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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Fayetteville, Arkansas » Poultry Production and Product Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335653

Research Project: Antibiotic Alternatives for Controlling Foodborne Pathogens and Disease in Poultry

Location: Poultry Production and Product Safety Research

Title: Egg shell membrane improves immunity of post hatch poultry: A aparadigm for nutritional immunomodulation

item Rath, Narayan
item MAKKAR, S - University Of Arkansas
item PACKIALAKSHMI, B - University Of Arkansas
item Donoghue, Ann - Annie

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/3/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Improving natural immunity can reduce susceptibility to infection, improving animal health and eliminating prophylactic use of antibiotics. However, there are very few affective means to enhance natural immunity to a wide range of infections. Considering the natural diets of most birds and mammals, it is intuitive that the newborns often depend upon wild and biodiverse diets that can be pro-immunomodulatory because of their bioactive protein constituents. We hypothesized that the egg shell membranes (ESM) which constitute a significant part of egg shell refuse and abound with many bioactive proteins and peptides including enzymes, antimicrobials, and cell regulatory proteins, can potentially exert epigenetic immunomodulation similar to natural diets which contain many such factors. Besides, the presence of different microbial proteins, originating from bacterial contaminants of these eggshells, can help establish immunity against microbes. We conducted 2 in vivo experiments to evaluate the effect of fresh and hatchery ESM provided at a concentration of 0.5% in diet during the first 2 weeks of growth. We measured the effects on growth and different physiological parameters including serum antibodies at 3 and 5 weeks of age. Chickens receiving either types of ESM supplement showed moderate improvement of growth, decreased blood corticosterone and heterophil/ lymphocyte ratios, and increased IgG and IgM at 3 weeks of age. The chickens receiving 0.5% HESM showed resistance to lipopolysaccharide induced body weight loss and decreased expression of pro-inflammatory and increased expression of anti-inflammatory cytokine genes in the spleen. Thus, our results show that ESM supplement, during post hatch growth can improve immunity, impart resistance to endotoxin induced changes, and decrease stress variables. We believe the effects are due to the bioactive factors such as enzymes, growth factors, and cell regulatory proteins which most likely modulate the early development of immune system and build a wide range of resistance and tolerance to disease.