Arginine and vitamin E improve the immune response after a Salmonella challenge in broiler chicks.
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Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the effects of Arg, vitamin E (VE), and mannanoligosaccharide (MOS) on the immune response and clearance of Salmonella in broiler chickens. In each experiment, 1-d-old chicks (n = 160) were randomly distributed into 4 groups: antibiotic-free diet (negative control, CTL-), antibiotic-supplemented diet (positive control, CTL+), antibiotic free-diet plus Arg and VE (AVE), or antibiotic-free diet plus Arg, VE, and MOS (AVM). Birds were orally challenged with 10(6) cfu of a novobiocyn and nalidixic acid-resistant Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium strain at d 7 (experiment 1) or at d 3 (experiment 2). Heterophil- (HOB) and monocyte- (MOB) oxidative burst and lymphocyte proliferation (LPR), antibody titers, and Salmonella content in the ceca were measured at several intervals postinfection (PI). In experiment 1, both AVM and AVE decreased HOB compared with the controls 5 and 9 d PI, but increased LPR 9 d PI. In the same experiment, birds fed the AVE diet had higher MOB than birds fed CTL+ or the AVM diet at 7 d PI, whereas 9 d PI birds fed the AVM diet had the highest MOB. In experiment 2, birds fed the AVE diet had higher MOB, HOB, and LPR than birds in the other treatments 7 and 14 d PI, except at 7 d PI, when MOB was not different among treatments. Birds fed the AVM diet had the highest IgA antibody titer, and a higher IgM antibody titer than the CTL+ birds. In experiment 1, Salmonella Typhimurium content in the ceca was lower in birds fed the AVM diet compared with birds fed the CTL- diet 3 d PI, but later on (10 and 17 d PI), and in experiment 2 (7, 14, and 21 d PI), Salmonella Typhimurium concentrations were not different among treatments. Thus, Arg and VE improved immune response after a Salmonella Typhimurium challenge in young chicks, and although they did not reduce Salmonella Typhimurium concentrations in the ceca, they may improve bacterial resistance against other pathogens in commercial growing conditions.