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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Doerfler, Rachel
item Edens, F.
item Mcmurtry, John
item Qureshi, M.
item Parkhurst, C.
item Havenstein, G.

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/7/2000
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Poult enteritis and mortality syndrome is a significant disease affecting commercial turkey production. This disease is highly infectious, and mainly affects very young turkeys. It results in diarrhea, severe stunting of growth, and high death rates. No etiological agent has been identified for this condition. Prior studies have shown that birds affected by this disease suffer from severe metabolic dysfunction, including hypoglycemia. This study was conducted to determine whether supplementing the diet with additional chromium would ameliorate the symptoms. In addition, changes in certain metabolic hormones were monitored. The results of this experiment demonstrate that feeding supplemental chromium will alleviate some of the symptoms, but not totally. Also determined that certain metabolic hormones are dramatically changes, which accounts, in part, for some of the metabolic changes. It is concluded that supplemental chromium may be beneficial to alleviating some of the symptoms associated with this condition. The results of this study will be of interest to turkey producers as well as other scientist.

Technical Abstract: Poult Enteritis and Mortality Syndrome (PEMS), a disease that affects turkeys between 7 and 28 d of age, causes a severe inflammation of the intestinal tract. The PEMS-infected poults suffer severe diarrhea, high morbidity, mortality, stunting, and a possible insulin deficiency/insensitivity. BioChrome (BC) contains nature, pre-formed glucose tolerance factor, the bio- active form of Cr. Experiments were conducted in which BC was blended into poult starter feed at the level of 400 ppb during the first 21 d post hatch. Body weights were determined at 1,7,14, and 21 d of age and weekly feed conversions were calculated for each treatment group (Control, BC, PEMS, and BC+PEMS). At 6 d post hatch, each PEMS-designated poult was given a 0.1 ml oral gavage of a 10% suspension of feces from PEMS-infected poultrs. Blood samples were taken from 4 birds per treatment at 7,10,14,17 and 21 d of age. Radioimmunoassays were conducted from plasma insulin, glucagon, thyroxine (T4), and triiodothyronine (T3). Plasma insulin levels were depressed in PEMS-infected poults from d 10 through 17, but plasma glucagon levels in PEMS-infected poults were significantly evlevated at 14 and 17 d, after which they returned to control levels. The T3 and T4 levels were depressed through d 21 in infected poults, but with BC treatment these blood hormone levels rebounded by d 21. Body weights of PEMS-infected poults were increased significantly by the BC treatment, but not to the level of non- infected controls. These data suggest that BC had a beneficial effect as a potential intervention during the PEMS disease.

Last Modified: 05/24/2017
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