Submitted to: World Veterinary Poultry Association
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/21/2003
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The innate immune system of neonatal poultry is immunologically inefficient during the first week post-hatch, enabling pathogens such as Salmonella enteritidis to invade and colonize the visceral organs. Beta-glucan (in vitro) is well documented in the literature as an immunopotentiator of neutrophils and macrophages in mammals. The premise of the present study was to demonstrate the efficacy of Beta-glucan, a feed supplement, (in vivo) to decrease the incidence of SE organ invasion in neonatal poultry. The data herein demonstrate a significant difference (P<0.05) in SE organ invasion between chicks consuming Beta-glucan treated feed versus untreated feed; both experimental groups were orally challenged with SE. The SE challenge group (untreated feed) had an organ invasion rate of 76% SE positive (liver/spleen) whereas the Beta-glucan treated group was 7% SE positive (L/S). Beta-glucan administered as an antimicrobial immunopotentiator in feed to young poultry would provide producers an alternative to traditional antimicrobial chemotherapies currently in use. Future in vitro studies will determine the mechanism(s) at the cellular level involving Beta-glucan as an immunopotentiator of the avian innate immune system.