Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Food and Feed Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #342796

Title: Inflammation: Friend or foe for animal production?

item BROOM, LEON - University Of Leeds
item Kogut, Michael - Mike

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/25/2017
Publication Date: 2/1/2018
Citation: Broom, L.J., Kogut, M.H. 2018. Inflammation: Friend or foe for animal production? Poultry Science. 97(2):510-514.

Interpretive Summary: During the first week of life after hatching, the immune system of a baby chick is inferior at fighting bacterial infections. We do not know the reason for this problem; however, we have found that the various parts of the chick's immune cells' machinery are controlled by completely different chemical processes that are independent of each other. Therefore, each cell can control specific parts of its internal machinery at various times without using other parts of the machinery. The results of this study are important to the pharmaceutical industry in the United States because they show that we can stimulate different parts of the baby chick's immune system cells without affecting other parts. Thus, it is possible to help the immune response without causing damage to the chick.

Technical Abstract: Inflammation is an essential immune response that seeks to contain microbial infection and repair damaged tissue. Increased pro-inflammatory mediators have been associated with enhanced resistance to a range of important poultry and pig pathogens. However, inflammation may also have undesirable consequences, including potentially exacerbating tissue damage and diverting nutrients away from productive purposes. The negative effects of inflammation have led to the active pursuit of anti-inflammatory feed additives and/or strategies. These approaches may, however, impair the ability of an animal to respond appropriately and effectively to the array of pathogens that are likely to be encountered in commercial production, and specifically young animals that may be particularly reliant on innate immune responses. Thus, promoting an animal's capacity to mount a rapid acute inflammatory response to control and contain the infection and the timely transition to anti-inflammatory, tissue repair processes, and a homeostatic state are suggested as the optimum scenario to maintain an animal's resistance to pathogens and minimize non-productive nutrient losses. Important future studies will help to unravel the trade-offs and relevant metabolic pathways between robust immune defense and optimum productive performance, thus provide real insight into methods to appropriately influence this relationship.