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Title:
ANIMAL FEED COMPOSITIONS AND USES THEREOF
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/074287
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to animal feed compositions comprising at least one Bacillus probiotics and polypeptides having muramidase activity.

Inventors:
PEREZ CALVO ESTEFANIA (CH)
Application Number:
PCT/EP2020/079020
Publication Date:
April 22, 2021
Filing Date:
October 15, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
DSM IP ASSETS BV (NL)
NOVOZYMES AS (DK)
International Classes:
C12N9/36; A23K10/18; C12R1/07; C12R1/125
Domestic Patent References:
WO2017001701A12017-01-05
WO2018113743A12018-06-28
WO2013076253A12013-05-30
WO2015144821A12015-10-01
Foreign References:
EP2782592A12014-10-01
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SCHWANDER, Kuno (CH)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A composition comprising one or more polypeptides having muramidase activity and one or more Bacillus probiotics.

2. The composition of claim 1, wherein the polypeptide having muramidase activity is a fungal GH24 muramidase or GH25 muramidase.

3. The composition of any of claims 1 to 2, wherein the Bacillus probiotics may be any Genus Bacillus that is associated with a health benefit on the host, including but not limited to Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus pumilus, Bacillus polymyxa, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus coagulans, and Bacillus circulans.

4. The composition of any of claims 1 to 3, wherein the polypeptide having muramidase activity is selected from the group consisting of:

(a) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 1;

(b) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 2;

(c) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 3;

(d) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 4;

(e) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 5;

(f) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 6;

(g) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 7;

(h) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 8;

(i) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 9;

0 a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 10; (k) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 11;

(L) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 12;

(m) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 13;

(n) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 14;

(o) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 15;

(p) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 16;

(q) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 17;

(r) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 18;

(s) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 19;

(t) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 20;

(u) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 21;

(v) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 22;

(w) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 23;

(x) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 24;

(y) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 25;

(z) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 26;

(aa) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 27;

(ab) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 28; (ac) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 29;

(ad) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 30;

(ae) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 31;

(af) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 32;

(ag) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 33;

(ah) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 34;

(ai) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 35;

(aj) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 36;

(ak) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 37;

(al) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 38;

(am) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 39;

(an) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 40;

(ao) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 41;

(ap) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 42;

(aq) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 43;

(ar) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 44;

(as) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 45;

(at) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 46; (au) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 47;

(av) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 48;

(aw) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 49;

(ax) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 50;

(ay) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 51;

(az) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 52;

(ba) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 53;

(bb) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 54;

(be) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 55;

(bd) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 56;

(be) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 57;

(bf) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 58;

(bg) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 59;

(bh) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 60;

(bi) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 61;

(bj) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 62;

(bk) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 63;

(bl) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 64; (bm) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 65;

(bn) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 66;

(bo) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 67;

(bp) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 68;

(bq) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 69;

(br) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 70;

(bs) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 71;

(bt) a variant of SEQ ID NO: 1, SEQ ID NO: 2, SEQ ID NO: 3, SEQ ID NO: 4, SEQ ID NO: 5, SEQ ID NO: 6, SEQ ID NO: 7, SEQ ID NO: 8, SEQ ID NO: 9, SEQ ID NO: 10, SEQ ID NO: 11, SEQ ID NO: 12, SEQ ID NO: 13, SEQ ID NO: 14, SEQ ID NO: 15, SEQ ID NO: 16, SEQ ID NO: 17, SEQ ID NO: 18, SEQ ID NO: 19, SEQ ID NO: 20, SEQ ID NO: 21, SEQ ID NO: 22, SEQ ID NO: 23, SEQ ID NO: 24, SEQ ID NO: 25, SEQ ID NO: 26, SEQ ID NO: 27, SEQ ID NO: 28, SEQ ID NO: 29, SEQ ID NO: 30, SEQ ID NO: 31, SEQ ID NO: 32, SEQ ID NO: 33, SEQ ID NO: 34, SEQ ID NO: 35, SEQ ID NO: 36, SEQ ID NO: 37, SEQ ID NO: 38, SEQ ID NO: 39, SEQ ID NO: 40, SEQ ID NO: 41, SEQ ID NO: 42, SEQ ID NO: 43, SEQ ID NO: 44, SEQ ID NO: 45, SEQ ID NO: 46, SEQ ID NO: 47, SEQ ID NO: 48, SEQ ID NO: 49, SEQ ID NO: 50, SEQ ID NO: 51, SEQ ID NO: 52, SEQ ID NO: 53, SEQ ID NO: 54, SEQ ID NO: 55, SEQ ID NO: 56, SEQ ID NO: 57, SEQ ID NO: 58, SEQ ID NO: 59, SEQ ID NO: 60, SEQ ID NO: 61 , SEQ ID NO: 62, SEQ ID NO: 63, SEQ ID NO: 64, SEQ ID NO: 65, SEQ ID NO: 66, SEQ ID NO: 67, SEQ ID NO: 68, SEQ ID NO: 69, SEQ ID NO: 70 or SEQ ID NO: 71 comprising one or more amino acid substitutions (preferably conservative substitutions), and/or one or more amino acid deletions, and/or one or more amino acid insertions or any combination thereof in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 positions;

(bu) a polypeptide comprising the polypeptide of (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k). C), (m), (n), (o), (p), (q), (r), (s), (t), (u), (v), (w), (x), (y), (z), (aa), (ab), (ac), (ad), (ae), (af), (ag), (ah), (ai), (aj), (ak), (al), (am), (an), (ao), (ap), (aq), (ar), (as), (at), (au), (av), (aw), (ax), (ay), (az), (ba), (bb), (be), (bd), (be), (bf), (bg), (bh), (bi), (bj), (bk), (bl), (bm), (bn), (bo), (bp), (bq), (br), (bs) or (bt) and a N-terminal and/or C-terminal extension of between 1 and 10 amino acids; and (bv) a fragment of a polypeptide of (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), (I), (m), (n), (o), (p), (q), (r), (s), (t), (u), (v), (w), (x), (y), (z), (aa), (ab), (ac), (ad), (ae), (af), (ag), (ah), (ai), (aj), (ak), (al), (am), (an), (ao), (ap), (aq), (ar), (as), (at), (au), (av), (aw), (ax), (ay), (az), (ba), (bb), (be), (bd), (be), (bf), (bg), (bh), (bi), (bj), (bk), (bl), (bm), (bn), (bo), (bp), (bq), (br), (bs) or (bt) having muramidase activity and having at least 90% of the length of the mature polypeptide.

5. The composition of any of claims 1 to 4, wherein the Bacillus probiotics is selected from the group consisting of one or more of the following strains of Bacillus subtilis: 3A-P4 (PTA- 6506), 15A-P4 (PTA-6507), 22C-P1 (PTA-6508), 2084 (NRRL B-500130), LSSA01 (NRRL- B-50104), BS27 (NRRL B-501 05), BS 18 (NRRL B-50633), BS 278 (NRRL B-50634), DSM 29870, DSM 29871, DSM 32315, NRRL B-50136, NRRL B-50605, NRRL B-50606, NRRL B-50622 and PTA-7547; Bacillus pumilus : NRRL B-50016, ATCC 700385, NRRL B-50885 or NRRL B-50886; Bacillus lichenformis·. NRRL B 50015, NRRL B-50621 or NRRL B-50623; or Bacillus amyloliquefaciens : DSM 29869, DSM 29869, NRRL B 50607, PTA-7543, PTA- 7549, NRRL B-50349, NRRL B-50606, NRRL B-50013, NRRL B-50151, NRRL B-50141, NRRL B-50147 or NRRL B-50888; or combination thereof.

6. The composition of any one of claims 1-5, which comprises the muramidase of SEQ ID NO: 1 , and the Bacillus probiotics Bacillus subtilis and/or Bacillus lichenformis.

7. A composition comprising at least one polypeptide having muramidase activity and at least one probiotics Bacillus, wherein the polypeptide having muramidase activity is a fungal GH24 muramidase or GH25 muramidase and wherein the Bacillus probiotics is selected from the group consisting of Bacillus Subtilis and Bacilllus Licheniformis.

8. An animal feed comprising an animal feed additive, one or more protein sources and one or more energy sources characterised in that the animal feed further comprises one or more polypeptides having muramidase activity and one or more carotenoids.

9. The animal feed of claim 8, wherein the protein source is selected from the group consisting of soybean, wild soybean, beans, lupin, tepary bean, scarlet runner bean, slimjim bean, lima bean, French bean, Broad bean (fava bean), chickpea, lentil, peanut, Spanish peanut, canola, sunflower seed, cotton seed, rapeseed (oilseed rape) or pea or in a processed form such as soybean meal, full fat soy bean meal, soy protein concentrate (SPC), fermented soybean meal (FSBM), sunflower meal, cotton seed meal, rapeseed meal, fish meal, bone meal, feather meal, whey or any combination thereof.

10. The animal feed of any of claims 8 to 9, wherein the energy source is selected from the group consisting of maize, corn, sorghum, barley, wheat, oats, rice, triticale, rye, beet, sugar beet, spinach, potato, cassava, quinoa, cabbage, switchgrass, millet, pearl millet, foxtail millet or in a processed form such as milled corn, milled maize, potato starch, cassava starch, milled sorghum, milled switchgrass, milled millet, milled foxtail millet, milled pearl millet, or any combination thereof.

11. The animal feed of any of claims 8 to 10, wherein the Bacillus probiotics may be any Genus Bacillus that is associated with a health benefit on the host, including but not limited to Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus pumilus, Bacillus polymyxa, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus coagulans, and Bacillus circulans.

12. The animal feed of any of claims 8 to 11, wherein which comprises the muramidase of SEQ ID NO: 1 , and the Bacillus probiotics Bacillus subtilis and/or Bacillus lichenformis.

13. A method for improving the feed conversion ratio (FOR), and/or weight gain and/or for foot pad scores, and/or reducing OPGs in an animal comprising administering to the animal the composition according to any one of claims 1-7 or the animal feed according to any one of claims 8-12.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the composition or animal feed is dosed so that the Bacillus probiotics is at a level of 100 to 1000 mg per kg animal feed, such as such as 200 to 900 mg, 300 to 800 mg, 400 to 700 mg or 450 to 600 mg per kg animal feed, or any combination of these intervals.

15. The method of claim 13 or 14, wherein the composition or animal feed is dosed so that the polypeptide having muramidase activity is at a level of 100-1000 mg enzyme protein per kg animal feed, such as 200 to 900 mg, 300 to 800 mg, 350 to 700 mg or 400 to 600 mg enzyme protein per kg animal feed, or any combination of these intervals.

16. The method of any one of claims 13-15, wherein the animal is a mono-gastric animal, e.g. pigs or swine (including, but not limited to, piglets, growing pigs, and sows); poultry (including but not limited to poultry, turkey, duck, quail, guinea fowl, goose, pigeon, squab, chicken, broiler, layer, pullet and chick); pet animals such as cats and dogs, fish (including but not limited to amberjack, arapaima, barb, bass, bluefish, bocachico, bream, bullhead, cachama, carp, catfish, catla, chanos, char, cichlid, cobia, cod, crappie, dorada, drum, eel, goby, goldfish, gourami, grouper, guapote, halibut, java, labeo, lai, loach, mackerel, milkfish, mojarra, mudfish, mullet, paco, pearlspot, pejerrey, perch, pike, pompano, roach, salmon, sampa, sauger, sea bass, seabream, shiner, sleeper, snakehead, snapper, snook, sole, spinefoot, sturgeon, sunfish, sweetfish, tench, terror, tilapia, trout, tuna, turbot, vendace, walleye and whitefish); and crustaceans (including but not limited to shrimps and prawns).

17. Use of the composition according to any one of claims 1 -7 or the animal feed according to any one of claims 8-12 for improving the feed conversion ratio (FCR), and/or weight gain and/or for foot pad scores, and/or reducing OPGs in an animal.

18. The use of claim 17, wherein wherein the animal is a mono-gastric animal, e.g. pigs or swine (including, but not limited to, piglets, growing pigs, and sows); poultry (including but not limited to poultry, turkey, duck, quail, guinea fowl, goose, pigeon, squab, chicken, broiler, layer, pullet and chick); pet animals such as cats and dogs, fish (including but not limited to amberjack, arapaima, barb, bass, bluefish, bocachico, bream, bullhead, cachama, carp, catfish, catla, chanos, char, cichlid, cobia, cod, crappie, dorada, drum, eel, goby, goldfish, gourami, grouper, guapote, halibut, java, labeo, lai, loach, mackerel, milkfish, mojarra, mudfish, mullet, paco, pearlspot, pejerrey, perch, pike, pompano, roach, salmon, sampa, sauger, sea bass, seabream, shiner, sleeper, snakehead, snapper, snook, sole, spinefoot, sturgeon, sunfish, sweetfish, tench, terror, tilapia, trout, tuna, turbot, vendace, walleye and whitefish); and crustaceans (including but not limited to shrimps and prawns).

Description:
ANIMAL FEED COMPOSITIONS AND USES THEREOF

REFERENCE TO A SEQUENCE LISTING

This application contains a Sequence Listing in computer readable form, which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to animal feed compositions comprising polypeptides having muramidase activity and Bacillus probiotics, and uses thereof.

Description of the Related Art

Muramidase is an O-glycosyl hydrolase produced as a defensive mechanism against bacteria by many organisms. The enzyme causes the hydrolysis of bacterial cell walls by cleaving the glycosidic bonds of peptidoglycan; an important structural molecule in bacteria. After having their cell walls weakened by muramidase action, bacterial cells lyse as a result of umbalanced osmotic pressure.

Muramidase naturally occurs in many organisms such as viruses, plants, insects, birds, reptiles and mammals. In mammals, Muramidase has been isolated from nasal secretions, saliva, tears, intestinal content, urine and milk. The enzyme cleaves the glycosidic bond between carbon number 1 of /V-acetylmuramic acid and carbon number 4 of /V-acetyl-D-glucosamine. In vivo, these two carbohydrates are polymerized to form the cell wall polysaccharide of many microorganisms.

Muramidase has been classified into five different glycoside hydrolase (GH) families (CAZy, www.cazy.org): hen egg-white muramidase (GH22), goose egg-white muramidase (GH23), bacteriophage T4 muramidase (GH24), Sphingomonas flagellar protein (GH73) and Chalaropsis muramidases (GH25). Muramidase extracted from hen egg white (a GH22 muramidase) is the primary product available on the commercial market, and traditionally has just been referred to as a muramidase even though nowadays there are many other known muramidase s.

Probiotics are live micro-organisms that when administered in adequate amounts, are associated with a health benefit on the host. Probiotics may defend against pathogens in the intestine to provide health benefits. Probiotics may compete against pathogens for the same essential nutrients, leaving less available for the pathogen to utilize. Alternatively, they may bind to adhesion sites, preventing pathogen attachment by reducing the surface area available for pathogen colonization. A postulated mechanism includes signaling of immune cells by probiotics may result in the secretion of cytokines, targeting the pathogen for destruction. Finally, some have proposed probiotics may attack pathogenic organisms by releasing bacteriocins, killing them directly.

It has been shown in WO 2017/001703 that microbial muramidases improve animal performance. However, combining different types of enzymes often doesn’t result in any beneficial results over the single enzyme, see T. T. dos Santos et al. , “Protease, protease and superdosing phytase interactions in broiler performance, carcass yield and digesta transit time”, Animal Nutrition (2017), 3, 121-126 and Adeola and Cowieson, “Opportunities and challenges in using exogenous enzymes to improve nonruminant animal production”, J Anim Sci, (2011), 89, 189-3218.

Improving the growth performance and welfare of farm animals is needed in a world with a growing population eating more animal protein, and it is the object of the present invention to devise solutions which helps meet this challenge.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The inventors of the present application surprisingly found that the combination of polypeptides having muramidase activity and Bacillus probiotics has a great potential for use in animal nutrition, e.g. for improving the feed conversion ratio (FCR), and/or weight gain and/or for foot pad scores, and/or reducing OPGs (oocysts per gram fecal).

The present invention relates to a composition, animal feed additive or animal feed comprising one or more polypeptides having muramidase activity and at least one Bacillus probiotics. The present invention is furthermore directed to an animal feed comprising an animal feed additive, one or more protein sources and one or more energy sources characterised in the animal feed further comprises one or more polypeptides having muramidase activity and at least one Bacillus probiotics.

The present invention further relates to a method for improving the feed conversion ratio (FCR), and/or weight gain and/or for foot pad scores, and/or reducing OPGs in an animal comprising administering to the animal a composition, animal feed additive or animal feed comprising one or more polypeptides having muramidase activity and at least one Bacillus probiotics.

The present invention further relates to use of a composition, animal feed additive or animal feed for for improving the feed conversion ratio (FCR), and/or weight gain and/or for foot pad scores, and/or reducing OPGs in an animal, wherein the composition, animal feed additive or animal feed comprises one or more polypeptides having muramidase activity and at least one Bacillus probiotics. A further aspect of the invention is directed to a composition, animal feed additive, or animal feed comprising at least one polypeptide having muramidase activity and at least one Bacillus probiotics, wherein the polypeptide having muramidase activity is a fungal GH24 muramidase or GH25 muramidase, and wherein the Bacillus probiotics are selected from the group consisting of Bacillus Subtilis and Bacilllus Licheniformis.

A further aspect of the invention is directed to a use of at least one Bacillus probiotics in combination with a polypeptide having muramidase activity in a feed composition for improving the feed conversion ratio (FOR), and/or weight gain and/or for foot pad scores, and/or reducing OPGs in an animal, wherein the polypeptide having muramidase activity is a fungal GH24 muramidase or GH25 muramidase, and wherein the Bacillus probiotics are selected from the group consisting of Bacillus Subtilis and Bacilllus Licheniformis.

OVERVIEW OF SEQUENCE LISTING

SEQ ID NO: 1 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Acremonium alcalophilum as described in WO2013/076253 (SEQ ID NO: 4).

SEQ ID NO: 2 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Acremonium alcalophilum as described in WO2013/076253 (SEQ ID NO: 8).

SEQ ID NO: 3 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Aspergillus fumigatus as described in WO2011/104339 (SEQ ID NO: 3).

SEQ ID NO: 4 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Trichoderma reesei as described in W02009/102755 (SEQ ID NO: 4).

SEQ ID NO: 5 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Trametes cinnabarina as described in W02005/080559 (SEQ ID NO: 2).

SEQ ID NO: 6 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Sporormia fimetaria as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 3).

SEQ ID NO: 7 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Poronia punctata as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 6).

SEQ ID NO: 8 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Poronia punctata as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 9).

SEQ ID NO: 9 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Lecanicillium sp. WMM742 as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 12).

SEQ ID NO: 10 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Lecanicillium sp. WMM742 as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 15).

SEQ ID NO: 11 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Onygena equina as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 18). SEQ ID NO: 12 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Purpureocillium lilacinum as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 21).

SEQ ID NO: 13 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Trichobolus zukalii as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 24).

SEQ ID NO: 14 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Penicillium citrinum as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 27).

SEQ ID NO: 15 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Cladorrhinum bulbillosum as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 30).

SEQ ID NO: 16 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Umbelopsis westeae as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 33).

SEQ ID NO: 17 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Zygomycetes sp. XZ2655 as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 36).

SEQ ID NO: 18 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Chaetomium cupreum as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 39).

SEQ ID NO: 19 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Cordyceps cardinalis as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 42).

SEQ ID NO: 20 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Penicillium sp. 'qii' as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 45).

SEQ ID NO: 21 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Aspergillus sp. novXZ2609 as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 48).

SEQ ID NO: 22 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Paecilomyces sp. XZ2658 as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 51).

SEQ ID NO: 23 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Paecilomyces sp. XZ2658 as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 54).

SEQ ID NO: 24 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Pycnidiophora cfdispera as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 60).

SEQ ID NO: 25 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Thermomucor indicae-seudaticae as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 63).

SEQ ID NO: 26 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Isaria farinosa as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 66).

SEQ ID NO: 27 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Lecanicillium sp. WMM742 as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 69).

SEQ ID NO: 28 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Zopfiella sp. t180-6 as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 72).

SEQ ID NO: 29 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Malbranchea flava as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 75). SEQ ID NO: 30 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Hypholoma polytrichi as described in PCT/CN 2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 80).

SEQ ID NO: 31 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Aspergillus deflectus as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 83).

SEQ ID NO: 32 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Ascobolus stictoideus as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 86).

SEQ ID NO: 33 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Coniochaeta sp. as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 89).

SEQ ID NO: 34 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Daldinia fissa as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 92).

SEQ ID NO: 35 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Rosellinia sp. as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 95).

SEQ ID NO: 36 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Ascobolus sp. ZY179 as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 98).

SEQ ID NO: 37 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Curreya sp. XZ2623 as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 101).

SEQ ID NO: 38 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Coniothyrium sp. as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 104).

SEQ ID NO: 39 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Hypoxylon sp. as described in PCT/CN 2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 107).

SEQ ID NO: 40 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Xylariaceae sp. 1653h as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 110).

SEQ ID NO: 41 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Hypoxylon sp. as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 113).

SEQ ID NO: 42 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Yunnania penicillata as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 116).

SEQ ID NO: 43 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Engyodontium album as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 119).

SEQ ID NO: 44 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Metapochonia bulbillosa as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 122).

SEQ ID NO: 45 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Hamigera paravellanea as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 125).

SEQ ID NO: 46 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Metarhizium iadini as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 128).

SEQ ID NO: 47 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Thermoascus aurantiacus as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 131). SEQ ID NO: 48 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Clonostachys rossmaniae as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 134).

SEQ ID NO: 49 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Simplicillium obclavatum as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 137).

SEQ ID NO: 50 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Aspergillus inflatus as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 140).

SEQ ID NO: 51 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Paracremonium inflatum as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 143).

SEQ ID NO: 52 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Westerdykella sp. as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 146).

SEQ ID NO: 53 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Stropharia semiglobata as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 155).

SEQ ID NO: 54 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Gelasinospora cratophora as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 158).

SEQ ID NO: 55 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Flammulina velutipes as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 221).

SEQ ID NO: 56 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Deconica coprophila as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 224).

SEQ ID NO: 57 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Rhizomucor pusillus as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 227).

SEQ ID NO: 58 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Stropharia semiglobata as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 230).

SEQ ID NO: 59 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Stropharia semiglobata as described in PCT/CN2017/075978 (SEQ ID NO: 233).

SEQ ID NO: 60 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Myceliophthora fergusii as described in PCT/CN2017/075960 (SEQ ID NO: 3).

SEQ ID NO: 61 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Mortierella alpina as described in PCT/CN2017/075960 (SEQ ID NO: 15).

SEQ ID NO: 62 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH25 muramidase from Penicillium atrovenetum as described in PCT/CN2017/075960 (SEQ ID NO: 27).

SEQ ID NO: 63 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH24 muramidase from Trichophaea saccata as described in WO2017/000922 (SEQ ID NO: 257).

SEQ ID NO: 64 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH24 muramidase from Chaetomium thermophilum as described in WO2017/000922 (SEQ ID NO: 264).

SEQ ID NO: 65 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH24 muramidase from Trichoderma harzianum as described in WQ2017/000922 (SEQ ID NO: 267). SEQ ID NO: 66 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH24 muramidase from Trichophaea minuta as described in WO2017/000922 (SEQ ID NO: 291).

SEQ ID NO: 67 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH24 muramidase from Chaetomium sp. ZY287 as described in W02017/000922 (SEQ ID NO: 294).

SEQ ID NO: 68 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH24 muramidase from Mortierella sp. ZY002 as described in WO2017/000922 (SEQ ID NO: 297).

SEQ ID NO: 69 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH24 muramidase from Metarhizium sp. XZ2431 as described in W02017/000922 (SEQ ID NO: 300).

SEQ ID NO: 70 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH24 muramidase from Geomyces auratus as described in WO2017/000922 (SEQ ID NO: 303).

SEQ ID NO: 71 is the mature amino acid sequence of a GH24 muramidase from llyonectria rufa as described in WO2017/000922 (SEQ ID NO: 306).

DEFINITIONS

Animal: The term “animal” refers to any animal except humans. Examples of animals are monogastric animals, including but not limited to pigs or swine (including, but not limited to, piglets, growing pigs, and sows); poultry such as turkeys, ducks, quail, guinea fowl, geese, pigeons (including squabs) and chicken (including but not limited to broiler chickens (referred to herein as broiles), chicks, layer hens (referred to herein as layers)); horses (including but not limited to hotbloods, coldbloods and warm bloods) crustaceans (including but not limited to shrimps and prawns) and fish (including but not limited to amberjack, arapaima, barb, bass, bluefish, bocachico, bream, bullhead, cachama, carp, catfish, catla, chanos, char, cichlid, cobia, cod, crappie, dorada, drum, eel, goby, goldfish, gourami, grouper, guapote, halibut, java, labeo, lai, loach, mackerel, milkfish, mojarra, mudfish, mullet, paco, pearlspot, pejerrey, perch, pike, pompano, roach, salmon, sampa, sauger, sea bass, seabream, shiner, sleeper, snakehead, snapper, snook, sole, spinefoot, sturgeon, sunfish, sweetfish, tench, terror, tilapia, trout, tuna, turbot, vendace, walleye and whitefish).

Animal feed: The term “animal feed” refers to any compound, preparation, or mixture suitable for, or intended for intake by an animal. Animal feed for a monogastric animal typically comprises concentrates as well as vitamins, minerals, enzymes, direct fed microbial, amino acids and/or other feed ingredients (such as in a premix) whereas animal feed for ruminants generally comprises forage (including roughage and silage) and may further comprise concentrates as well as vitamins, minerals, enzymes direct fed microbial, amino acid and/or other feed ingredients (such as in a premix).

Weight Gain: The term “weight gain” means an increase in live weight of an animal during a given period of time e.g. the increase in weight from day 1 to day 21. Concentrates: The term “concentrates” means feed with high protein and energy concentrations, such as fish meal, molasses, oligosaccharides, sorghum, seeds and grains (either whole or prepared by crushing, milling, etc. from e.g. corn, oats, rye, barley, wheat), oilseed press cake (e.g. from cottonseed, safflower, sunflower, soybean (such as soybean meal), rapeseed/canola, peanut or groundnut), palm kernel cake, yeast derived material and distillers grains (such as wet distillers grains (WDS) and dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS)).

Feed Conversion Ratio (FCR): FCR is a measure of an animal's efficiency in converting feed mass into increases of the desired output. Animals raised for meat - such as swine, poultry and fish - the output is the mass gained by the animal. Specifically FCR is calculated as feed intake divided by weight gain, all over a specified period. Improvement in FCR means reduction of the FCR value. A FCR improvement of 2% means that the FCR was reduced by 2%.

Feed efficiency: The term “feed efficiency” means the amount of weight gain per unit of feed when the animal is fed ad-libitum or a specified amount of food during a period of time. By "increased feed efficiency" it is meant that the use of a feed additive composition according the present invention in feed results in an increased weight gain per unit of feed intake compared with an animal fed without said feed additive composition being present.

Forage: The term “forage” as defined herein also includes roughage. Forage is fresh plant material such as hay and silage from forage plants, grass and other forage plants, seaweed, sprouted grains and legumes, or any combination thereof. Examples of forage plants are Alfalfa (lucerne), birdsfoot trefoil, brassica (e.g. kale, rapeseed (canola), rutabaga (swede), turnip), clover (e.g. alsike clover, red clover, subterranean clover, white clover), grass (e.g. Bermuda grass, brome, false oat grass, fescue, heath grass, meadow grasses, orchard grass, ryegrass, Timothy-grass), corn (maize), millet, barley, oats, rye, sorghum, soybeans and wheat and vegetables such as beets. Forage further includes crop residues from grain production (such as corn stover; straw from wheat, barley, oat, rye and other grains); residues from vegetables like beet tops; residues from oilseed production like stems and leaves form soy beans, rapeseed and other legumes; and fractions from the refining of grains for animal or human consumption or from fuel production or other industries.

Fragment: The term “fragment” means a polypeptide or a catalytic domain having one or more (e.g., several) amino acids absent from the amino and/or carboxyl terminus of a mature polypeptide or domain; wherein the fragment has muramidase activity.

In one aspect, a fragment of a GH24 muramidase (such as one of SEQ ID NO: 63 to 71) comprises at least 230 amino acids, such as at least 235 amino acids, at least 240 amino acids, or at least 245 amino acids and has muramidase activity. In another aspect, a fragment of a GH24 muramidase (such as one of SEQ ID NO: 63 to 71) comprises at least 90% of the length of the mature polypeptide, such as at least 92%, at least 94%, at least 96%, at least 98% or at least 99% of the length of the mature polypeptide and has muramidase activity. In one aspect, a fragment of a GH25 muramidase (such as one of SEQ ID NO: 1 to 72) comprises at least 180 amino acids, such as at least 185 amino acids, at least 190 amino acids, at least 195 amino acids, at least 200 amino acids, at least 205 amino acids or at least 210 amino acids and has muramidase activity. In another aspect, a fragment of a GH25 muramidase (such as one of SEQ ID NO: 1 to 72) comprises at least 90% of the length of the mature polypeptide, such as at least 92%, at least 94%, at least 96%, at least 98% or at least 99% of the length of the mature polypeptide and has muramidase activity.

Isolated: The term “isolated” means a substance in a form or environment that does not occur in nature. Non-limiting examples of isolated substances include (1) any non-naturally occurring substance, (2) any substance including, but not limited to, any enzyme, variant, nucleic acid, protein, peptide or cofactor, that is at least partially removed from one or more or all of the naturally occurring constituents with which it is associated in nature; (3) any substance modified by the hand of man relative to that substance found in nature; or (4) any substance modified by increasing the amount of the substance relative to other components with which it is naturally associated (e.g., multiple copies of a gene encoding the substance; use of a stronger promoter than the promoter naturally associated with the gene encoding the substance). An isolated substance may be present in a fermentation broth sample.

Muramidase activity: The term “muramidase activity” means the enzymatic hydrolysis of the 1,4-beta-linkages between /V-acetylmuramic acid and /V-acetyl-D-glucosamine residues in a peptidoglycan or between /V-acetyl-D-glucosamine residues in chitodextrins, resulting in bacteriolysis due to osmotic pressure. Muramidase belongs to the enzyme class EC 3.2.1.17. Muramidase activity is typically measured by turbidimetric determination. The method is based on the changes in turbidity of a suspension of Micrococcus luteus ATCC 4698 induced by the lytic action of muramidase. In appropriate experimental conditions these changes are proportional to the amount of muramidase in the medium (c.f. INS 1105 of the Combined Compendium of Food Additive Specifications of the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (www.fao.org)). For the purpose of the present invention, muramidase activity is determined according to the turbidity assay described in example 3 (“Determination of Muramidase Activity”) and the polypeptidehas muramidase activity if it shows activity against one or more bacteria, such as Micrococcus luteus ATCC 4698 and/or Exiguobacterium undea (DSM14481). In one aspect, the GH25 muramidase of the present invention has at least 20%, e.g., at least 40%, at least 50%, at least 60%, at least 70%, at least 80%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or at least 100% of the muramidase activity of SEQ ID NO: 1. In one aspect, the GH24 muramidase of the present invention have at least 20%, e.g., at least 40%, at least 50%, at least 60%, at least 70%, at least 80%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or at least 100% of the muramidase activity of SEQ ID NO: 63. Mature polypeptide: The term “mature polypeptide” means a polypeptide in its final form following translation and any post-translational modifications, such as N-terminal processing, C-terminal truncation, glycosylation, phosphorylation, etc.

Obtained or obtainable from: The term “obtained or obtainable from” means that the polypeptide may be found in an organism from a specific taxonomic rank. In one embodiment, the polypeptide is obtained or obtainable from the kingdom Fungi, wherein the term kingdom is the taxonomic rank. In a preferred embodiment, the polypeptide is obtained or obtainable from the phylum Ascomycota, wherein the term phylum is the taxonomic rank. In another preferred embodiment, the polypeptide is obtained or obtainable from the subphylum Pezizomycotina, wherein the term subphylum is the taxonomic rank. In another preferred embodiment, the polypeptide is obtained or obtainable from the class Eurotiomycetes, wherein the term class is the taxonomic rank.

If the taxonomic rank of a polypeptide is not known, it can easily be determined by a person skilled in the art by performing a BLASTP search of the polypeptide (using e.g. the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCIB) website http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/) and comparing it to the closest homologues. The skilled person can also compare the sequence to those of the application as filed. An unknown polypeptide which is a fragment of a known polypeptide is considered to be of the same taxonomic species. An unknown natural polypeptide or artificial variant which comprises a substitution, deletion and/or insertion in up to 10 positions is considered to be from the same taxonomic species as the known polypeptide.

Roughage: The term “roughage” means dry plant material with high levels of fiber, such as fiber, bran, husks from seeds and grains and crop residues (such as stover, copra, straw, chaff, sugar beet waste).

Sequence identity: The relatedness between two amino acid sequences or between two nucleotide sequences is described by the parameter “sequence identity”.

For purposes of the present invention, the sequence identity between two amino acid sequences is determined using the Needleman-Wunsch algorithm (Needleman and Wunsch, 1970, J. Mol. Biol. 48: 443-453) as implemented in the Needle program of the EMBOSS package (EMBOSS: The European Molecular Biology Open Software Suite, Rice et al., 2000, Trends Genet. 16: 276-277), preferably version 5.0.0 or later. The parameters used are gap open penalty of 10, gap extension penalty of 0.5, and the EBLOSUM62 (EMBOSS version of BLOSUM62) substitution matrix. The output of Needle labeled “longest identity” (obtained using the -nobrief option) is used as the percent identity and is calculated as follows:

(Identical Residues x 100)/(Length of Alignment - Total Number of Gaps in Alignment)

Substantially pure polypeptide: The term “substantially pure polypeptide” means a preparation that contains at most 10%, at most 8%, at most 6%, at most 5%, at most 4%, at most 3%, at most 2%, at most 1 %, and at most 0.5% by weight of other polypeptide material with which it is natively or recombinantly associated. Preferably, the polypeptide is at least 92% pure, e.g., at least 94% pure, at least 95% pure, at least 96% pure, at least 97% pure, at least 98% pure, at least 99%, at least 99.5% pure, and 100% pure by weight of the total polypeptide material present in the preparation. The polypeptides of the present invention are preferably in a substantially pure form. This can be accomplished, for example, by preparing the polypeptide by well known recombinant methods or by classical purification methods.

Variant: The term “variant” means a polypeptide having muramidase activity comprising an alteration, i.e., a substitution, insertion, and/or deletion, of one or more (several) amino acid residues at one or more (e.g., several) positions. A substitution means replacement of the amino acid occupying a position with a different amino acid; a deletion means removal of the amino acid occupying a position; and an insertion means adding 1, 2, or 3 amino acids adjacent to and immediately following the amino acid occupying the position.

In one aspect, a muramidase variant may comprise from 1 to 10 alterations, i.e. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 alterations and have at least 20%, e.g., at least 40%, at least 50%, at least 60%, at least 70%, at least 80%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or at least 100% of the muramidase activity of the parent muramidase, such as SEQ ID NO: 1 or SEQ ID NO: 63.

FIGURES

Figure 1 is a photo guide to broiler foot health classification: Class 0: Smooth, no lesion; small discolouration; or almost healed lesion, scar. Class 1: superficial lesion, discolouration; dark papillae, no ulceration; or substantial disclolouration; Class 2: dark papillae and ulcer; ulcer covered by crust; or abcess/bumble foot swollen.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Composition

It has been surprisingly found that a composition comprising a muramidase (preferably a fungal muramidase) and a Bacillus probiotic gives an additional benefit in animals.

Thus, in a first aspect, the invention relates to a composition comprising one or more polypeptides having muramidase activity and at least one Bacillus probiotics.

In the present invention, the muramidase may be a GH24 muramidase, preferably a fungal GH24 muramidase, preferably obtained or obtainable from the phylum Ascomycota, more preferably from the class Eurotiomycetes. In the present invention, the muramidase may also be a GH25 muramidase, preferably a fungal GH25 muramidase, preferably obtained or obtainable from the phylum Ascomycota, more preferably from the class Eurotiomycetes. Preferably, the muramidase is a GH25 muramidase. In the present invention, the Bacillus probiotics may be any Genus Bacillus that is associated with a health benefit on the host. Example of the Bacillus probiotics includes but is not limited to Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus pumilus, Bacillus polymyxa, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus coagulans, and Bacillus circulans.

Preferably, the Bacillus probiotics is selected from the group consisting of Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, Bacillus lichenformis, and Bacillus cereus. Bacillus cereus, namely Bacillus cereus NVH 75/95, is an efficient probiotic for animals.

More preferably, the Bacillus probiotics is selected from the group consisting of one or more of the following strains of Bacillus subtilis: 3A-P4 (PTA-6506), 15A-P4 (PTA-6507), 22C-P1 (PTA-6508), 2084 (NRRL B-500130), LSSA01 (NRRL-B-50104), BS27 (NRRL B-501 05), BS 18 (NRRL B-50633), BS 278 (NRRL B-50634), DSM 29870, DSM 29871, DSM 32315, NRRL B- 50136, NRRL B-50605, NRRL B-50606, NRRL B-50622 and PTA-7547; Bacillus pumilus·. NRRL B-50016, ATCC 700385, NRRL B-50885 or NRRL B-50886; Bacillus lichenformis·. NRRL B 50015, NRRL B-50621 or NRRL B-50623; or Bacillus amyloliquefaciens : DSM 29869, DSM 29869, NRRL B 50607, PTA-7543, PTA-7549, NRRL B-50349, NRRL B-50606, NRRL B-50013, NRRL B-50151, NRRL B-50141, NRRL B-50147 or NRRL B-50888; or combination thereof.

Preferably, the invention relates to a composition comprising one or more polypeptides having muramidase activity and one or more Bacillus probiotics, wherein the polypeptide having muramidase activity activity is selected from the group consisting of:

(a) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 1;

(b) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 2;

(c) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 3;

(d) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 4;

(e) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 5;

(f) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 6;

(g) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 7;

(h) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 8; (i) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 9;

(j) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 10;

(k) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 11;

(L) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 12;

(m) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 13;

(n) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 14;

(o) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 15;

(p) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 16;

(q) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 17;

(r) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 18;

(s) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 19;

(t) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 20;

(u) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 21;

(v) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 22;

(w) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 23;

(x) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 24;

(y) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 25;

(z) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 26; (aa) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 27;

(ab) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 28;

(ac) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 29;

(ad) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 30;

(ae) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 31;

(af) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 32;

(ag) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 33;

(ah) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 34;

(ai) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 35;

(aj) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 36;

(ak) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 37;

(al) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 38;

(am) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 39;

(an) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 40;

(ao) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 41;

(ap) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 42;

(aq) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 43;

(ar) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 44; (as) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 45;

(at) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 46;

(au) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 47;

(av) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 48;

(aw) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 49;

(ax) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 50;

(ay) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 51;

(az) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 52;

(ba) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 53;

(bb) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 54;

(be) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 55;

(bd) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 56;

(be) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 57;

(bf) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 58;

(bg) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 59;

(bh) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 60;

(bi) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 61 ;

(bj) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 62; (bk) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 63;

(bl) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 64;

(bm) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 65;

(bn) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 66;

(bo) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 67;

(bp) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 68;

(bq) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 69;

(br) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 70;

(bs) a polypeptide having at least 80%, e.g., at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95%, or 100% sequence identity to SEQ ID NO: 71;

(bt) a variant of SEQ ID NO: 1, SEQ ID NO: 2, SEQ ID NO: 3, SEQ ID NO: 4, SEQ ID NO: 5, SEQ ID NO: 6, SEQ ID NO: 7, SEQ ID NO: 8, SEQ ID NO: 9, SEQ ID NO: 10, SEQ ID NO: 11, SEQ ID NO: 12, SEQ ID NO: 13, SEQ ID NO: 14, SEQ ID NO: 15, SEQ ID NO: 16, SEQ ID NO: 17, SEQ ID NO: 18, SEQ ID NO: 19, SEQ ID NO: 20, SEQ ID NO: 21, SEQ ID NO: 22, SEQ ID NO: 23, SEQ ID NO: 24, SEQ ID NO: 25, SEQ ID NO: 26, SEQ ID NO: 27, SEQ ID NO: 28, SEQ ID NO: 29, SEQ ID NO: 30, SEQ ID NO: 31, SEQ ID NO: 32, SEQ ID NO: 33, SEQ ID NO: 34, SEQ ID NO: 35, SEQ ID NO: 36, SEQ ID NO: 37, SEQ ID NO: 38, SEQ ID NO: 39, SEQ ID NO: 40, SEQ ID NO: 41, SEQ ID NO: 42, SEQ ID NO: 43, SEQ ID NO: 44, SEQ ID NO: 45, SEQ ID NO: 46, SEQ ID NO: 47, SEQ ID NO: 48, SEQ ID NO: 49, SEQ ID NO: 50, SEQ ID NO: 51, SEQ ID NO: 52, SEQ ID NO: 53, SEQ ID NO: 54, SEQ ID NO: 55, SEQ ID NO: 56, SEQ ID NO: 57, SEQ ID NO: 58, SEQ ID NO: 59, SEQ ID NO: 60, SEQ ID NO: 61 , SEQ ID NO: 62, SEQ ID NO: 63, SEQ ID NO: 64, SEQ ID NO: 65, SEQ ID NO: 66, SEQ ID NO: 67, SEQ ID NO: 68, SEQ ID NO: 69, SEQ ID NO: 70 or SEQ ID NO: 71 comprising one or more amino acid substitutions (preferably conservative substitutions), and/or one or more amino acid deletions, and/or one or more amino acid insertions or any combination thereof in 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 or 10 positions; (bu) a polypeptide comprising the polypeptide of (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), (I), (m), (n), (o), (p), (q), (r), (s), (t), (u), (v), (w), (x), (y), (z), (aa), (ab),

(ac), (ad), (ae), (af), (ag), (ah), (ai), (aj), (ak), (al), (am), (an), (ao), (ap), (aq), (ar), (as), (at), (au), (av), (aw), (ax), (ay), (az), (ba), (bb), (be), (bd), (be), (bf), (bg), (bh), (bi), (bj), (bk), (bl), (bm), (bn), (bo), (bp), (bq), (br), (bs) or (bt) and a N-terminal and/or C-terminal extension of between 1 and 10 amino acids; and

(bv) a fragment of a polypeptide of (a), (b), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i), (j), (k), (I), (m),

(n), (o), (p), (q), (r), (s), (t), (u), (v), (w), (x), (y), (z), (aa), (ab), (ac), (ad), (ae), (af), (ag), (ah), (ai), (aj), (ak), (al), (am), (an), (ao), (ap), (aq), (ar), (as), (at), (au), (av), (aw), (ax), (ay), (az), (ba), (bb), (be), (bd), (be), (bf), (bg), (bh), (bi), (bj), (bk), (bl), (bm), (bn), (bo), (bp), (bq), (br), (bs) or (bt) having muramidase activity and having at least 90% of the length of the mature polypeptide.

Preferably, the invention relates to a composition comprising one or more polypeptides having muramidase activity and one or more Bacillus probiotics, wherein the Bacillus probiotics is selected from the group consisting of Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus pumilus, Bacillus polymyxa, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus coagulans, and Bacillus circulans.

In the present invention, the muramidase may comprise or consist of amino acids 1 to 208 of SEQ ID NO: 1 , amino acids 1 to 213 of SEQ ID NO: 2, amino acids 1 to 218 of SEQ ID NO: 3, amino acids 1 to 208 of SEQ ID NO: 4, amino acids 1 to 215 of SEQ ID NO: 5, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 6, amino acids 1 to 201 of SEQ ID NO: 7, amino acids 1 to 201 of SEQ ID NO: 8, amino acids 1 to 203 of SEQ ID NO: 9, amino acids 1 to 208 of SEQ ID NO: 10, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 11 , amino acids 1 to 208 of SEQ ID NO: 12, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 13, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 14, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 15, amino acids 1 to 208 of SEQ ID NO: 16, amino acids 1 to 208 of SEQ ID NO: 17, amino acids 1 to 206 of SEQ ID NO: 18, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 19, amino acids 1 to 216 of SEQ ID NO: 20, amino acids 1 to 218 of SEQ ID NO: 21, amino acids 1 to 204 of SEQ ID NO: 22, amino acids 1 to 203 of SEQ ID NO: 23, amino acids 1 to 208 of SEQ ID NO: 24, amino acids 1 to 210 of SEQ ID NO: 25, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 26, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 27, amino acids 1 to 208 of SEQ ID NO: 28, amino acids 1 to 217 of SEQ ID NO: 29, amino acids 1 to 208 of SEQ ID NO: 30, amino acids 1 to 201 of SEQ ID NO: 31 , amino acids 1 to 202 of SEQ ID NO: 32, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 33, amino acids 1 to 202 of SEQ ID NO: 34, amino acids 1 to 201 of SEQ ID NO: 35, amino acids 1 to 202 of SEQ ID NO: 36, amino acids 1 to 206 of SEQ ID NO: 37, amino acids 1 to 202 of SEQ ID NO: 38, amino acids 1 to 202 of SEQ ID NO: 39, amino acids 1 to 202 of SEQ ID NO: 40, amino acids 1 to 202 of SEQ ID NO: 41 , amino acids 1 to 206 of SEQ ID NO: 42, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 43, amino acids 1 to 208 of SEQ ID NO: 44, amino acids 1 to 215 of SEQ ID NO: 45, amino acids 1 to 217 of SEQ ID NO: 46, amino acids 1 to 214 of SEQ ID NO: 47, amino acids 1 to 208 of SEQ ID NO: 48, amino acids 1 to 203 of SEQ ID NO: 49, amino acids 1 to 216 of SEQ ID NO: 50, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 51 , amino acids 1 to 208 of SEQ ID NO: 52, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 53, amino acids 1 to 208 of SEQ ID NO: 54, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 55, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 56, amino acids 1 to 208 of SEQ ID NO: 57, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 58, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 59, amino acids 1 to 207 of SEQ ID NO: 60, amino acids 1 to 204 of SEQ ID NO: 61, amino acids 1 to 216 of SEQ ID NO: 62, amino acids 1 to 245 of SEQ ID NO: 63, amino acids 1 to 249 of SEQ ID NO: 64, amino acids 1 to 248 of SEQ ID NO: 65, amino acids 1 to 245 of SEQ ID NO: 66, amino acids 1 to 249 of SEQ ID NO: 67, amino acids 1 to 245 of SEQ ID NO: 68, amino acids 1 to 247 of SEQ ID NO: 69, amino acids 1 to 250 of SEQ ID NO: 70 or amino acids 1 to 240 of SEQ ID NO: 71.

Examples of conservative substitutions are within the groups of basic amino acids (arginine, lysine and histidine), acidic amino acids (glutamic acid and aspartic acid), polar amino acids (glutamine and asparagine), hydrophobic amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine), aromatic amino acids (phenylalanine, tryptophan and tyrosine), and small amino acids (glycine, alanine, serine, threonine and methionine). Amino acid substitutions that do not generally alter specific activity are known in the art and are described, for example, by H. Neurath and R.L. Hill, 1979, In, The Proteins, Academic Press, New York. Common substitutions are Ala/Ser, Val/lle, Asp/Glu, Thr/Ser, Ala/Gly, Ala/Thr, Ser/Asn, Ala/Val, Ser/Gly, Tyr/Phe, Ala/Pro, Lys/Arg, Asp/Asn, Leu/lle, Leu/Val, Ala/Glu, and Asp/Gly. Other examples of conservative substitutions are G to A; A to G, S; V to I, L, A, T, S; I to V, L, M; L to I, M, V; M to L, I, V; P to A, S, N; F to Y, W, H; Y to F, W, H; W to Y, F, H; R to K, E, D; K to R, E, D; H to Q, N, S; D to N, E, K, R, Q; E to Q, D, K, R, N; S to T, A; T to S, V, A; C to S, T, A; N to D, Q, H, S; Q to E, N, H, K, R.

Essential amino acids in a polypeptide can be identified according to procedures known in the art, such as site-directed mutagenesis or alanine-scanning mutagenesis (Cunningham and Wells, 1989, Science 244: 1081-1085). In the latter technique, single alanine mutations are introduced at every residue in the molecule, and the resultant mutant molecules are tested for muramidase activity to identify amino acid residues that are critical to the activity of the molecule. See also, Hilton et ai, 1996, J. Biol. Chem. 271 : 4699-4708. The active site of the enzyme or other biological interaction can also be determined by physical analysis of structure, as determined by such techniques as nuclear magnetic resonance, crystallography, electron diffraction, or photoaffinity labelling, in conjunction with mutation of putative contact site amino acids. See, for example, de Vos et ai, 1992, Science 255: 306-312; Smith et ai, 1992, J. Mol. Biol. 224: 899-904; Wlodaver et ai, 1992, FEBS Lett. 309: 59-64. The identity of essential amino acids can also be inferred from an alignment with a related polypeptide.

WO 2013/076253 disclosed that amino acid residues D95 and E97 of SEQ ID NO: 8 of WO 2013/076253 are catalytic residues. PCT/CN2017/075960 discloses the catalytic amino acids of 12 GH25 muramidase s. This alignment can be used to determine the position of the catalytic amino acids for the claimed muramidase s. In one embodiment, no alteration is made to an amino acid corresponding to E97 and D95 when using SEQ ID NO: 39 for numbering. The catalytic amino acids for the GH24 muramidase s can be determined by aligning the sequences with known sequences where the catalytic amino acid(s) have already been determined (see www.uniprot.org).

More preferably, the composition of the present invention comprises the muramidase of SEQ ID NO: 1 and the Bacillus probiotics Bacillus subtilis and/or Bacillus lichenformis.

Examples of commercial products acting as probiotic Bacillus are Calsporin® (DSM Nutritional Products), Callipro® Tect (DSM Nutritional Products), Optibac® L (DSM Nutritional Products), Alterion (Adisseo), Enviva PRO (DuPont Animal Nutrition), Ecobiol® (Norel/Evonik) and GutCare® PY1 (Evonik).

In the present invention, the polypeptide having muramidase activity may be dosed between 0.001% to 25% w/w of the composition, preferably 0.005% to 20% w/w, more preferably 0.01% to 15% w/w, more preferably 0.02% to 10% w/w, even more preferably 0.03% to 5% w/w or most preferably 0.035% to 1% w/w of the composition.

In the present invention, the Bacillus probiotics may be dosed between 0.001% to 25% w/w of the composition, preferably 0.005% to 20% w/w, more preferably 0.01 % to 15% w/w, more preferably 0.02% to 10% w/w, even more preferably 0.03% to 5% w/w or most preferably 0.04% to 1.0% w/w of the composition.

In the present invention, the Bacillus probiotics of the composition may be formulated as a liquid formulation; the polypeptide having muramidase activity of the composition may be formulated as a liquid formulation or a solid formulation.

In the present invention, the liquid formulation may further comprise 20%-80% polyol (i.e. total amount of polyol), preferably 25%-75% polyol, more preferably 30%-70% polyol, more preferably 35%-65% polyol or most preferably 40%-60% polyol. Preferably, the liquid formulation comprises 20%-80% polyol, more preferably 25%-75% polyol, more preferably 30%-70% polyol, more preferably 35%-65% polyol or most preferably 40%-60% polyol wherein the polyol is selected from the group consisting of glycerol, sorbitol, propylene glycol (MPG), ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, triethylene glycol, 1 , 2-propylene glycol or 1, 3-propylene glycol, dipropylene glycol, polyethylene glycol (PEG) having an average molecular weight below about 600 and polypropylene glycol (PPG) having an average molecular weight below about 600. More perferably, the liquid formulation comprises 20%-80% polyol (i.e. total amount of polyol), more preferably 25%-75% polyol, more preferably 30%-70% polyol, more preferably 35%-65% polyol or most preferably 40%-60% polyol wherein the polyol is selected from the group consisting of glycerol, sorbitol and propylene glycol (MPG). In the present invention, the liquid formulation may further comprise preservative, preferably selected from the group consisting of sodium sorbate, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate and potassion benzoate or any combination thereof. Preferably, the liquid formulation comprises 0.02% to 1.5% w/w preservative, more preferably 0.05% to 1.0% w/w preservative or most preferably 0.1% to 0.5% w/w preservative. More preferably, the liquid formulation comprises 0.001% to 2.0% w/w preservative (i.e. total amount of preservative), preferably 0.02% to 1.5% w/w preservative, more preferably 0.05% to 1.0% w/w preservative or most preferably 0.1% to 0.5% w/w preservative wherein the preservative is selected from the group consisting of sodium sorbate, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate and potassium benzoate or any combination thereof.

In the present invention, the liquid formulation may comprise one or more formulating agents (such as those described herein), preferably a formulating agent selected from the list consisting of glycerol, ethylene glycol, 1, 2-propylene glycol or 1 , 3-propylene glycol, sodium chloride, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, sodium sulfate, potassium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, sodium thiosulfate, calcium carbonate, sodium citrate, dextrin, glucose, sucrose, sorbitol, lactose, starch, PVA, acetate and phosphate, preferably selected from the list consisting of 1 , 2- propylene glycol, 1 , 3-propylene glycol, sodium sulfate, dextrin, cellulose, sodium thiosulfate, kaolin and calcium carbonate.

In the present invention, the solid formulation may be for example as a granule, spray dried powder or agglomerate (e.g. as disclosed in W02000/70034). The formulating agent may comprise a salt (organic or inorganic zinc, sodium, potassium or calcium salts such as e.g. such as calcium acetate, calcium benzoate, calcium carbonate, calcium chloride, calcium citrate, calcium sorbate, calcium sulfate, potassium acetate, potassium benzoate, potassium carbonate, potassium chloride, potassium citrate, potassium sorbate, potassium sulfate, sodium acetate, sodium benzoate, sodium carbonate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sodium sulfate, zinc acetate, zinc benzoate, zinc carbonate, zinc chloride, zinc citrate, zinc sorbate, zinc sulfate), starch or a sugar or sugar derivative (such as e.g. sucrose, dextrin, glucose, lactose, sorbitol).

Preferably, the formulating agents of the solid formulation are selected from the list consisting of sodium chloride, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, sodium sulfate, potassium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, sodium thiosulfate, calcium carbonate, sodium citrate, dextrin, glucose, sucrose, sorbitol, lactose, starch and cellulose. Preferably, the formulating agent is selected from one or more of the following compounds: sodium sulfate, dextrin, cellulose, sodium thiosulfate, magnesium sulfate and calcium carbonate.

Preferably, the composition of the present invention is an enzyme granule comprising the enzymes of the invention optionally combined with one or more additional enzymes. The granule is composed of a core, and optionally one or more coatings (outer layers) surrounding the core. Typically, the granule size, measured as equivalent spherical diameter (volume based average particle size), of the granule is 20-2000 pm, particularly 50-1500 pm, 100-1500 pm or 250-1200 pm.

The core can be prepared by granulating a blend of the ingredients, e.g., by a method comprising granulation techniques such as crystallization, precipitation, pan-coating, fluid bed coating, fluid bed agglomeration, rotary atomization, extrusion, prilling, spheronization, size reduction methods, drum granulation, and/or high shear granulation.

Methods for preparing the core can be found in Handbook of Powder Technology; Particle size enlargement by C. E. Capes; Volume 1; 1980; Elsevier. Preparation methods include known granule formulation technologies, e.g:. a) spray dried products, wherein a liquid enzyme-containing solution is atomized in a spray drying tower to form small droplets which during their way down the drying tower dry to form an enzyme-containing particulate material; b) layered products, wherein the enzyme is coated as a layer around a pre-formed inert core particle, wherein an enzyme-containing solution is atomized, typically in a fluid bed apparatus wherein the pre-formed core particles are fluidized, and the enzyme-containing solution adheres to the core particles and dries up to leave a layer of dry enzyme on the surface of the core particle. Particles of a desired size can be obtained this way if a useful core particle of the desired size can be found. This type of product is described in, e.g., WO 97/23606; c) absorbed core particles, wherein rather than coating the enzyme as a layer around the core, the enzyme is absorbed onto and/or into the surface of the core. Such a process is described in WO 97/39116. d) extrusion or pelletized products, wherein an enzyme-containing paste is pressed to pellets or under pressure is extruded through a small opening and cut into particles which are subsequently dried. Such particles usually have a considerable size because of the material in which the extrusion opening is made (usually a plate with bore holes) sets a limit on the allowable pressure drop over the extrusion opening. Also, very high extrusion pressures when using a small opening increase heat generation in the enzyme paste, which is harmful to the enzyme; e) prilled products, wherein an enzyme-containing powder is suspended in molten wax and the suspension is sprayed, e.g., through a rotating disk atomiser, into a cooling chamber where the droplets quickly solidify (Michael S. Showell (editor); Powdered detergents ; Surfactant Science Series; 1998; vol. 71; page 140-142; Marcel Dekker). The product obtained is one wherein the enzyme is uniformly distributed throughout an inert material instead of being concentrated on its surface. Also US 4,016,040 and US 4,713,245 are documents relating to this technique; f) mixer granulation products, wherein a liquid is added to a dry powder composition of, e.g., conventional granulating components, the enzyme being introduced either via the liquid or the powder or both. The liquid and the powder are mixed and as the moisture of the liquid is absorbed in the dry powder, the components of the dry powder will start to adhere and agglomerate and particles will build up, forming granulates comprising the enzyme. Such a process is described in US 4,106,991 and related documents EP 170360, EP 304332, EP 304331 , WO 90/09440 and WO 90/09428. In a particular product of this process wherein various high-shear mixers can be used as granulators, granulates consisting of enzyme as enzyme, fillers and binders etc. are mixed with cellulose fibres to reinforce the particles to give the so-called T- granulate. Reinforced particles, being more robust, release less enzymatic dust. g) size reduction, wherein the cores are produced by milling or crushing of larger particles, pellets, tablets, briquettes etc. containing the enzyme. The wanted core particle fraction is obtained by sieving the milled or crushed product. Over and undersized particles can be recycled. Size reduction is described in (Martin Rhodes (editor); Principles of Powder Technology; 1990; Chapter 10; John Wiley & Sons); h) fluid bed granulation, which involves suspending particulates in an air stream and spraying a liquid onto the fluidized particles via nozzles. Particles hit by spray droplets get wetted and become tacky. The tacky particles collide with other particles and adhere to them and form a granule; i) the cores may be subjected to drying, such as in a fluid bed drier. Other known methods for drying granules in the feed or detergent industry can be used by the skilled person. The drying preferably takes place at a product temperature of from 25 to 90°C. For some enzymes it is important the cores comprising the enzyme contain a low amount of water before coating. If water sensitive enzymes are coated before excessive water is removed, it will be trapped within the core and it may affect the activity of the enzyme negatively. After drying, the cores preferably contain 0.1-10 % w/w water.

The core may include additional materials such as fillers, fibre materials (cellulose or synthetic fibres), stabilizing agents, solubilizing agents, suspension agents, viscosity regulating agents, light spheres, plasticizers, salts, lubricants and fragrances.

The core may include a binder, such as synthetic polymer, wax, fat, or carbohydrate.

The core may include a salt of a multivalent cation, a reducing agent, an antioxidant, a peroxide decomposing catalyst and/or an acidic buffer component, typically as a homogenous blend.

In the present invention, the core may comprise a material selected from the group consisting of salts (such as calcium acetate, calcium benzoate, calcium carbonate, calcium chloride, calcium citrate, calcium sorbate, calcium sulfate, potassium acetate, potassium benzoate, potassium carbonate, potassium chloride, potassium citrate, potassium sorbate, potassium sulfate, sodium acetate, sodium benzoate, sodium carbonate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sodium sulfate, zinc acetate, zinc benzoate, zinc carbonate, zinc chloride, zinc citrate, zinc sorbate, zinc sulfate), starch or a sugar or sugar derivative (such as e.g. sucrose, dextrin, glucose, lactose, sorbitol), sugar or sugar derivative (such as e.g. sucrose, dextrin, glucose, lactose, sorbitol), small organic molecules, starch, flour, cellulose and minerals and clay minerals (also known as hydrous aluminium phyllosilicates). Preferably, the core comprises a clay mineral such as kaolinite or kaolin.

The core may also include an inert particle with the enzyme absorbed into it, or applied onto the surface, e.g., by fluid bed coating.

The core may have a diameter of 20-2000 pm, particularly 50-1500 pm, 100-1500 pm or 250-1200 pm.

The core may be surrounded by at least one coating, e.g., to improve the storage stability, to reduce dust formation during handling, or for coloring the granule. The optional coating(s) may include a salt and/or wax and/or flour coating, or other suitable coating materials.

The coating may be applied in an amount of at least 0.1% by weight of the core, e.g., at least 0.5%, 1% or 5%. The amount may be at most 100%, 70%, 50%, 40% or 30% by weight of the core.

The coating is preferably at least 0.1 pm thick, particularly at least 0.5 pm, at least 1 pm or at least 5 pm. In some embodiments the thickness of the coating is below 100 pm, such as below 60 pm, or below 40 pm.

The coating should encapsulate the core unit by forming a substantially continuous layer. A substantially continuous layer is to be understood as a coating having few or no holes, so that the core unit is encapsulated or enclosed with few or no uncoated areas. The layer or coating should in particular be homogeneous in thickness.

The coating can further contain other materials as known in the art, e.g., fillers, antisticking agents, pigments, dyes, plasticizers and/or binders, such as titanium dioxide, kaolin, calcium carbonate or talc.

Preferably, the enzyme granules of the invention may comprise a core comprising the enzymes of the invention, one or more salt coatings and one or more wax coatings. Examples of enzyme granules with multiple coatings are shown in W01993/07263, W01997/23606 and WO2016/149636.

The salt coating may comprise at least 60% by weight of a salt, e.g., at least 65%, at least 70%, at least 75%, at least 80%, at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95% or at least 99% by weight. The salt coating may be as described in W01997/05245, W01998/54980, W01 998/55599, W02000/70034, W02006/034710, W02008/017661, W02008/017659,

W02000/020569, W02001/004279, W01997/05245, W02000/01793, W02003/059086,

W02003/059087, W02007/031483, W02007/031485, W02007/044968, WO2013/192043, WO2014/014647 and WO2015/197719 or polymer coating such as described in WO 2001/00042. The salt in the coating may have a constant humidity at 20°C above 60%, particularly above 70%, above 80% or above 85%, or it may be another hydrate form of such a salt (e.g., anhydrate).

The salt may be an inorganic salt, e.g., salts of sulfate, sulfite, phosphate, phosphonate, nitrate, chloride or carbonate or salts of simple organic acids (less than 10 carbon atoms, e.g., 6 or less carbon atoms) such as citrate, malonate or acetate. Examples of cations in these salts are alkali or earth alkali metal ions, the ammonium ion or metal ions of the first transition series, such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc or aluminium. Examples of anions include chloride, bromide, iodide, sulfate, sulfite, bisulfite, thiosulfate, phosphate, monobasic phosphate, dibasic phosphate, hypophosphite, dihydrogen pyrophosphate, tetraborate, borate, carbonate, bicarbonate, metasilicate, citrate, malate, maleate, malonate, succinate, sorbate, lactate, formate, acetate, butyrate, propionate, benzoate, tartrate, ascorbate or gluconate. In particular alkali- or earth alkali metal salts of sulfate, sulfite, phosphate, phosphonate, nitrate, chloride or carbonate or salts of simple organic acids such as citrate, malonate or acetate may be used.

Specific examples of suitable salts are NaCI (CH20°C=76%), Na 2 C0 3 (CH20°C=92%), NaNOs (CH20°C=73%), Na 2 HP0 4 (CH20°C=95%), Na 3 P0 4 (CH25°C=92%), NH 4 CI (CH20°C = 79.5%), (NH 4 ) 2 HP0 4 (CH20°C = 93,0%), NH 4 H 2 P0 4 (CH20°C = 93.1%), (NH 4 ) 2 S0 4 (CH20°C=81.1%), KCI (CH20°C=85%), K 2 HP0 4 (CH20°C=92%), KH 2 P0 4 (CH20°C=96.5%), KN0 3 (CH20°C=93.5%), Na 2 S0 4 (CH20°C=93%), K 2 S0 4 (CH20°C=98%), KHS0 4

(CH20°C=86%), MgS0 4 (CH20°C=90%), ZnS0 4 (CH20°C=90%) and sodium citrate (CH25°C=86%). Other examples include NaH 2 P0 4 , (NH 4 )H 2 P0 4 , CuS0 4 , Mg(N0 3 ) 2 , magnesium acetate, calcium acetate, calcium benzoate, calcium carbonate, calcium chloride, calcium citrate, calcium sorbate, calcium sulfate, potassium acetate, potassium benzoate, potassium carbonate, potassium chloride, potassium citrate, potassium sorbate, sodium acetate, sodium benzoate, sodium citrate, sodium sulfate, zinc acetate, zinc benzoate, zinc carbonate, zinc chloride, zinc citrate and zinc sorbate.

The salt may be in anhydrous form, or it may be a hydrated salt, i.e. a crystalline salt hydrate with bound water(s) of crystallization, such as described in WO 99/32595. Specific examples include anhydrous sodium sulfate (Na 2 S0 4 ), anhydrous magnesium sulfate (MgS0 4 ), magnesium sulfate heptahydrate (MgS0 4 .7H 2 0), zinc sulfate heptahydrate (ZnS0 4 .7H 2 0), sodium phosphate dibasic heptahydrate (Na 2 HP0 4 .7H 2 0), magnesium nitrate hexahydrate (Mg(N0 3 ) 2 (6H 2 0)), sodium citrate dihydrate and magnesium acetate tetrahydrate.

The salt coating may comprise a single salt or a mixture of two or more salts. The salt may be water soluble, in particular having a solubility at least 0.1 g in 100 g of water at20°C, preferably at least 0.5 g per 100 g water, e.g., at least 1 g per 100 g water, e.g., at least 5 g per 100 g water. The salt may be added from a salt solution where the salt is completely dissolved or from a salt suspension wherein the fine particles are less than 50 pm, such as less than 10 p or less than 5 pm.

A wax coating may comprise at least 60% by weight of a wax, e.g., at least 65%, at least 70%, at least 75%, at least 80%, at least 85%, at least 90%, at least 95% or at least 99% by weight.

Specific examples of waxes are polyethylene glycols; polypropylenes; Carnauba wax; Candelilla wax; bees wax; hydrogenated plant oil or animal tallow such as polyethylene glycol (PEG), methyl hydroxy-propyl cellulose (MHPC), polyvinyl alcohol (PVA), hydrogenated ox tallow, hydrogenated palm oil, hydrogenated cotton seeds and/or hydrogenated soy bean oil; fatty acid alcohols; mono-glycerides and/or di-glycerides, such as glyceryl stearate, wherein stearate is a mixture of stearic and palmitic acid; micro-crystalline wax; paraffin’s; and fatty acids, such as hydrogenated linear long chained fatty acids and derivatives thereof. A preferred wax is palm oil or hydrogenated palm oil.

The granulate of the present invention may also be produced as a non-dusting granulate, e.g., as disclosed in U.S. Patent Nos. 4,106,991 and 4,661 ,452 and may optionally be coated by methods known in the art. The coating materials can be waxy coating materials and film-forming coating materials. Examples of waxy coating materials are poly(ethylene oxide) products (polyethyleneglycol, PEG) with mean molar weights of 1000 to 20000; ethoxylated nonylphenols having from 16 to 50 ethylene oxide units; ethoxylated fatty alcohols in which the alcohol contains from 12 to 20 carbon atoms and in which there are 15 to 80 ethylene oxide units; fatty alcohols; fatty acids; and mono- and di- and triglycerides of fatty acids. Examples of film-forming coating materials suitable for application by fluid bed techniques are given in GB 1483591.

The granulate may further comprise one or more additional enzymes. Each enzyme will then be present in more granules securing a more uniform distribution of the enzymes, and also reduces the physical segregation of different enzymes due to different particle sizes. Methods for producing multi-enzyme co-granulates is disclosed in the ip.com disclosure IPCOM000200739D.

Another example of formulation of enzymes by the use of co-granulates is disclosed in WO 2013/188331.

The present invention also relates to protected enzymes prepared according to the method disclosed in EP 238,216.

In the present invention, the composition may further comprise one or more components selected from the list consisting of one or more carriers. The carrier may be selected from the group consisting of water, glycerol, ethylene glycol, 1, 2-propylene glycol or 1, 3-propylene glycol, sodium chloride, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, sodium sulfate, potassium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, sodium thiosulfate, calcium carbonate, sodium citrate, dextrin, maltodextrin, glucose, sucrose, sorbitol, lactose, wheat flour, wheat bran, corn gluten meal, starch, kaolin and cellulose or any combination thereof. In present invention, the composition may further comprise one or more additional enzymes; one or more eubiotics; one or more vitamins; one or more minerals, and one or more amino acids, as described below.

Animal Feed

In the second aspect, the present invention relates to an animal feed comprising an animal feed additive, one or more protein sources and one or more energy sources characterised in that the animal feed further comprises one or more polypeptides having muramidase activity and one or more Bacillus probiotics as defined above.

Animal feed compositions or diets have a relatively high content of protein. Poultry and pig diets can be characterised as indicated in Table B of WO 01/58275, columns 2-3. Fish diets can be characterised as indicated in column 4 of this Table B. Furthermore such fish diets usually have a crude fat content of 200-310 g/kg.

An animal feed composition according to the invention has a crude protein content of 50- 800 g/kg and furthermore comprises one or more Bacillus probiotic and one or more polypeptides having muramidase activity as described herein. The protein source may be vegetable protein source and/or animial protein.

The vegetable proteins may be derived from vegetable protein sources, such as legumes and cereals, for example, materials from plants of the families Fabaceae ( Leguminosae ), Cruciferaceae, Chenopodiaceae, and Poaceae, such as soy bean meal, lupin meal, rapeseed meal, and combinations thereof. The protein content of the vegetable proteins is at least 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, or 90% (w/w).

Preferably, the vegetable protein source may be material from one or more plants of the family Fabaceae, e.g., soybean, lupine, pea, or bean. The vegetable protein source may also be material from one or more plants of the family Chenopodiaceae, e.g. beet, sugar beet, spinach or quinoa. Other examples of vegetable protein sources are rapeseed, and cabbage. In the present invention, soybean is a preferred vegetable protein source. Other examples of vegetable protein sources are cereals such as barley, wheat, rye, oat, maize (corn), rice, and sorghum.

Besides the vegetable protein as defined above, the animal feed of the invention may also contain animal protein, such as Meat and Bone Meal, Feather meal, and/or Fish Meal, typically in an amount of 0-25%. The animal feed of the invention may also comprise Dried Distillers Grains with Solubles (DDGS), typically in amounts of 0-30%.

Preferably, the protein source is selected from the group consisting of soybean, wild soybean, beans, lupin, tepary bean, scarlet runner bean, slimjim bean, lima bean, French bean, Broad bean (fava bean), chickpea, lentil, peanut, Spanish peanut, canola, sunflower seed, cotton seed, rapeseed (oilseed rape) or pea or in a processed form such as soybean meal, full fat soy bean meal, soy protein concentrate (SPC), fermented soybean meal (FSBM), sunflower meal, cotton seed meal, rapeseed meal, fish meal, bone meal, feather meal, whey or any combination thereof.

Furthermore, or in the alternative (to the crude protein content indicated above), the animal feed composition of the invention may have a content of metabolisable energy of 10-30 MJ/kg. In present invention, the energy source may be selected from the group consisting of maize, corn, sorghum, barley, wheat, oats, rice, triticale, rye, beet, sugar beet, spinach, potato, cassava, quinoa, cabbage, switchgrass, millet, pearl millet, foxtail millet or in a processed form such as milled corn, milled maize, potato starch, cassava starch, milled sorghum, milled switchgrass, milled millet, milled foxtail millet, milled pearl millet, or any combination thereof.

Furthermore, or in the alternative (to the crude protein content indicated above), the animal feed composition of the invention may have a content of calcium of 0.1 -200 g/kg; and/or a content of available phosphorus of 0.1-200 g/kg; and/or a content of methionine of 0.1-100 g/kg; and/or a content of methionine plus cysteine of 0.1-150 g/kg; and/or a content of lysine of 0.5-50 g/kg.

In particular, the content of metabolisable energy, crude protein, calcium, phosphorus, methionine, methionine plus cysteine, and/or lysine may be within any one of ranges 2, 3, 4 or 5 in Table B of WO 01/58275 (R. 2-5).

Crude protein is calculated as nitrogen (N) multiplied by a factor 6.25, i.e. Crude protein (g/kg)= N (g/kg) x 6.25. The nitrogen content is determined by the Kjeldahl method (A.O.A.C., 1984, Official Methods of Analysis 14th ed., Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Washington DC).

Metabolisable energy can be calculated on the basis of the NRC publication Nutrient requirements in swine, ninth revised edition 1988, subcommittee on swine nutrition, committee on animal nutrition, board of agriculture, national research council. National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., pp. 2-6, and the European Table of Energy Values for Poultry Feed-stuffs, Spelderholt centre for poultry research and extension, 7361 DA Beekbergen, The Netherlands. Grafisch bedrijf Ponsen & looijen bv, Wageningen. ISBN 90-71463-12-5.

The dietary content of calcium, available phosphorus and amino acids in complete animal diets is calculated on the basis of feed tables such as Veevoedertabel 1997, gegevens over chemische samenstelling, verteerbaarheid en voederwaarde van voedermiddelen, Central Veevoederbureau, Runderweg 6, 8219 pk Lelystad. ISBN 90-72839-13-7.

Preferably, the animal feed of the invention contains 0-80% maize; and/or 0-80% sorghum; and/or 0-70% wheat; and/or 0-70% Barley; and/or 0-30% oats; and/or 0-40% soybean meal; and/or 0-25% fish meal; and/or 0-25% meat and bone meal; and/or 0-20% whey.

Animal feed can e.g. be manufactured as mash feed (non-pelleted) or pelleted feed. Typically, the milled feed-stuffs are mixed and sufficient amounts of essential vitamins and minerals are added according to the specifications for the species in question. Enzymes can be added as solid or liquid enzyme formulations. For example, for mash feed a solid or liquid enzyme formulation may be added before or during the ingredient mixing step. For pelleted feed the (liquid or solid) carotenoid / muramidase / enzyme preparation may also be added before or during the feed ingredient step. Typically a liquid enzyme preparation comprises the Bacillus probiotics, the muramidase or both the Bacillus probiotics and muramidase of the invention optionally with a polyol, such as glycerol, ethylene glycol or propylene glycol, and is added after the pelleting step, such as by spraying the liquid formulation onto the pellets. The Bacillus probiotics and/or muramidase may also be incorporated in a feed additive or premix.

Alternatively, the Bacillus probiotics / muramidase can be prepared by freezing a mixture of liquid enzyme solution with a bulking agent such as ground soybean meal, and then lyophilizing the mixture.

In present invention, the animal feed may further comprise one or more additional enzymes; one or more eubiotics; one or more vitamins; one or more minerals, and one or more amino acids, as described below.

The final muramidase concentration in the feed is within the range of 100-1000 mg enzyme protein per kg animal feed, such as 200 to 900 mg, 300 to 800 mg, 350 to 700 mg or 400 to 600 mg enzyme protein per kg animal feed, or any combination of these intervals.

The final Bacillus probiotics concentration in the feed is within the range of 100 to 1000 mg per kg animal feed, such as such as 200 to 900 mg, 300 to 800 mg, 400 to 700 mg or 450 to 600 mg per kg animal feed, or any combination of these intervals.

The animal feed of the present invention may be produced by any known process. For example, the animal feed of the present invention is prepared by a process comprising the steps of:

(a) mixing an animal feed additive with one or more protein sources and one or more energy sources;

(b) optionally steam treating the animal feed of (a) followed by pressing the steam treated mixture to form pellets; and

(c) optionally spraying a liquid formulation onto the animal feed of (a) or (b).

In the present process, the polypeptide having muramidase activity may be added in step (a) and the Bacillus probiotics may be added in step (c). In one embodiment, the polypeptide having muramidase activity is added in step (c) and the Bacillus probiotics is added in step (a). In one embodiment, the polypeptide having muramidase activity and the Bacillus probiotics is added in step (a). In one embodiment, the polypeptide having muramidase activity and the Bacillus probiotics is added in step (c).

In the present process, the animal feed may be pelleted by steam treating the mixture of (a) to obtain a moisture content below 20% by weight of the mixture, and pressing the steam treated mixture to form pellets. Preferably, the animal feed is pelleted by steam treating the mixture of (a) to obtain a moisture content below 20% by weight of the mixture wherein the steam treatment is between 60°C and 100°C when measured at the outlet of the conditioner, and pressing the steam treated mixture to form pellets. In the present process, the total residence time in step b) may be between 1 second and 10 minutes. In the present process, the temperature of the pellets after pelleting of the steam treated mixture may be between 70°C and 105°C.

Preferably, the invention is directed to a composition, animal feed additive, or animal feed comprising at least one polypeptide having muramidase activity and at least one probiotics Bacillus, wherein the polypeptide having muramidase activity is a fungal GH24 muramidase or GH25 muramidase and wherein the Bacillus probiotics is selected from the group consisting of Bacillus Subtilis and Bacilllus Licheniformis.

In the present invention, the one or more bacterial strains acting as Bacillus probiotics may be present in the form of a stable spore.

The bacterial count of each of the bacterial strains acting as Bacillus probiotics in the animal feed composition may be typically between 1x10 4 and 1x10 14 CFU/kg of dry matter, preferably between 1x10 6 and 1x10 12 CFU/kg of dry matter, and more preferably between 1x10 7 and 1x10 11 CFU/kg of dry matter. Preferably, the bacterial count of each of the bacterial strains in the animal feed composition is between 1x10 8 and 1x10 1 ° CFU/kg of dry matter.

The bacterial count of each of the bacterial strains acting as Bacillus probiotics in the animal feed composition may be between 1x10 5 and 1x10 15 CFU/animal/day, preferably between 1x10 7 and 1x10 13 CFU/animal/day, and more preferably between 1x10 8 and 1x10 12 CFU/animal/day. Preferably, the bacterial count of each of the bacterial strains in the animal feed composition is between 1x10 9 and 1x10 11 CFU/animal/day. In one embodiment, the amount of probiotics is 0.001% to 10% by weight of the composition.

Additional Enzymes

In the present invention, the compositions and/or the animal feed described herein may optionally include one or more enzymes. Enzymes can be classified on the basis of the handbook Enzyme Nomenclature from NC-IUBMB, 1992), see also the ENZYME site at the internet: http://www.expasy.ch/enzyme/. ENZYME is a repository of information relative to the nomenclature of enzymes. It is primarily based on the recommendations of the Nomenclature Committee of the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (IUB-MB), Academic Press, Inc., 1992, and it describes each type of characterized enzyme for which an EC (Enzyme Commission) number has been provided (Bairoch A. The ENZYME database, 2000, Nucleic Acids Res 28:304-305). This IUB-MB Enzyme nomenclature is based on their substrate specificity and occasionally on their molecular mechanism; such a classification does not reflect the structural features of these enzymes.

Another classification of certain glycoside hydrolase enzymes, such as endoglucanase, galactanase, mannanase, dextranase, and galactosidase is described in Henrissat et al, “The carbohydrate-active enzymes database (CAZy) in 2013”, Nucl. Acids Res. (1 January 2014) 42 (D1): D490-D495; see also www.cazy.org.

Thus the composition, the animal feed or the animal feed additive of the present invention may also comprise at least one other enzyme selected from the group comprising of acetylxylan esterase (EC 3.1.1.23), acylglycerol lipase (EC 3.1.1.72), alpha-amylase (EC 3.2.1.1), beta- amylase (EC 3.2.1.2), arabinofuranosidase (EC 3.2.1.55), cellobiohydrolases (EC 3.2.1.91), cellulase (EC 3.2.1.4), feruloyl esterase (EC 3.1.1.73), galactanase (EC 3.2.1.89), alpha- galactosidase (EC 3.2.1.22), beta-galactosidase (EC 3.2.1.23), beta-glucanase (EC 3.2.1.6), beta-glucosidase (EC 3.2.1.21), triacylglycerol lipase (EC 3.1.1.3), lysophospholipase (EC 3.1.1.5), muramidase (EC 3.2.1.17), alpha-mannosidase (EC 3.2.1.24), beta-mannosidase (mannanase) (EC 3.2.1.25), phytase (EC 3.1.3.8, EC 3.1.3.26, EC 3.1.3.72), phospholipase A1 (EC 3.1.1.32), phospholipase A2 (EC 3.1.1.4), phospholipase D (EC 3.1.4.4), protease (EC 3.4), pullulanase (EC 3.2.1.41), pectinesterase (EC 3.1.1.11), xylanase (EC 3.2.1.8, EC 3.2.1.136), beta-xylosidase (EC 3.2.1.37), or any combination thereof.

The composition, the animal feed or the animal feed additive of the invention may also comprise a galactanase (EC 3.2.1.89) and a beta-galactosidase (EC 3.2.1.23).

The composition, the animal feed or the animal feed additive of the present invention may also comprise a phytase (EC 3.1.3.8 or 3.1.3.26). Examples of commercially available phytases include Bio-Feed™ Phytase (Novozymes), Ronozyme® P, Ronozyme® NP and Ronozyme® HiPhos (DSM Nutritional Products), Natuphos™ (BASF), Natuphos™ E (BASF), Finase® and Quantum® Blue (AB Enzymes), OptiPhos® (Huvepharma), AveMix® Phytase (Aveve Biochem), Phyzyme® XP (Verenium/DuPont) and Axtra® PHY (DuPont). Other preferred phytases include those described in e.g. WO 98/28408, WO 00/43503, and WO 03/066847.

The composition, the animal feed or the animal feed additive of the present invention may also comprise a xylanase (EC 3.2.1.8). Examples of commercially available xylanases include Ronozyme® WX (DSM Nutritional Products), Econase® XT and Barley (AB Vista), Xylathin® (Verenium), Hostazym® X (Huvepharma), Axtra® XB (Xylanase/beta-glucanase, DuPont) and Axtra® XAP (Xylanase/amylase/protease, DuPont), AveMix® XG 10 (xylanase/glucanase) and AveMix® 02 CS (xylanase/glucanase/pectinase, Aveve Biochem), and Naturgrain (BASF).

The composition, the animal feed or the animal feed additive of the invention may also comprise a protease (EC 3.4). Examples of commercially available proteases include Ronozyme® ProAct (DSM Nutritional Products), Winzyme Pro Plus® (Suntaq International Limited) and Cibenza® DP100 (Novus International).

The composition, the animal feed or the animal feed additive of the invention may also comprise an alpha-amylase (EC 3.2.1.1). Examples of commercially available alpha-amylases include Ronozyme® A and RONOZYME® RumiStar™ (DSM Nutritional Products). The composition, the animal feed or the animal feed additive of the invention may also comprise a multicomponent enzyme product, such as FRA® Octazyme (Framelco), Ronozyme® G2, Ronozyme® VP and Ronozyme® MultiGrain (DSM Nutritional Products), Rovabio® Excel or Rovabio® Advance (Adisseo).

Eubiotics

The composition, the animal feed or the animal feed additive of the invention may additionally comprise eubiotics. Eubiotics are compounds which are designed to give a healthy balance of the micro-flora in the gastrointestinal tract. Eubiotics cover a number of different feed additives, such as probiotics, prebiotics, phytogenies (essential oils) and organic acids which are described in more detail below.

Probiotics

In the present invention, the composition, the animal feed or the animal feed additive may further comprise one or more additional probiotic. In particular, the animal feed composition may further comprise a bacterium from one or more of the following genera: LactoBacillus, Lactococcus, Streptococcus, Bacillus, Pediococcus, Enterococcus, Leuconostoc, Carnobacterium, Propionibacterium, Bifidobacterium, Clostridium and Megasphaera or any combination thereof.

Preferably, the composition, the animal feed or the animal feed additive further comprises a bacterium from one or more of the following strains: Bacillus subtilis, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus amyloliquefaciens, Bacillus cereus, Bacillus pumilus, Bacillus polymyxa, Bacillus megaterium, Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus circulans, Enterococcus faecium, Enterococcus spp, and Pediococcus spp, LactoBacillus spp, Bifidobacterium spp, LactoBacillus acidophilus, Pediococsus acidilactici, Lactococcus lactis, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Propionibacterium thoenii, LactoBacillus farciminus, lactoBacillus rhamnosus, Clostridium butyricum, Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. animalis, LactoBacillus reuteri, LactoBacillus salivarius ssp. salivarius, Megasphaera elsdenii, Propionibacteria sp.

Examples of commercial products are Cylactin® (DSM Nutritional Products), Syncra® (mix enzyme + probiotic, DuPont Animal Nutrition), and Fecinor® (Norel/Evonik).

Prebiotics

Prebiotics are substances that induce the growth or activity of microorganisms (e.g., bacteria and fungi) that contribute to the well-being of their host. Prebiotics are typically non- digestible fiber compounds that pass undigested through the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract and stimulate the growth or activity of advantageous bacteria that colonize the large bowel by acting as substrate for them. Normally, prebiotics increase the number or activity of bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria in the Gl tract. Yeast derivatives (inactivated whole yeasts or yeast cell walls) can also be considered as prebiotics. They often comprise mannan-oligosaccharids, yeast beta-glucans or protein contents and are normally derived from the cell wall of the yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

In the present invention, the amount of prebiotics may be 0.001% to 10% by weight of the composition. Examples of yeast products are Yang® and Agrimos (Lallemand Animal Nutrition).

Phytogenies

Phytogenies are a group of natural growth promoters or non-antibiotic growth promoters used as feed additives, derived from herbs, spices or other plants. Phytogenies can be single substances prepared from essential oils/extracts, essential oils/extracts, single plants and mixture of plants (herbal products) or mixture of essential oils/extracts/plants (specialized products).

Examples of phytogenies are rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme, clove, and lemongrass. Examples of essential oils are thymol, eugenol, meta-cresol, vaniline, salicylate, resorcine, guajacol, gingerol, lavender oil, ionones, irone, eucalyptol, menthol, peppermint oil, alpha-pinene; limonene, anethol, linalool, methyl dihydrojasmonate, carvacrol, propionic acid/propionate, acetic acid/acetate, butyric acid/butyrate, rosemary oil, clove oil, geraniol, terpineol, citronellol, amyl and/or benzyl salicylate, cinnamaldehyde, plant polyphenol (tannin), turmeric and curcuma extract.

In the present invention, the amount of phytogeneics may be 0.001% to 10% by weight of the composition. Examples of commercial products are Crina® (DSM Nutritional Products); Cinergy™, Biacid™, ProHacidTM Classic and ProHacidTM Advance™ (all Promivi/Cargill) and Envivo EO (DuPont Animal Nutrition).

Organic Acids

Organic acids (C1-C7) are widely distributed in nature as normal constituents of plants or animal tissues. They are also formed through microbial fermentation of carbohydrates mainly in the large intestine. They are often used in swine and poultry production as a replacement of antibiotic growth promoters since they have a preventive effect on the intestinal problems like necrotic enteritis in chickens and Escherichia coli infection in young pigs. Organic acids can be sold as mono component or mixtures of typically 2 or 3 different organic acids. Examples of organic acids are short chain fatty acids (e.g. formic acid, acetic acid, propionic acid, butyric acid), medium chain fatty acids (e.g. caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, lauric acid), di/tri-carboxylic acids (e.g. fumaric acid), hydroxy acids (e.g. lactic acid), aromatic acids (e.g. benzoic acid), citric acid, sorbic acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid or their salt (typically sodium or potassium salt such as potassium diformate or sodium butyrate).

In the present invention, the amount of organic acid may be 0.001% to 10% by weight of the composition. Examples of commercial products are VevoVitall® (DSM Nutritional Products), Amasil®, Luprisil®, Lupro-Grain®, Lupro-Cid®, Lupro-Mix® (BASF), n-Butyric Acid AF (OXEA) and Adimix Precision (Nutriad). Amino Acids

The composition or the animal feed of the invention may further comprise one or more amino acids. Examples of amino acids which are used are lysine, alanine, beta-alanine, threonine, methionine and tryptophan. In the present invention, the amount of amino acid may be 0.001% to 10% by weight of the composition or the animal feed.

Vitamins and Minerals

In the present invention, the composition or the animal feed may include one or more vitamins, such as one or more fat-soluble vitamins and/or one or more water-soluble vitamins. In addition, the composition or the animal feed may optionally include one or more minerals, such as one or more trace minerals and/or one or more macro minerals.

Usually fat- and water-soluble vitamins, as well as trace minerals form part of a so-called premix intended for addition to the feed, whereas macro minerals are usually separately added to the feed.

Non-limiting examples of fat-soluble vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin D3, vitamin E, and vitamin K, e.g., vitamin K3.

Non-limiting examples of water-soluble vitamins include vitamin C, vitamin B12, biotin and choline, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, niacin, folic acid and panthothenate, e.g., Ca-D- panthothenate.

Non-limiting examples of trace minerals include boron, cobalt, chloride, chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, iodine, selenium and zinc.

Non-limiting examples of macro minerals include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium.

In the present invention, the amount of vitamins may be 0.001% to 10% by weight of the composition or the animal feed. Preferably, the amount of minerals is 0.001% to 10% by weight of the composition or the animal feed.

The nutritional requirements of these components (exemplified with poultry and piglets/pigs) are listed in Table A of WO 01/58275. Nutritional requirement means that these components should be provided in the diet in the concentrations indicated.

In the alternative, the composition or the animal feed of the invention comprises at least one of the individual components specified in Table A of WO 01/58275. At least one means either of, one or more of, one, or two, or three, or four and so forth up to all thirteen, or up to all fifteen individual components. More specifically, this at least one individual component is included in the additive of the invention in such an amount as to provide an in-feed-concentration within the range indicated in column four, or column five, or column six of Table A. Preferably, the composition or the animal feed of the invention comprises at least one of the below vitamins, preferably to provide an in-feed-concentration within the ranges specified in the below Table 1 (for piglet diets, and broiler diets, respectively).

Table 1: Typical vitamin recommendations

Other feed ingredients

Tthe composition or the animal feed of the invention may further comprise colouring agents, stabilisers, growth improving additives and aroma compounds/flavourings, polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs); reactive oxygen generating species, antioxidants, anti- microbial peptides, anti-fungal polypeptides and mycotoxin management compounds.

Examples of colouring agents are Bacillus probiotics such as beta-carotene, astaxanthin, and lutein.

Examples of aroma compounds/flavourings are creosol, anethol, deca-, undeca-and/or dodeca-lactones, ionones, irone, gingerol, piperidine, propylidene phatalide, butylidene phatalide, capsaicin and tannin.

Examples of antimicrobial peptides (AMP’s) are CAP18, Leucocin A, Tritrpticin, Protegrin- 1, Thanatin, Defensin, Lactoferrin, Lactoferricin, and Ovispirin such as Novispirin (Robert Lehrer, 2000), Plectasins, and Statins, including the compounds and polypeptides disclosed in WO 03/044049 and WO 03/048148, as well as variants or fragments of the above that retain antimicrobial activity. Examples of antifungal polypeptides (AFP’s) are the Aspergillus giganteus, and Aspergillus niger peptides, as well as variants and fragments thereof which retain antifungal activity, as disclosed in WO 94/01459 and WO 02/090384.

Examples of polyunsaturated fatty acids are C18, C20 and C22 polyunsaturated fatty acids, such as arachidonic acid, docosohexaenoic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid and gamma- linoleic acid.

Examples of reactive oxygen generating species are chemicals such as perborate, persulphate, or percarbonate; and enzymes such as an oxidase, an oxygenase or a syntethase.

Antioxidants can be used to limit the number of reactive oxygen species which can be generated such that the level of reactive oxygen species is in balance with antioxidants.

Mycotoxins, such as deoxynivalenol, aflatoxin, zearalenone and fumonisin can be found in animal feed and can result in nmegative animal performance or illness. Compounds which can manage the levels of mycotoxin, such as via deactivation of the mycotoxin or via binding of the mycotoxin, can be added to the feed to ameliorate these negative effects. Examples of mycotoxin management compounds are Vitafix®, Vitafix Ultra (Nuscience), Mycofix®, Mycofix® Secure, FUMzyme®, Biomin® BBSH, Biomin® MTV (Biomin), Mold-Nil®, Toxy-Nil® and Unike® Plus (Nutriad).

Methods of Improving Animal Performance

In the third aspect, the invention further relates to a method for improving the feed conversion ratio (FOR), and/or weight gain and/or for foot pad scores, and/or reducing OPGs in an animal comprising administering to the animal the composition or the animal feed comprising one or more polypeptides having muramidase activity and one or more Bacillus probiotics as defined above.

In the present invention, the improvement is compared to the same feed but excluding the muramidase and Bacillus probiotics.

In the present invention, the weight gain may be improved by at least 1%, such as by at least 1.5%, at least 2.0%, at least 2.5%, at least 3%, at least 3.5%, at least 4% or at least 5%. Preferably, the weight gain is improved by between 1% and 15%, such as between 1% and 12%, between 1% and 10%, 1.5% and 8%, 2.0% and 7%, or any combination of these intervals.

In the present invention, the FOR may be improved by at least 0.5%, such as by at least 1.0%, at least 1.5% or at least 1.75%. preferably, the FOR is improved by between 1% and 5%, such as between 1% and 4%, between 1% and 3%, 1.25% and 2.5%, 1.5% and 2%, or any combination of these intervals.

In the present invention, the foot pad scores may be improved by at least at least 1%, such as by at least 1.5%, at least 2.0%, at least 2.5%, at least 3%, at least 3.5%, at least 4% or at least 5%, or any combination of these intervals. In the present invention, the OPGs may be reduced by at least 1%, such as by at least 2.0%, at least 3.0%, at least 4.0%, at least 5%, at least 6.0%, at least 7% or at least 8%, or any combination of these intervals.

In the present invention, the polypeptide having muramidase activity may be dosed at a level of 100-1000 mg enzyme protein per kg animal feed, such as 200 to 900 mg, 300 to 800 mg, 400 to 700 mg or 500 to 600 mg enzyme protein per kg animal feed, or any combination of these intervals.

In the present invention, the Bacillus probiotics may be dosed at a level of 100 to 1000 mg per kg animal feed, such as such as 200 to 900 mg, 300 to 800 mg, 400 to 700 mg or 500 to 600 mg per kg animal feed, or any combination of these intervals.

In the present invention, the animal is a mono-gastric animal, e.g. pigs or swine (including, but not limited to, piglets, growing pigs, and sows); poultry (including but not limited to poultry, turkey, duck, quail, guinea fowl, goose, pigeon, squab, chicken, broiler, layer, pullet and chick); pet animals such as cats and dogs, fish (including but not limited to amberjack, arapaima, barb, bass, bluefish, bocachico, bream, bullhead, cachama, carp, catfish, catla, chanos, char, cichlid, cobia, cod, crappie, dorada, drum, eel, goby, goldfish, gourami, grouper, guapote, halibut, java, labeo, lai, loach, mackerel, milkfish, mojarra, mudfish, mullet, paco, pearlspot, pejerrey, perch, pike, pompano, roach, salmon, sampa, sauger, sea bass, seabream, shiner, sleeper, snakehead, snapper, snook, sole, spinefoot, sturgeon, sunfish, sweetfish, tench, terror, tilapia, trout, tuna, turbot, vendace, walleye and whitefish); and crustaceans (including but not limited to shrimps and prawns). In a more preferred embodiment, the animal is selected from the group consisting of swine, poultry, crustaceans and fish. In an even more preferred embodiment, the animal is selected from the group consisting of swine, piglet, growing pig, sow, chicken, broiler, layer, pullet and chick.

Use in Improving Animal Performance

In the fifth aspect, the invention further relates to use of a composition or an animal feed for improving the feed conversion ratio (FCR), and/or weight gain and/or for foot pad scores, and/or reducing OPGs in an animal, wherein the composition and the animal feed comprise one or more polypeptides having muramidase activity and one or more Bacillus probiotics as defined above.

In the present invention, the improvement is compared to the same feed but excluding the muramidase and Bacillus probiotics.

In the present invention, the weight gain may be improved by at least 1%, such as by at least 1.5%, at least 2.0%, at least 2.5%, at least 3%, at least 3.5%, at least 4% or at least 5%. Preferably, the weight gain is improved by between 1% and 15%, such as between 1% and 12%, between 1% and 10%, 1.5% and 8%, 2.0% and 7%, or any combination of these intervals. In the present invention, the FCR may be improved by at least 0.5%, such as by at least 1.0%, at least 1.5% or at least 1.75%. preferably, the FCR is improved by between 1% and 5%, such as between 1% and 4%, between 1% and 3%, 1.25% and 2.5%, 1.5% and 2%, or any combination of these intervals.

In the present invention, the foot pad scores may be improved by at least at least 1%, such as by at least 1.5%, at least 2.0%, at least 2.5%, at least 3%, at least 3.5%, at least 4% or at least 5%, or any combination of these intervals.

In the present invention, the OPGs may be reduced by at least 1%, such as by at least 2.0%, at least 3.0%, at least 4.0%, at least 5%, at least 6.0%, at least 7% or at least 8%, or any combination of these intervals.

In the present invention, the polypeptide having muramidase activity may be dosed at a level of 100-1000 mg enzyme protein per kg animal feed, such as 200 to 900 mg, 300 to 800 mg, 400 to 700 mg or 500 to 600 mg enzyme protein per kg animal feed, or any combination of these intervals.

In the present invention, the Bacillus probiotics may be dosed at a level of 100 to 1000 mg per kg animal feed, such as such as 200 to 900 mg, 300 to 800 mg, 400 to 700 mg or 500 to 600 mg per kg animal feed, or any combination of these intervals.

In the present invention, the animal is a mono-gastric animal, e.g. pigs or swine (including, but not limited to, piglets, growing pigs, and sows); poultry (including but not limited to poultry, turkey, duck, quail, guinea fowl, goose, pigeon, squab, chicken, broiler, layer, pullet and chick); fish (including but not limited to amberjack, arapaima, barb, bass, bluefish, bocachico, bream, bullhead, cachama, carp, catfish, catla, chanos, char, cichlid, cobia, cod, crappie, dorada, drum, eel, goby, goldfish, gourami, grouper, guapote, halibut, java, labeo, lai, loach, mackerel, milkfish, mojarra, mudfish, mullet, paco, pearlspot, pejerrey, perch, pike, pompano, roach, salmon, sampa, sauger, sea bass, seabream, shiner, sleeper, snakehead, snapper, snook, sole, spinefoot, sturgeon, sunfish, sweetfish, tench, terror, tilapia, trout, tuna, turbot, vendace, walleye and whitefish); and crustaceans (including but not limited to shrimps and prawns). In a more preferred embodiment, the animal is selected from the group consisting of swine, poultry, crustaceans and fish. In an even more preferred embodiment, the animal is selected from the group consisting of swine, piglet, growing pig, sow, chicken, broiler, layer, pullet and chick.

Preferred Embodiments of the Invention

Preferred embodiments of the invention are described in the set of claims.

EXAMPLES

Example 1 : Cloning, Expression and Purification of the Muramidases The GH25 muramidases of SEQ ID NO: 1 to SEQ ID NO: 2 were cloned and expressed as described in example 2 of WO 2013/076253. The GH25 muramidase of SEQ ID NO: 3 may be cloned using basic molecular techniques (Ausubel et al., 2003, Curr. Prot. Mol. Biol., John Wiley & Sons, Cambridge, USA; Christgau et al. 1995, Curr. Genet. 27, 135-141). The GH25 muramidase of SEQ ID NO: 4 may be cloned and expressed as described in W02009/102755. The GH25 muramidase of SEQ ID NO: 5 was cloned and expressed as described in W02005/080559. The GH25 muramidases of SEQ ID NO: 6 to SEQ ID NO: 59 were cloned and expressed as described in PCT/CN2017/075978. The GH25 muramidases of SEQ ID NO: 60 to SEQ ID NO: 62 were cloned and expressed as described in PCT/CN2017/075960. The GH24 muramidases of SEQ ID NO: 63 to SEQ ID NO: 71 were cloned and expressed as described in WO2017/000922.

Example 2: Determination of muramidase Activity

The activity of muramidase was determined by measuring the decrease (drop) in absorbance/optical density of a solution of suspended Micrococcus lysodeikticus ATTC No. 4698 (Sigma-Aldrich M3770) measured in a microplate reader (Tecan Infinite M200) at 450 nm.

Preparation of Micrococcus lysodeikticus substrate

Before use the cells were suspended in deionized water to a concentration of 10 mg cells/mL and the absorbance/optical density (OD) at 450 nm was measured. The cell suspension was then adjusted so that the cell concentration in the turbidity assay (180 pl_ buffer + 20 pi- sample + 20 mI_ substrate) equaled an OD450 = 1 .0. The adjusted cell suspension was then stored at ambient temperature before use. Suspended cells were used within 3 hours.

Preparation of citric acid - phosphate buffer pH 4

61.45 mL 0.1 M citric acid was mixed with 38.55 ml_ 0.2 M disodium hydrogen phosphate, and the pH was adjusted with hydrochloric acid or sodium hydroxide to pH 4.

Measurement of muramidase antimicrobial activity in the turbidity assay

The muramidase sample to be measured was diluted to a concentration of 50 mg enzyme protein/L in deionized water, and kept on ice until use. In a 96 well microtiter plate (Nunc) 180 pL citric acid - phosphate buffer pH 4 and 20 pL of the diluted muramidase sample was added and kept cold (5°C). To start the activity measurement 20 mI_ of the substrate ( Micrococcus lysodeikticus) was added to each well, and kinetic measurement of absorbance at 450 nm was initiated for 1 hour at 37°C in a microplate reader. The measured absorbance at 450 nm was monitored for each well and over time a drop in absorbance was seen if the muramidase has muramidase activity.

Following incubation, the muramidase activity against Micrococcus lysodeikticus was determined as D absorbance at 450 nm (start value - end value) of each well after 1 hour. Significance was calculated using Dunnett’s with control test p level 0.05 in JMP® version 12.1.0 statistical software package from SAS Institute Inc.

Example 1 : in vivo trail

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN The experiment consisted of a complete randomized block design with six (6) treatments and ten (10) replications for each treatment. Each of the pens initially contained 50 Ross 708 male chicks for a total of 3,000 birds. Chicks were allocated at random by block to each pen, and carefully counted to assure the correct numbers of birds were placed into each experimental pen. All chicks were spray vaccinated with a commercial coccidia vaccine (Coccivac-B52) at the recommended level prior to placement. Only healthy appearing chicks were used in the study. No birds were replaced during the course of the study.

DIETS

A 3-feed program was provided with Starter, Grower and Finisher diet specifications as shown in Table 2. At the end of each period on days 21 , 35, and 42, remaining feed was weighed and discarded.

Table 2

TREATMENTS

Six (6) dietary treatments were formulated and fed to male broilers. The treatments were shown in Table 3. Table 3

PARAMETERS

Performance

Bird weights and feed intake by pen were recorded on Days 0, 21, 35, and 42, and feed conversion ratio was calculated accordingly. Coccidia Oocysts per Gram Litter/Fecal Material

On Day 21 of the study, fresh fecal samples were collected from all pens. These representative samples were tested to determine the degree of oocysts shedding/cycling. Oocysts per gram (OPGs) were determined for each sample.

Foot Pad Score On Day 42 of the study, a pen-by-pen (5 birds/pen- randomly selected) evaluation was made for footpad evaluation based on a subjective scoring method as shown in Figure 1. The same person conducted this evaluation across all pens based on this scoring system. STATISTICAL ANALYSIS

Means for (Day 1-21, 1-35, and 1-42) pen weight gain, feed intake, feed conversion, foot pad scores, and OPGs were determined/calculated. Significance was determined at P < 0.05. RESULTS and CONCLUSIONS

Table 4

From the results as shown in Table 4, the supplement with muramidase and Bacillus probitoics (Treatments 5 and 6) improved weight gain, FOR and foot pad score of animals obviously and reduced OPGs in the animals.