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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Biosciences & Biotechnology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #303980

Title: Gut immune system: a new frontier for nutritional modulation of gut health

item Lillehoj, Hyun

Submitted to: Joint Abstracts of the American Dairy Science and Society of Animal Science
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/28/2014
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The gut represents a continuously evolving ecosystem consisting of trillions of commensal bacteria living in symbiosis with the host. The host-microbe interplay plays a crucial role in physiological development and health of the host. There is increasing evidence that shows a dynamic interaction between the gut microbiota and the development and function of the host immune system. Particularly, the intestinal microflora influences diverse aspects of metabolic and immunological functions within the host and this “crosstalk” is critical for maintaining gut homeostasis and health. Various chronic inflammatory conditions and metabolic diseases are closely associated with alterations in the symbiotic relationship. Furthermore, probiotics, when used for the treatment of diseases caused by the dysregulation of the immune system, can exert a beneficial immune response. In this regard, as shown in our recent studies, the dietary immunomodulation of gut immunity in broiler chickens using natural dietary supplements, such as TLR ligands, DFMs and plant-derived phytochemicals that interact with innate sensing molecules to stimulate innate immunity, is a promising alternative strategy that can be applied to many infectious diseases where traditional prevention methods show limitations. Furthermore, the application of high-throughput functional genomic tools in delineating detailed immune mechanisms associated with alternative disease control strategies will lead to an enhanced understanding of the biology behind alternative strategies. As we move into the 21st Century and the demands for animal food products increase to meet the nutritional needs of a growing world population, developing drug-free alternative strategies to prevent and control animal diseases and to maintain gut homeostasis is a global issue and a critical component of our long-term efforts to alleviate poverty and world hunger.