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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Food and Feed Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #230972

Title: Impact of nutrition on the innate immune response to infection in poultry

item Kogut, Michael - Mike

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/18/2008
Publication Date: 2/1/2009
Citation: Kogut, M.H. 2009. Impact of nutrition on the innate immune response to infection in poultry. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 18:111-124.

Interpretive Summary: There are many ingredients of chicken feed that can potentially help the bird’s immune system fight off infectious germs. However, this paper describes experiments where we have added small compounds to the diet of baby chicks that prevented the chicks from getting infected with bacteria. This paper shows that we can make baby chickens healthier by adding simple, cheap compounds to their diet. This paper would be beneficial to chicken feed makers, chicken farmers, and nutritionists and will help make cheaper, but better chicken feeds.

Technical Abstract: Viral and bacterial diseases remain a threat to the poultry industry and countermeasures to prevent and control them are needed due to production losses. With the continued threat of exotic and emerging diseases and concern over the use of antibiotics in animal production, there is a serious and urgent need to find safe and practical alternatives to prevent and/or control pathogens. Identification of new tools for the design of new immunological interventions or therapeutic antimicrobials to reduce microbial pathogens in poultry is now, more than ever, required. Immunological interventions to reduce microbial pathogens in poultry would be of great value to the poultry industry and to the consumer. We have been advocating boosting immunity and encouraging the host to utilize its innate immune system to control and clear infections. Our research has addressed the use of innate immune mechanisms and components to develop new immune modulators (prophylactic and therapeutic), the characterization and production of antimicrobial peptides as potential immune modulators in poultry. Dietary bioactive food components that interact with the immune response have considerable potential to reduce susceptibility to infectious diseases. With this premise, this paper asks and answers a series of pertinent questions on the utilization of avian immunity for increasing resistance to a variety of potential pathogens problematic in today’s commercial poultry industry. Using experimental data to provide answers to these questions, we hope to stimulate a dialog between avian immunologists and nutritionists that will result in coordinating and integrating their expertise into specific practical solutions that will benefit the industry and improve the well-being of commercial poultry.