Submitted to: BARC Poster Day
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/27/2007
Publication Date: 4/25/2007
Citation: Lee, S., Lillehoj, H.S., Park, D., Hong, Y. 2007. Immunomodulatory effects of safflower leaf (carthamus tinctorius) on coccidiosis, April 25, 2007, BARC Poster Day.
Technical Abstract: Avian coccidiosis is caused by several distinct species of Eimeria, intestinal protozoa affecting poultry industry greater than $1.2 billion annual economic loss worldwide. There is a great interest to develop an alternative control strategy against coccidiosis in view of increasing incidence of drug resistance of field strains of Eimeria. This study was conducted to evaluate the effects of dietary safflower leaf (Carthamus tinctorius) on protective immunity against coccidiosis, the most economically important parasitic disease in poultry. White Leghorn chicks were fed a standard diet without or with safflower leaf, the animals were uninfected or orally infected with 5,000 sporulated oocysts of Eimeria acervulina, and protective immunity was assessed by body weight gain, fecal oocyst shedding, splenic lymphocyte proliferation, T lymphocyte subpopulations, and proinflammatory cytokine gene expression. The effect of safflower on coccidiosis was dependant on the dose of supplement used in this study. The 0.1% safflower-supplemented and parasite-infected chickens exhibited body weight gains identical to those of uninfected controls and significantly reduced fecal oocyst shedding compared with animals given a nonsupplemented standard diet. Furthermore, increased splenic lymphocyte proliferation and a greater percentage of CD4+ T cells, but decreased CD8+ cells, were observed in animals fed 0.1% safflower-supplemented diet. Finally, IFN-¥ã, IL-8, IL-15, and IL-17 transcripts in the 0.1% safflower-supplemented group were increased compared with the nonsupplemented controls. These results indicate that safflower leaf possesses immune enhancing properties and improves protective immunity against experimental coccidiosis when given as a dietary supplement. Supported by a Trust agreement established between ARS, USDA and the Rural Development Administration (RDA) of South Korea and ARS Offshore grant.