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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: INVESTIGATING THE IMPACT OF STRESS ON FOODBORNE PATHOGEN COLONIZATION IN TURKEYS Title: Effects of dietary yeast extract on turkey stress response and heterophil oxidative burst activity

Authors
item Huff, Geraldine
item Dutta, Vikrant -
item Huff, William
item Rath, Narayan

Submitted to: British Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 29, 2011
Publication Date: September 15, 2011
Citation: Huff, G.R., Dutta, V., Huff, W.E., Rath, N.C. 2011. Effects of dietary yeast extract on turkey stress response and heterophil oxidative burst activity. British Poultry Science. 52:4, p. 446-455.

Interpretive Summary: Effective nutritional approaches to counteract the negative effects of stress would both improve human health and provide food animal producers with useful alternatives to antibiotics. In this study, turkeys were fed a standard diet or the same diet supplemented with yeast extract (Alphamune™, YE), to determine if YE would improve disease resistance in a stress model. At 16 weeks of age half of the birds were exposed to a bacterial challenge using coarse spray of the pen environment. A subset of control and challenged birds was also treated with a compound that mimics the effects of stress prior to challenge (Dex/challenge). At 18 weeks, another subset was subjected to a 12 h transport stress protocol (Challenge/transport). All birds were bled and necropsied the morning after transport. The numbers and proportions of blood cells and the ability of blood cells to kill bacteria were determined. Blood hormones that change during stress were measured in male birds using a commercial test. Body weight and gain were increased by YE during the first week. YE decreased mortality and bacterial isolation following Dex/challenge only in females. Stress hormone levels in male turkeys were decreased by YE and treatment with the stress-mimicking compound. The ability of blood cells to kill bacteria was greater in males and in birds fed YE and was decreased by bacterial challenge and stress. These results suggest there may be gender differences in the turkey stress response and that dietary YE has potential for modulating the impact of stress on innate immunity of turkeys.

Technical Abstract: Effective nutritional approaches to counteract the negative effects of stress would both improve human health and provide food animal producers with useful alternatives to antibiotics. In this study, turkeys were fed a standard diet or the same diet supplemented with yeast extract (Alphamune™, YE), to determine if YE would improve disease resistance in a stress model. At 16 weeks of age half of the birds were exposed to a bacterial challenge using coarse spray of the pen environment. A subset of control and challenged birds was also treated with dexamethasone (Dex) prior to challenge (Dex/challenge). At 18 weeks, another subset was subjected to a 12 h transport stress protocol (Challenge/transport). All birds were bled and necropsied the morning after transport. The numbers and proportions of blood cells and the heterophil oxidative burst activity (OBA) were determined. Serum corticosterone (Cort) levels of male birds were measured using a commercial ELISA. Body weight and gain were increased by YE during week 1(P < 0.0001). 3. YE decreased mortality and bacterial isolation following Dex/challenge only in females (P = 0.004). Cort levels in male turkeys were decreased by YE (P = 0.02) and Dex treatment (P < 0.0001). OBA was higher in males and in birds fed YE (P < 0.0001) and was decreased by challenge and transport (P < 0.0001). 4. These results suggest there may be gender differences in the turkey stress response and that dietary YE has potential for modulating the impact of stress on innate immunity of turkeys.

Last Modified: 11/20/2014
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