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Propolis Inclusion into Broiler Diets Improves the Immunomodulation and Productive Performance After Challenge with Escherichia coli Infection

Propolis Inclusion into Broiler Diets Improves the Immunomodulation and Productive Performance After Challenge with Escherichia coli Infection

Abdulaziz A. Alaqil

Department of Animal and Fish Production, College of Agricultural and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 420, Al-Ahsa 31982, Saudi Arabia.

 
*Correspondence | Abdulaziz A. Alaqil, Department of Animal and Fish Production, College of Agricultural and Food Sciences, King Faisal University, P.O. Box 420, Al-Ahsa 31982, Saudi Arabia; Email: aalaqil@kfu.edu.sa

ABSTRACT

The infection with avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (EC) causes a great economic loss in the poultry industry. The current study aimed to investigate the effect of propolis (PR) inclusion in the diets of broiler on the immunomodulation and productive performance after challenge with EC infection. Four hundred broiler chickens (Cobb500, 1-d-old) were randomly distributed in equal numbers in 40 battery cages (10 birds per cage). Every ten cages were placed in a room to arrange four experimental room groups identified as C, EC, PR, and PR+EC groups, respectively. From 22-42 d of age, the C and EC groups have received a basal diet with no PR supplements, whereas the PR and PR+EC groups have received PR at 1 g/kg of the basal diet. On day 36 of age, the EC and PR+EC groups were injected with 0.5 mL intraperitoneal (i.p.) suspension contained O157:H7 EC strain (adjusted at 107 CFU/bird), while the C and PR groups were injected i.p. with 0.5 mL saline only. All data were analyzed using one-way analysis of variance and multiple hoc Duncan’s test. The findings of the current investigation displayed a significant (p < 0.05) reduction in the productive performance traits, including the total feed intake, final body weight (FBW), BW gain, and feed conversion ratio in the EC group by approximately 7.7, 22.5, 30.6, and 33.3%, respectively, relative to the group C. The spleen, thymus, and bursa indexes as relative weights of FBW were significantly (p < 0.05) decreased by approximately 16%, 20%, and 35%, respectively, due to EC. Other immunological aspects were significantly (p < 0.05) impaired by EC challenge, recording a reduction of 38% in the total white blood cells counts, 12% in the leukocyte cell viability, 19% in the wattle thickness against phytohemagglutinin injection, 44% in the anti-sheep red blood cells antibody titer, and more than 50% in T- and B-lymphocyte stimulation index, while recording a double increase in the heterophil to lymphocyte ratio. In contrast, the productive traits and immunological aspects were significantly (p < 0.05) augmented by PR supplementation to the broiler diets. Furthermore, PR supplementation successfully restored the broiler production and immune response after challenge with EC infection and elevated (p < 0.05) all PR+EC group measurements relative to the EC group. The results concluded that supplementing dietary with 1 g/kg PR could be implemented as a natural supplement in broiler nutrition to avoid the antibiotic therapies, and simultaneously, maximize the broiler growth and health status, especially under EC challenge.
 
Keywords | Broiler chickens, Escherichia coli, Immune response, Productive performance, Propolis supplementation

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Advances in Animal and Veterinary Sciences

June

Vol. 12, Iss. 6, pp. 994-1205

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