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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 #312925

Title: Effects of dietary selenium on host response to necrotic enteritis in young broilers

item XU, SHOUZHEN - Qingdao Agricultural University
item LEE, SUNG HYEN - Korean Rural Development Administration
item Lillehoj, Hyun
item HONG, YEONG HO - Chung-Ang University
item BRAVO, DAVID - Pancosma Sa

Submitted to: Research in Veterinary Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/3/2014
Publication Date: 12/16/2014
Publication URL:
Citation: Xu, S., Lee, S., Lillehoj, H.S., Hong, Y., Bravo, D. 2014. Effects of dietary selenium on host response to necrotic enteritis in young broilers. Research in Veterinary Science. 98:66-73.

Interpretive Summary: There is an increasing interest to develop a nutritional approach to enhance gut health and to decrease negative consequences of enteric infections due to strict control of antibiotics in animal production. In this paper, ARS scientists collaborated with scientists in China and an industry partner in Switzerland to explore the use of selenium as a dietary prevention strategy to reduce gut damage caused by enteric pathogens. Dietary supplementation of young broiler chickens at birth with a new organic selenium formulation called B-Traxim showed beneficial effects and reduced ill effects of coccidiosis and necrotic enteritis. Furthermore, dietary selenium starting from hatch stimulated intestinal parasite-induced secretion of cytokines involved in innate immune response. Therefore, this study demonstrates beneficial effects of dietary selenium as a method to reduce gut damage caused by intestinal parasites and gut bacteria.

Technical Abstract: The effects of dietary supplementation of young broiler chickens with a new organic selenium (Se) formulation, B-Traxim Se, on the host response to experimental necrotic enteritis (NE) were studied. Broiler chickens treated with three Se doses (0.25, 0.50, 1.00 mg/kg) from hatch were orally challenged with Eimeria maxima at 14 days of age followed by Clostridium perfringens 4 days later to induce experimental disease. Body weight gain, intestinal lesion scores, fecal oocyst shedding, serum antibody levels against C. perfringens a-toxin and NetB toxin, and the levels of transcript for pro-inflammatory cytokines and avian ß-defensins (AvBD) in the intestine and spleen were measured as parameters of host protection against NE. Chickens fed with 0.50 mg/kg Se showed significantly increased body weight gain and serum antibody levels against NetB toxin, and significantly reduced intestinal lesions compared to chickens without the SE supplementation. However, there were no significant differences in Eimeria oocyst shedding between the Se-supplemented and non-supplemented groups. The level of transcript for IL-1ß, IL-6, IL-8, iNOS, LITAF, TNFSF15, AvBD6, AvBD8, and AvBD13 were increased in the intestine and spleen of at least one of the three Se-supplemented groups compared with the non-supplemented group. These results suggest that dietary supplementation of young broilers with B-Traxim Se might be beneficial to reduce the negative consequence of avian NE and to enhance host protective immune responses against C. perfringens.