Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/16/2011
Publication Date: 5/2/2011
Citation: Perez, V.G., Jacobs, C.M., Barnes, J., Jenkins, M.C., Kuhlenschmidt, M.S., Fahey, G.C., Parsoms, C.M., Pettigrew, J.E. 2011. Effect of corn distillers dried grains with solubles and Eimeria acervulina infection on growth performance and the intestinal microbiota of young chicks. Poultry Science. 90:958-964. Interpretive Summary: Avian coccidiosis is an intestinal disease of poultry caused by protozoa in the genus Eimeria. Clinical signs of disease are reduced weight gain and poor feed conversion efficiency. A number of approaches to control this disease are being used by the poultry industry, including medication of feed with anticoccidial drugs and vaccination. Both control measures have limitations, and there is a need for alternative treatments. The purpose of this study was to determine if chickens fed a by-product of ethanol production, namely distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) could lessen the effects of coccidiosis. Chickens raised on feed containing DDGS and infected with Eimeria showed no beneficial effects relative to chickens given unsupplemented feed. However, a noticeable change in the microbial population occurred in chickens infected with Eimeria or fed DDGS-supplemented feed. These findings suggest that DDGS may be beneficial to gut health in terms of controlling bacterial populations present in the intestine.
Technical Abstract: Chicks were used to determine whether dietary corn distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) may prevent or ameliorate Eimeria acervulina (EA) infection. The experiment had a completely randomized design with a factorial arrangement of 3 diets (inclusion of 0, 10, or 20% DDGS) × 2 challenge treatments: inoculation with distilled water or 106 sporulated EA oocysts. Each treatment was replicated with 8 pens of 5 chicks each. Experimental diets were fed from 7 to 21 d of age. Inoculation occurred on d 10 of age, considered post-inoculation (PI) d 0. Feed intake and BW were measured on PI d 0, 7, and 14. Excreta samples were collected on PI d 0, 5 to 10, 12, and 14 to detect oocysts. On PI d 14, mucosal samples were collected for the analysis of bacterial populations by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis, using the V3 region of bacterial 16S ribosome. The EA challenge reduced (P < 0.001) ADG by 17%, ADFI by 12%, and G:F by 6% from PI d 0 to 7, and by smaller percentages from PI d 7 to 14. Diet and challenge treatments did not interact in the chick performance, so dietary DDGS did not alleviate EA infection. Oocysts in excreta were detected PI only in EA chicks and no dietary effects were found. Cecal bacterial population was changed (P < 0.05) by effect of dietary DDGS and EA infection. The cecal bacterial diversity among chicks within treatments and homogeneity among chicks within treatments were reduced by EA infection (P = 0.02 to 0.001, respectively), and increased by feeding 10% DDGS (diet quadratic, P < 0.001). In summary, feeding up to 20% DDGS to young chicks did not prevent or ameliorate EA infection. Changes in cecal microbiota of chicks fed 10% DDGS can be interpreted as beneficial for the intestinal health.