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Title: Dietary supplementation of young broiler chickens with Capsicum and turmeric oleoresins increases resistance to necrotic enteritis

item Lee, Sung
item Lillehoj, Hyun
item JANG, SEUNG - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item LILLEHOJ, ERIK - University Of Maryland
item MIN, WONGI - Gyeongsang National University
item BRAVO, DAVID - Pancosma Sa

Submitted to: British Journal of Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/2/2013
Publication Date: 12/10/2013
Publication URL:
Citation: Lee, S.H., Lillehoj, H.S., Jang, S., Lillehoj, E.P., Min, W., Bravo, D.M. 2013. Dietary supplementation of young broiler chickens with Capsicum and turmeric oleoresins increases resistance to necrotic enteritis. British Journal of Nutrition. 110(5):840-7. doi: 10.1017/S0007114512006083.

Interpretive Summary: Necrotic enteritis (NE) and avian coccidiosis are among the most important intestinal infectious diseases in commercial poultry production, both resulting in field outbreaks with substantial mortality. The disease causing bacteria of NE is Clostridium (C.)perfringens, which is transmitted by the fecal-oral route as well as through contaminated feed, water, housing structures, and insects. The worldwide incidence of C. perfringens-associated NE has significantly increased in the last decade, primarily related to the decreased use of in-feed antibiotics as growth promoters and antibiotics. In this paper, ARS scientists collaborated with a private company to develop a new strategy to mitigate the negative effects of NE using dietary plant extract mixture (phytonutrients) of hot chilli extract and tumeric extract. Feeding young broiler chickens with these phytonutrients from birth increased body weight and serum antibody after experimental challenge infection with parasites and C. perfringens. Further studies in an artificial, non-animal environment identified factors stimulated by the phytonutrients in the poultry immune system that may be protective against NE. These results indicate the potential commercial application of these mixture of phytonutrients in reducing ill effects of NE in broiler chickens.

Technical Abstract: The Clostridium-related poultry disease, necrotic enteritis (NE), causes substantial economic losses on a global scale. In this study, a mixture of two plant-derived phytonutrients, Capsicum oleoresin and turmeric oleoresin (XT), was evaluated for its effects on local and systemic immune responses using a co-infection model of experimental NE in commercial broilers. Chickens were fed from hatch with a diet supplemented with XT, or with a non-supplemented control diet, and either uninfected or orally challenged with virulent Eimeria maxima oocysts at 14 d and Clostridium perfringens at 18 d of age. Parameters of protective immunity were 1) body weight, 2) gut lesions, 3) serum levels of C. perfringens a-toxin and NetB toxin, 4) serum levels of antibodies to a-toxin and NetB toxin, and 5) levels of gene transcripts encoding proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines in the intestine and spleen. Infected chickens fed the XT-supplemented diet had increased body weight and reduced gut lesion scores compared with infected birds given the non-supplemented diet. The XT-fed group also displayed decreased serum a-toxin levels and reduced intestinal IL-8, LITAF, IL-17A, and IL-17F mRNA levels, while cytokine/chemokine levels in splenocytes increased in the XT-fed group, compared with animals fed the control diet. In conclusion, this study documents the molecular and cellular immune changes following dietary supplementation with extracts of Capsicum and turmeric that may be relevant to protective immunity against avian NE.