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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Food and Feed Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #340455

Title: Nutritional modulation of the immune response in poultry

item Swaggerty, Christina - Christi
item Callaway, Todd

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/1/2017
Publication Date: 5/18/2017
Citation: Swaggerty, C.L., Callaway, T.R. 2017. Nutritional modulation of the immune response in poultry. Proceedings of Vetagro International Forum 2017. p. 155-169.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Economic efficiency demanded by the poultry industry has pushed selection towards high production with improved feed conversion ratios (FCR) and high yield; however, selection based heavily on growth characteristics and other phenotypic traits has adversely affected immune competence. Despite increasing demand for poultry products, public outcry and government regulations have, in some instances, banned the use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGP), pressuring the industry to find suitable alternatives to manage flock health. One approach is to incorporate a nutritional program that naturally enhances or modulates the bird’s immune response to control key foodborne and poultry pathogens, therefore lessening the need for therapeutic antibiotics and AGP in the feed. Nutritional immunomodulation manipulates the immune system using a targeted supplementation of dietary nutrients/compounds to alter immune function to produce a desired result. Given that nutrition is one of the leading costs associated with poultry production, understanding its impact on physiology, metabolism, and immunity is essential. If nutritional immunomodulation is to become a routine part of poultry production, it is imperative that the mechanism(s) are defined while evaluating performance. Science-based nutritional modulation of the immune system will target ways to reduce inflammation, boost a weakened immune response, manage gut health, and provide an alternative approach to prevent disease when conventional methods are not efficacious or are no longer available. The role of nutritional immunomodulation is just one aspect of an integrated, coordinated approach to produce a healthy bird that will also be a safe and wholesome product for consumers.