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Effects of Silver Nitrate as Alternative to Antibiotic on Production Performance, Bacterial Count and Intestinal Histological Features of Broiler under Escherichia coli Challenge

Effects of Silver Nitrate as Alternative to Antibiotic on Production Performance, Bacterial Count and Intestinal Histological Features of Broiler under Escherichia coli Challenge

Daud Khan1, Naila Chand1, Muhammad Saeed2, Muhammad Tahir3, Alam Zeb4 and Rifat Ullah Khan5*

1Department of Poultry Science, Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Agriculture, Peshawar, Pakistan
2Department of Poultry Science, Cholistan University of Veterinary and Animal Science, Bahawalpur, 6300, Pakistan 
3Department of Animal Nutrition, Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Agriculture, Peshawar, Pakistan
4Directorate General (Extension), Livestock and Dairy Development Department Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Peshawar, Pakistan; 5College of Veterinary Sciences, Faculty of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Sciences, The University of Agriculture, Peshawar, Pakistan
 
* Corresponding author: rukhan@aup.edu.pk

ABSTRACT

Little information is available on silver nitrate as alternative to antibiotic in poultry diet. The aim of the present research was to evaluate the effects of different levels of silver nitrate on the production performance, bacterial count and intestinal histology of broilers under E. coli infection. A total of 800 broilers were assigned to 5 experimental groups: Negative control (birds fed a basal diet and not challenged), positive control (birds fed a basal diet and orally challenged with E. coli O157 H7 at the rate of 1 × 109 CFU/ml; positive control), infected + enrofloxacin, infected + silver nitrate at the rate of 100 mg/kg (SN100) and infected + silver nitrate at the rate of 150 mg/kg (SN150). Overall feed intake, body weight gain, feed conversion ratio (FCR) and dressing percentage were significantly (P<0.05) higher in infected +SN100 compared to positive control. Fecal E. coli count was similar in infected + SN100 and infected + SN150. The pH in gizzard and small intestine was similar (p>0.05) in infected + SN100 and infected + enrofloxacin, however, it was significantly (p<0.01) different from infected + SN150. Villus height, crypt depth, goblet cells and epithelial thickness were significantly (p<0.01) higher in negative control compared to positive control. It was concluded that silver nitrate at the rate of 100 mg/kg has positive effects on growth performance, carcass characteristics, decreased E. coli count and enhanced gut histological features in broilers infected with E. coli challenge.

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology

June

Pakistan J. Zool., Vol. 56, Iss. 3, pp. 1001-1500

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