Submitted to: Feedinfo News Service
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: September 12, 2007
Publication Date: October 12, 2007
Citation: Lillehoj, H.S., Lee, S.H. 2007. Probiotics as an alternative control strategy against avian coccidiosis. Feedinfo News Service Scientific Reviews. Septmeber. Probiotics as an alternative control strategy against avian coccidiosis . Feedinfo News Service.
Interpretive Summary: The gut immune system plays a central role as the first lines of defense against pathogens in both humans and animals. Numerous studies showed immune enhancement resulting from oral feeding of probiotics. In order to obtain a greater understanding of the mechanisms of probiotic-mediated enhancement of intestinal immunity, ARS researchers fed a commerical probiotics to broilers and investigated host immunity to enteric parasites.
The results clearly demonstrated that commercially available probiotics based on Lactobacillus reduced oocysts and enhanced the production of immune cytokines in the broiler chicken infected with E. acervulina. A Pediococcus-based probiotic improved body weight gains and enhanced serum antibody responses in the broiler chicken infected with E. acervulina or E. tenella. When Saccharomyces and Pediococcus were used together, high level of serum antibody response was induced and fecal oocysts were reduced in the broiler chicken infected with E. acervulina or E. tenella. Feeding probiotics influenced the composition of intestinal lymphocyte subpopulations with significant reduction in fecal oocyst shedding. Further, probiotic feeding also had a significant impact on local cytokine (IFN-g and IL-2) production with early secretions in probiotic-fed birds. The exact mechanisms underlying the oocyst response are not clear. These promising results provide clear experimental evidence that probiotics modulate local and systemic immune responses in chickens and the dietary feeding of probiotics could enhance gut protective immunity against avian coccidiosis. A greater understanding of the mechanisms of probiotic-mediated enhancement of intestinal immunity would improve the effectiveness of its use in the field.
Coccidiosis is caused by several species of Eimeria, intestinal protozoan parasites which cost the poultry industry > $ 3.0 billion annually in losses worldwide. Hyun S. Lillehoj and Sung-Hyen Lee at the Animal & Natural Resources Institute, USDA-ARS, have demonstrated the effectiveness of commercially available probiotics in enhancing immunity to avian coccidiosis as an alternative control strategy against this disease. Probiotics are dietary supplements containing bacteria or yeast with potential health-promoting benefits. In several in vivo trials using chickens fed commercial probiotics and experimentally infected with Eimeria, parasite growth was reduced and greater animal weight gains were observed compared with infected birds given a standard diet. A commercially available Lactobacillus-based probiotics altered the distribution of intestinal lymphocyte subpopulations and enhanced the production of immune cytokines. Another commercially available product based on Pediococcus improved body weight gains and enhanced serum antibody responses whereas a Pediococcus- and Saccharomyces-based probiotic product induced higher serum antibody responses.