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Title: Issues and consequences of using nutrition to modulate the avian immune response

item Kogut, Michael - Mike

Submitted to: Journal of Applied Poultry Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/7/2017
Publication Date: 7/29/2017
Publication URL:
Citation: Kogut, M.H. 2017. Issues and consequences of using nutrition to modulate the avian immune response. Journal of Applied Poultry Research. 26(4):605-612.

Interpretive Summary: The development of the immune response in baby chicks is controlled by the animal’s gut. This is because the gut is exposed to not only nutrients, but also many bacteria that live in the gut. What has been found over the last 20 years is that bacteria that do not cause disease but normally grow in the gut can work together to make the baby animals’ immune systems work better and prevent the bad germs from growing. This paper shows that the growth of specific bacteria control specific components of the baby chick’s local immune environment in the gut. This paper will be beneficial to chicken growers, microbiologists, and nutritionists and will inform on better animal feeds that encourage the growth of the normal bacteria in the gut and help the development of a healthy immune system.

Technical Abstract: Combatting antimicrobial resistant bacteria is a high priority for both public health and agriculture in the United States and globally. Antibiotic use in animals and humans is considered a major risk factor in the development of antibiotic resistant bacteria in animals, humans, and the environment. A worldwide emphasis on research into the development of new alternatives to antibiotics is ongoing. Alternatives to antibiotics are broadly defined as any substance that can be substituted for therapeutic drugs that are increasingly becoming ineffective against pathogenic bacteria, viruses, or parasites. One promising approach involves host-directed immunomodulatory therapies, whereby natural mechanisms in the host are exploited to enhance therapeutic benefit. The objective is to initiate or enhance protective antimicrobial immunity while limiting inflammation-induced tissue injury. The interaction between poultry nutrition, nutrients, dietary factors, and the bird’s immune response has long been known. However, the interplay between nutritional processes and the immune system is incompletely understood. Specifically, cellular and molecular immune responses invoked by feed components and the role of the gut barrier and microbiota on the interaction between the immune system and nutrition remains to be fully elucidated. Further, this review will point out some of the areas that have been either neglected when studying the effects of nutrition and nutrients on immune function (the effect of the gut microbiome) or the unintentional effects of over-feeding various nutrients on the avian immune response (feed-induced inflammation and meta-inflammation).