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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 #290609

Title: Effect of Eimeria infection on cecal microbiome of broilers fed essential oils

item MARTYNOVA-VAN KLEY, M - Stephen F Austin State University
item OVIEDO-RONDON, EDGAR - North Carolina State University
item DOWD, SCOTT - Research And Testing Laboratories, Llc
item Hume, Michael
item NALIAN, ARMEN - Stephen F Austin State University

Submitted to: International Journal of Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/18/2012
Publication Date: 12/27/2012
Publication URL:
Citation: Martynova-Van Kley, M.A., Oviedo-Rondon, E.O., Dowd, S.E., Hume, M.E., Nalian, A. 2012. Effect of Eimeria infection on cecal microbiome of broilers fed essential oils. International Journal of Poultry Science. 11:747-755.

Interpretive Summary: Coccidiosis, an infection in broiler chickens by the intestinal parasite coccidia, causes damage to the intestine lining and predisposes broilers to infection by bacterial pathogens of importance to human health. In this study, pyrosequencing, a rapid molecular technique for identification of bacteria, was used to evaluate effects of coccidiosis on the intestinal bacteria present in broilers given diets containing either an antibiotic to promote growth and an anti-coccidia drug or two plant oil mixtures. Intestinal contents collected from broilers before infection with coccidia contained bacteria different from those in intestinal contents collected after broilers were infected. The result was that infection with coccidia changed the intestinal environment and the types of bacteria present. The molecular technique used in this study proved effective in helping to understand the effects of coccidia infection on the types of intestinal bacteria present in broilers raised on diets containing growth-promoting antibiotics, anti-coccidial drugs, and plant oils mixtures. The information is of interest to researchers and growers developing and implementing intervention strategies against coccidia and human bacterial pathogens found in broiler chickens.

Technical Abstract: Coccidiosis causes mucosal damage and predisposes birds to enteropathogen infection. In this study, pyrosequencing was used to evaluate effects of coccidiosis on the intestinal microflora of broilers given diets without feed additives or supplemented with either a growth promotant antibiotic and an ionophore or two essential oil blends. DNA samples were collected from the cecal contents of broilers before (19 d) and after (26 d) infection with mixed Eimeria spp. (E. acervulina, E. maxima, and E. tenella). A 454 FLX pyrosequencer and 16S universal primers were used to obtain quantitative profiles of bacterial taxa present in each sample. The relative percent abundance of the identified taxa was analyzed using hierarchical clustering and principal component analysis. Samples from pre-infected broilers were dominated by bacterial species belonging to genera Subdoligranulum, Coprococcus, Alistipes, Lactobacillus, and Faecalibacterium. Post-infection samples were dominated by species from the genera Escherichia/Shigella and Bacteroides. Eimeria infection did not significantly affect the richness of the microbial communities but rather its composition. The composition of the cecal microbiome correlated with the average feed conversion ratio. The methodology used in this study proved effective in understanding the effects of coccidia infection on intestinal microflora of broilers raised on diets supplemented with growth-promoting antibiotics, ionophores, and essential oils.