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Ionophores are compounds forming lipid-soluble complexes that act as vehicles for transporting ions across biological membranes.
Ionophores play a significant role in improving the health and feed efficiency of livestock and poultry production.
subclasses of Ionophores
1- carboxylic ionophores form zwitterionic complexes with cations .
2- promote electrically neutral cation exchange diffusion.
Ionophores antibiotic are compounds produced by microorganism (mainly spore-forming) ; they act by specifically increasing the ion permeability of the cell membrane.
Most ionophores are polyether antibiotics from Streptomyces species, with a single carboxylic acid function.
Ionophores (polyether antibiotics), such as (monensin , lasalocid, laidlomycin, salinomycin and narasin) are antimicrobial compounds that are commonly fed to ruminant animals to improve feed efficiency.