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Effect of a direct-fed microbial (Primalac) on structure and ultrastructure of small intestine in turkey poults

Rahimi, S., Grimes, J.L., Fletcher, O., Oviedo, E., Sheldon, B.W.
Poultry science 2009 v.88 no.3 pp. 491-503
turkey feeding, dietary supplements, feed additives, probiotics, antimicrobial agents, morphogenesis, small intestine, intestinal mucosa, disease resistance, bacterial infections, poults, tissue analysis, histology, ultrastructure, protective effect, bacterial colonization, Salmonella
The effects of dietary supplementation of the direct-fed microbial (DFM) Primalac in mash or crumbled feed on histological and ultrastructural changes of intestinal mucosa was determined in 2 populations of poults; 1 with and 1 without a Salmonella spp. challenge. Three hundred thirty-six 1-d-old female Large White turkey poults were randomly distributed into 8 treatment groups with 6 replicates of 7 poults in each pen. The poults were placed on 1 of 4 dietary treatments in a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial arrangement (mash or crumble feed, with or without DFM, not-challenged or challenged at 3 d of age). The DFM groups were fed a Primalac-supplemented diet from d 1 until the last day of the experiment (d 21). At 3 d of age, 50% of the poults were challenged with 1 mL of 10¹⁰ cfu/ mL of Salmonella spp. (Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, Salmonella Heidelberg, and Salmonella Kentucky) by oral gavage. The inoculated poults were housed in a separate room from nonchallenged controls. Feed and water were provided ad libitum for all birds. At d 21, 1 poult per pen (total of 6 poults per treatment) was randomly selected and killed humanely by cervical dislocation. After necropsy, the small intestine was removed, and tissue samples from duodenum, jejunum, and ileum were taken for light and electron microscopic evaluation. The DFM birds showed increased goblet cell (GC) numbers, total GC area, GC mean size, mucosal thickness, and a greater number of segmented filamentous bacteria compared with controls. Changes in intestinal morphology as observed in this study support the concept that poultry gut health and function, and ultimately bird performance, can be improved by dietary supplementation with DFM products such as Primalac as used in this study.