U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

The Role of Arginine in Disease Prevention, Gut Microbiota Modulation, Growth Performance and the Immune System of Broiler Chicken – A Review

Harry A. Aguzey, Zhenhua Gao, Wu Haohao, Cheng Guilan, Wu Zhengmin, Chen Junhong, Niu Zhi Li
Annals of animal science 2020 v.20 no.2 pp. 325-341
animal nutrition, antibiotics, arginine, broiler chickens, coccidiosis, diet, digestive tract mucosa, disease outbreaks, disease prevention, growth performance, immune system, immunosuppression, infectious bursal disease, intestinal absorption, intestinal microorganisms, necrotic enteritis, polypeptides, poultry production, profit maximization, reproduction
The effect of dietary arginine on disease prevention, immune system modulation, the gut micro-biota composition and growth of broiler chicken was reviewed. The main aim of poultry production is the maximization of profit at the least possible cost. This objective can mainly be achieved by ensuring that there is no interference in growth or disease outbreak and by feeding chicken with the best possible level of nutrients. With the ban on antibiotic growth promoters, attention is shifted towards other nutrition methods to prevent diseases and promote growth. More attention is therefore given to protein diets in animal nutrition due to their importance as essential part of active biological compounds in the body, assisting in the breakdown of body tissue and helping in the physiological processes of the animal. Arginine plays important function in serving as building blocks of proteins and polypeptides. It performs other roles during the regulation of important biochemical functions such as maintenance, growth, reproduction and immunity. Arginine cannot be synthesized by the body so it has to be supplemented in the diet. When arginine is supplemented above the recommended level, the gut mucosa is protected, immunosuppression is alleviated, diseases like necrotic enteritis, infectious bursal disease and coccidiosis in broiler chickens are prevented. There is an improvement in growth resulting from the increase in intestinal absorption, barrier function and microbiota composition.