Submitted to: Proceedings of American Registry of Professional Animal Scientists
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/29/2014
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: The gut represents a continuously evolving ecosystem consisting of trillions of commensal bacteria living in symbiosis with the host. This 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 in the host and this “crosstalk” with the various immune components of mucosal immunity, comprising cellular and soluble elements, is critical in maintaining gut homeostasis and gut 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 genomics tools in delineating detailed immune mechanisms associated with alternative disease control strategies will lead to an enhanced understanding of how different alternative strategies function. 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 world hunger associated with poverty.