Bacterial clearance, heterophil function, and hematological parameters of transport-stressed turkey poults supplemented with dietary yeast extract. Academic Article uri icon


  • Yeast extracts (YE) contain biological response modifiers that may be useful as alternatives to antibiotics for controlling pathogens in poultry production and mitigating the deleterious effects of production stressors. The objective of the present study was to determine the ability of a commercial dietary YE (Alphamune) to modulate the immune response in male turkey poults challenged with Escherichia coli and subjected to transport stress. Alphamune was added to turkey poult diets at 0, 500, or 1,000 g/ton. Poults were challenged by air sac injection with 60 cfu of E. coli at 1 wk of age. At 3 wk of age, these challenged birds were subjected to transport stress and birds were bled and necropsied the following morning. Blood cell numbers and percentages, hematological parameters, and clinical chemistry values were determined. Oxidative burst activity of isolated heterophils was measured using stimulation with phorbol myristate acetate and a 2',7'-dichlorofluorescein diacetate assay. Data were analyzed using GLM and least squares means procedures of the SAS program. The numbers and percentages of heterophils in peripheral blood were increased and their oxidative burst activity was stimulated by YE. The stress challenge dramatically increased oxidative burst and this increase was significantly modulated by YE treatment. Serum levels of calcium, phosphorus, and triglycerides were decreased and uric acid levels, erythrocyte numbers, hemoglobin, and hematocrit were increased by YE supplementation. Bacteria were isolated from the air sac and liver of a lower percentage of birds provided with YE. These results suggest that dietary YE has potential as a nonantibiotic alternative for decreasing bacterial pathogens in turkey production.

published proceedings

  • Poult Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Huff, G. R., Huff, W. E., Farnell, M. B., Rath, N. C., Solis de Los Santos, F., & Donoghue, A. M.

citation count

  • 53

complete list of authors

  • Huff, GR||Huff, WE||Farnell, MB||Rath, NC||Solis de Los Santos, F||Donoghue, AM

publication date

  • January 2010