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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #413443

Research Project: Strategies to Reduce Mycotoxin Contamination in Animal Feed and its Effect in Poultry Production Systems

Location: Toxicology & Mycotoxin Research

Title: Effect of arginine supplementation on the production, intestinal health, and immune response of broilers during necrotic enteritis challenge

item FATHIMA, SHANA - University Of Georgia
item HAKEEM, WALID AL - University Of Georgia
item Shanmugasundaram, Revathi
item SELVARAJ, RAMESH - University Of Georgia

Submitted to: International Poultry Scientific Forum
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/15/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Abstract Only

Technical Abstract: Restrictions on the use of in-feed antibiotic growth promoters in poultry led to the reemergence of necrotic enteritis (NE) in poultry, necessitating the need to develop alternatives to antibiotic growth promoters. Arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid that is the substrate for nitric oxide and ornithine biosynthesis. Arginine can modulate the immune response of birds to the Eimeria challenge by regulating macrophage differentiation and subsequent inflammatory pathways. This study evaluated the effects of 125% and 135% L-arginine on production, intestinal integrity, and immune responses in NE-challenged broilers. A total of 480 day-old chicks were randomly allocated into four treatment groups- non-infected group fed basal diet, NE + basal diet, NE + 125% arginine diet, and NE + 135% arginine diet. NE was induced by inoculating 1×104 Eimeria maxima on day 14 and 1×108 CFU C. perfringens on days 19,20, and 21 of age. All data were analyzed by ANOVA and the means were compared by Tukey’s HSD and were considered significantly different at p = 0.05. NE infection significantly increased the feed conversion ratio (p = 0.01), intestinal permeability (p = 0.01), jejunal lesion score (p < 0.01), decreased body weight gain (p < 0.01), and the expression of tight junction proteins occludins (p < 0.01) and claudin-4 (p = 0.01). 125% arginine diet increased the feed intake by 30g (p = 0.02) and reversed the NE-induced loss in BWG by 70g (p = 0.12). 125% arginine diet significantly increased the bile anti-C. perfringens IgA concentration by 39.74% (p < 0.01). Arginine supplementation significantly increased the ratio of CD8+:CD4+ cells in the spleen on days 28 (p=0.01) and day 35 (p < 0.01). 125% arginine supplementation also significantly increased the mRNA expression of iNOS and IFN-' on day 21. However, different levels of arginine supplementation did not reverse the NE-induced loss in intestinal permeability nor restore the loss in production performance caused by NE. It can be concluded that the supplementation of 125% arginine may have immunomodulatory effects during NE, which when used in combination with other feed additives might have the potential to replace antibiotic growth promoters in broilers. Key Words: L-Arginine, Broilers, Necrotic enteritis, Nutraceuticals, Nutritional immunology