The approach to exotoxins remains that of treatment instead of prevention, but this can change with the use of suitable in-feed additives.
Lypopolysaccharides (LPS) are the main component of endotoxins that give certain bacteria their pathogenic properties. Endotoxins are released into the environment (such as that of the gut lumen) only when bacteria die. When released, they trigger the host’s immune system, which ultimately produces antibodies targeting these same, but live, pathogenic bacteria (similar to vaccines). If unchecked, endotoxins enter the blood stream and cause endotoxemia, leading to septic shock, if the immune response is too strong. Although endotoxins, in large concentrations, can cause such dramatic effects as hemorrhagic shock and severe diarrhea, they are also responsible, at reduced levels, for fever, reduced resistance to infection, and depressed feed intake and growth.