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Effect of a synbiotic supplement on cecal microbial ecology, antioxidant status, and immune response of broiler chickens reared under heat stress



Effect of a synbiotic supplement on cecal microbial ecology, antioxidant status, and immune response of broiler chickens reared under heat stress



Poultry Science 98(10): 4408-4415



The aim of this study was to examine the effect of a dietary synbiotic supplement on the cecal microflora, antioxidant status, and immune response of broiler chickens under heat stress (HS). A total of 360 one-day-old male Ross 708 broiler chicks were randomly distributed among 3 dietary treatments containing a synbiotic (PoultryStar consists of Bifidobacterium animalis, Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus reuteri, Pediococcus acidilactici, and fructooligosaccharides) at 0 (control), 0.5 (0.5X), and 1.0 (1.0X) g/kg. Each treatment contained 8 replicates of 15 birds each housed in floor pens. Heat stimulation was at 32°C for 9 h daily from day 15 to 42. Heat stress-induced changes of cecal bacteria were detected using bacteria-specific agars, and spleen protein concentration and mRNA expression of interleukins and antioxidants were examined using ELISA and real-time PCR, respectively. Under the HS condition, synbiotic fed broilers regardless of dose had lower cecal enumerations of Escherichia coli and coliforms, and a lower heterophil/lymphocyte (H/L) ratio (P < 0.05) compared to controls. 1.0X group also had higher cecal enumerations of Bifidobacterium spp. and Lactobacillus spp., spleen glutathione peroxidase (GPx), and plasma nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (Nrf-2), and a lower H/L ratio compared to both control and 0.5X groups (P < 0.05). However, there were no treatment effects on the levels of Enterococcus spp., the circulating monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils, Toll like receptor-4 (TLR-4), interleukin-6 (IL-6), interlukin-10 (IL-10), and their mRNA expression, as well as plasma Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (Keap-1) (P > 0.05). These results suggest that the synbiotic could inhibit the negative effects of HS on broiler health through the reduction of cecal pathogens, regulation of stress reactions, and improvement of antioxidant status.

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Accession: 066763330

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PMID: 31065700

DOI: 10.3382/ps/pez246


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