1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
To evaluate intestinal gene expression associated with dietary immunomodulation using phytonutrients.
1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Broiler chickens will be treated with various phytonutrients and their effects on avian immune response to mucosal pathogens will be evaluated using established disease parameters and various immunological assays.
3. Progress Report
This agreement is to develop a dietary strategy to enhance gut immunity against enteric pathogens using plant-derived phytonutrients. ARS provides in vitro immunological assays to evaluate different plant extracts and evaluates their efficacy in vivo using broiler chicken disease models. In this reporting period, the protective effect of orally administered Curcuma longa (turmeric), Capsicum annuum and C. frutescens (hot pepper), and Lentinus edodes (shiitake mushroom) on avian coccidiosis was evaluated in young broilers. Chickens fed the Curcuma/Capsicum/Lentinus-supplemented diet showed significantly improved body weight gains compared with birds on the standard diet or birds given Capsicum/Lentinus-supplemented diet following challenge infection with E. acervulina. Chickens fed the Curcuma/Capsicum/Lentinus-supplemented diet shed significantly fewer fecal oocysts and produced higher serum antibody titers compared to the groups fed the standard diet or fed Curcuma or Capsicum/Lentinus separately. Finally, the levels of local cytokine transcripts of IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-15, and IFN-a were consistently greater in the Curcuma/Capsicum/Lentinus-fed group compared to the controls fed only the standard diet, or diets containing Curcuma, or Capsicum/Lentinus. This study provides first immunological evidence that dietary supplementation of turmeric, pepper, and shiitake work synergistically to enhance local innate immunity and to provide higher protective immunity against E. acervulina infection.