Effects of supplementing yeast fermentate in the feed or drinking water on stress susceptibility, plasma chemistry, cytokine levels, antioxidant status, and stress- and immune-related gene expression of broiler chickens. Academic Article uri icon


  • This study aimed to elucidate the mechanism by which adding Saccharomyces cerevisiae-derived yeast fermentate to the feed (XPC) or drinking water reduces stress in poultry. Day-old male Cobb 500 broiler chicks were assigned to 1 of 3 treatments: stressed control (CS), stressed+XPC (1.25kg/metric ton feed, day 0-43; XPC), or stressed+AviCare (160mL/100L drinking water, day 0-43; AVI). All birds were spray-vaccinated for coccidiosis (day 0), raised on reused litter, spray-vaccinated for Newcastle/Bronchitis (day 18), and exposed to heat stress (32C-34C) and feed/water withdrawal for 12h (day 18). Blood samples were collected to assess plasma corticosterone (CORT) and heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratio (60 birds/treatment; day 40); plasma biochemistry and growth hormone (12 birds/treatment; day 38); and serum serotonin and plasma prolactin, thyroid hormones, antioxidant capacity, and selected cytokines (12 birds/treatment; day 39). Composite asymmetry scores were obtained from 60 birds/treatment on day 41. Organs were collected from 20 birds/treatment on day 43 to measure gene expression of CYP1A2 and melanocortin 2 receptor (MC2R) in the adrenal glands and IL10 and AvBD1 in the spleen. Serotonin was lower in CS than XPC (P=0.049), whereas AVI was intermediate. Plasma interleukin (IL)-1 was higher in AVI than CS (P=0.009) and XPC (P=0.009). The CS treatment had higher CORT than AVI (P=0.013) and XPC (P=0.037) and higher H/L ratios than AVI (P=0.026) and XPC (P=0.034). Expression of CYP1A2, MC2R, and IL10 was lower (P<0.05) in XPC and AVI compared with CS. Furthermore, IL10 expression was lower in XPC than AVI (P<0.05). Adding yeast fermentate to the feed or drinking water reduced measures of stress and MC2R gene expression in birds exposed to acute and rearing stressors. However, differences in IL10 gene expression and circulating serotonin and IL-1 suggest that supplementing yeast fermentate in the feed is slightly more effective than supplementation via the drinking water in mitigating the physiological effects associated with the stress response in broilers.

published proceedings

  • Poult Sci

altmetric score

  • 0.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Nelson, J. R., Sobotik, E. B., Athrey, G., & Archer, G. S.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Nelson, Jill R||Sobotik, Eric B||Athrey, Giridhar||Archer, Gregory S

publication date

  • January 2020