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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ALTERNATIVE INTERVENTION AND CONTROL STRATEGIES FOR FOODBORNE PATHOGENS IN POULTRY AND POULTRY PRODUCTS

Location: Poultry Production and Products Safety Research

Title: Effects of vitamin D and yeast extract supplementation on turkey mortality and clostridial dermatitis incidence in a dexamethasone immunosuppresssion model

Authors
item Huff, Geraldine
item Huff, William
item Rath, Narayan

Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 25, 2014
Publication Date: December 1, 2014
Citation: Huff, G.R., Huff, W.E., Rath, N.C. 2014. Effects of Vitamin D and yeast extract supplementation on turkey mortality and clostridial dermatitis incidence in a dexamethasone immunosuppresssion model. Avian Diseases. 58:572-578.

Interpretive Summary: Clostridial dermatitis is a production disease of commercial turkeys that is chararacterized by sudden mortality in market-aged male birds and lesions that include fluid and air bubbles under the skin of the thigh, breast, and tail area. We have developed a model for CD using dexamethasone (Dex) injection that suggests this disease may be related to stressors during the last stages of turkey producton. Male turkeys were provided with control feed and water or with feed supplemented with a commercial yeast extract product, water supplemented with vitamin D, or the combination. At 6, 11, and 15 weeks of age birds were treated with 3 injections of Dex over a 5 day period. Both YE and VD, but not the combination, decreased early mortality. At week 7 mortality was increased by VD and cellulitis lesions were seen in 7/8 mortalities. Mortality at week 12 was decreased by both YE and the combination of YE and VD and cellulitis lesions were seen in 8/17 mortalities. There were no significant differences in mortality at week 16. Total mortality was 66 birds and 23 of these had cellulitis lesions (38%). There were no YE treated birds with CD lesions, however 67% of vitamin D treated birds had CD lesions. This study suggests that feed supplementation with yeast extract may improve the ability of turkeys to withstand the stressors during late production and provide protection against the development of CD, however high levels of vitamin D supplementation may be detrimental.

Technical Abstract: Clostridial dermatitis is a production disease of commercial turkeys that is chararacterized by sudden mortality in market-aged male birds and lesions that include fluid and air bubbles under the skin of the thigh, breast, and tail area. We have developed a model for CD using dexamethasone (Dex) injection that suggests this disease may be related to stressors during the last stages of turkey producton. Male turkeys were provided with control feed and water or with feed supplemented with a commercial yeast extract product, water supplemented with vitamin D, or the combination. At 6, 11, and 15 weeks of age birds were treated with 3 intramuscular injections of Dex over a 5 day period. Both YE and VD, but not the combination, decreased early mortality. At week 7 mortality was increased by VD and cellulitis lesions were seen in 7/8 mortalities. Mortality at week 12 was decreased by both YE and the combination of YE and VD and cellulitis lesions were seen in 8/17 mortalities. There were no significant differences in mortality at week 16. Total mortality was 66 birds and 23 of these had cellulitis lesions (38%). There were no YE treated birds with CD lesions, however 67% of vitamin D treated birds had CD lesions. This study suggests that feed supplementation with yeast extract may improve the ability of turkeys to withstand the stressors during late production and provide protection against the development of CD, however high levels of vitamin D supplementation may be detrimental.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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