Gastrointestinal maturation is accelerated in turkey poults supplemented with a mannan-oligosaccharide yeast extract (Alphamune). Academic Article uri icon


  • Alphamune, a yeast extract antibiotic alternative, has been shown to stimulate the immune system, increase BW in pigs, and reduce Salmonella colonization in chickens. The influence of Alphamune on gastrointestinal tract development has not been reported. Two trials were conducted to evaluate the effects of Alphamune on gut maturation of 7- and 21-d-old turkey poults. Poults were fed a standard control unmedicated turkey starter diet or the same diet supplemented with either 1 or 2 lb/ton of Alphamune (n = 18/group). Poults were weighed on d 7 and 21, euthanized, and a 2-cm section was collected from the midpoint of the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum of each bird (9 poults/d per treatment) and fixed in a 10% formalin solution for 72 h and then stained. Twenty measurements of villus height, villus surface area, lamina propria thickness, crypt depth, and density of neutral, sialomucin, and sulfomucin goblet cells were taken per section per poult. On d 7, BW were higher for the poults given the Alphamune treatments compared with control poults; however, no differences were observed on d 21. Alphamune supplementation influenced intestinal morphology differently based on gut location. Ileum villus height, surface area, lamina propria thickness, crypt depth, and neutral, sialomucin, and sulfomucin goblet cell density were enhanced with Alphamune treatments on d 7 and 21 (P < 0.05) and in a dose-dependent manner for many of the parameters evaluated. Jejunum results were mixed. Surface area, crypt depth, and sialomucin and sulfomucin goblet cells were consistently higher for the 2 lb/ton of Alphamune groups compared with the control group on d 7 and 21. Duodenum villus height, surface area, and goblet cell density were higher for the 2 lb/ton of Alphamune groups on d 7; however, intestinal morphology of the duodenum was not different between the control and treated birds on d 21. These results suggest that feed supplemented with Alphamune can accelerate gastrointestinal maturation in turkey poults and is more pronounced in the ileum than in other portions of the small intestine.

published proceedings

  • Poult Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Solis de los Santos, F., Donoghue, A. M., Farnell, M. B., Huff, G. R., Huff, W. E., & Donoghue, D. J.

citation count

  • 105

complete list of authors

  • Solis de los Santos, F||Donoghue, AM||Farnell, MB||Huff, GR||Huff, WE||Donoghue, DJ

publication date

  • January 2007