamatory, anti-hypertensive, and anti-hyper lipidenoids. It also contains saponins, tannis, cardiac glycosides, anthraguinones, reducing sugars, steroids, phenolics, and cartenoids. Papaya may exert a proteolytic effect on bacteria resulting from the production of a coagulum that immobilizes micro-organisms and protects the host against bacterial infections (Jernigan et al, 2009).
            In addition, papaya may improve the efficiency of phagocytic cells that destroy bacteria. Papaya also contains the alkaloid, carpeine, which has anti-bacterial properties. Prebiotics, non-digestible oligosaccharide chains, promote bacterial health by acting as a substrate for probiotics bacteria in the gut. Fructoliogosaccharide (FOS) is a short chain of glucose-fermented fructose molecules, with a maximum length of five units. According to Japanese researchers, FOS can be converted into short chain fatty acids in the colon to improve immune function and the absorption of nutrients particularly minerals (Onifade and Odunsi, 1999).
            It is known that the various types of micro-organisms are sensitive to the tracts of its host. The digestive tract possesses a conducive environment for micro-organisms to thrive, which include favorable temperature, a constant supply of nutrient and essential fluids. In this situation the micro-organisms benefit from the environment and the animal benefits by maintaining a microflora that does not cause any disease condition (Jernigan et al, 2009).
           The authors noted that, there are generally two different types of bacteria population which can become established in the digestive tract. The first is that which exists in close association with the gut epithelium and the second is that which establish themselves in the digestive tract, can be either beneficial or harmful to the host. Not only are certain bacterial species pathogenic, but they can compete with the host for essential nutrients. If beneficial bacteria establish themselves, they promote metabolism and suppress other undesirable bacteria. The term “probiotics” has been used to indicate micro-organisms which function to create gut balance. Crawford (1979) defines probiotics as a culture of specific living micro-organisms (primarily Lactobacillus spp. which implants in the animal to which it is fed and ensures the effective establishment of intestinal populations of both beneficial and pathogenic organisms. The culture must consist of specific counts of the bacteria present, be maintained in a dry form for storage purpose within a specific dose range (Jernigan et al, 2009).
            In the laboratory, extracts from leaves, skin flesh and seeds of papaya showed in vitro anti-bacterial activity against Bacillus cereus, Bacillus, Enterobactes subtile cloacae, E. coli, Klebsiella pneumonia, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomina aeruginosa, Salmonella typii, Shigella flexrneri and Staphylococcus aureus. Attention has been given to some tropical fruit that are of economic importance (Glombitza et al, 1993) among which is papaya (Carica papaya) as a source of potassium,  magnesium and fiber. They are reported to promote the functions of cardiovascular system and provide protection against colon cancer (Fisher, 1998, Franco et al, 1993). Papaya leaves contains active ingredients such as caricacin inhibitor and oleanolic glycoside which had been found to cause sterility in male albino rats (Das, 1980) .Papaya leaf is readily available in the tropics because the fruits can be found all years round. They are source of cheap feedstuff in animal nutrition. However, van Bell et al (1990) pointed out that most researchers considered prebiotics to be selected and concentrated viable contents of lactic acid bacteria that is Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Staphylococcus. Therefore the use of prebiotics or a fermentable sugar instead of antibiotics in broilers has been shown to be helpful towards improving the beneficial microbial population in broiler gut (Kermanshahi and Rostani, 2006). Prebiotics have been shown to alter gastro-intestinal microflora, improve the immune system, reduce pathogen invasion including pathogens such as Salmonella entritidis and E. coli and reduce cholesterol levels (Comings and Mactarlone, 2002). Lactobacillus  spp is capable of producing large amounts of lactic acid from simple carbohydrates and reducing the pH of the gut, which is usually fatal to other bacteria.
            Fuller (1977), adjusted the pH of agar medium to 4.5 with lactic acid or HCl. The growth of E.coli was inhibited by low pH. Lactic acid was shown to inhibit the growth of E.coli and the inhibitory effect of HCL acid was identical to that obtained with lactic acid (organic acid). It was also reported that  the inhibition of E.coli in the crop was dependent on the presence of sufficient numbers of lactobacillus. Rantala and Numi (1997), showed that a prebiotic culture had the  ability to prevent the establishment of Salmonella infantis in the caeca of chicks although in this case Lactobacillus was not the only organisms present. Since papaya leaves contain chemical components; papains and others which aids in digestion and reduction and/or possible destruction of entheropathogens in the gut of the animal. Micro-organisms like Staphylococcus, E. tenella, E. coli, Shigelia and others can be dislodged by the effect of the papaya leaves. Which will also act as a growth promoter, enhancing the animals appetite hence promoting feed efficiency .

1.2             Objectives of the study were to:
·        determine the effect of papaya leaf meal (PLM)  on  populations of the Lactobacillus spp and some enteropathogens in the gut of broilers.
·        establish how the effect impacts on the counts of Lactobacillus spp and the enteropathogens shed in the droppings of the broilers weekly throughout the trial period.
1.3             Justification of the study
             Plant substances continue to serve as inclusive sources of
drugs for the majority of the world population and several plant based drugs are in extensive clinical use (Roja and Rao, 2000) .
            Therefore the use of papaya leaves for medicinal purposes in the reduction of enteropathogens and in improving the gut microflora of  animals helps to reduce the most risks encountered in the adipose tissues of animals after slaughter which was fed or medicated with antibiotics. These papaya leaves will also improve the guts ecosystem of these birds, enhance their  growth  and  also add some minerals to them since is of a natural origin.

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