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Effect of Bacillus Subtilis-based Direct-fed Microbials on Immune Status in Broiler Chickens Raised on Fresh or Used Litter

Lee, K. W., Lillehoj, H. S., Jang, S. I., Lee, S. H., Bautista, D. A., Siragusa, G. R.
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2013 v.26 no.11 pp. 1592
Bacillus subtilis, Clostridium perfringens, Eimeria, antibodies, broiler chickens, dermatitis, dietary exposure, disease outbreaks, gene expression, homeostasis, immune system, immunity, interferon-gamma, interleukins, intestinal microorganisms, litter (bedding), mammals, messenger RNA, poultry manure
Type of dietary direct-fed microbials (DFMs) or poultry litter could directly influence the composition of gut microbiota. Gut microbiota plays an important role in shaping the developing immune system and maintaining the homeostasis of the mature immune system in mammal and chickens. The present study was carried out to investigate the interaction among litter, DFMs and immunity in broiler chickens exposed to a field-simulated environment. Immune status of broiler chickens was assessed by serum antibodies against Eimeria spp. and Clostridium spp. and intestinal cytokine mRNA expression. The current experimental design had a 3 ×2 factorial arrangement of treatments with three types of litter, i.e., fresh litter or used litter that was obtained from a farm with no disease outbreak (used litter) or a farm with history of a gangrenous dermatitis outbreak (GD litter), and two dietary treatments with or without DFMs. It was found that either DFM addition or type of litter significantly affected anticoccidial antibody levels of broiler chickens at d 42. In general, dietary DFMs increased the anticoccidial antibodies in the fresh-litter raised chickens, but lowered the levels in the GD-litter raised chickens. Serum antibodies against Clostridium perfringens α-toxin were significantly (p<0.05) higher in chickens raised on GD litter compared with those raised on fresh litter. Cytokine mRNA expression was significantly (p<0.05) altered by either the type of litter or DFMs. Of interest, dietary DFMs lowered interferon-γ, interleukin 1beta, and CXCLi2 cytokine mRNA expression in chickens raised on fresh litter but increased them in GD-litter raised chickens. In conclusion, dietary DFMs modulate various immune parameters of broiler chickens, but the DFM-mediated effects were dependent upon the type of litter on which chickens were raised.