J Nutr. 2009 Jul;139(7):1404-9. Epub 2009 May 27.
Prebiotics modulate immune responses in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue of chickens.
The recent European Union ban on the prophylactic use of in-feed antibiotics has escalated the search for alternatives for use within the poultry industry. When evaluating the efficacy of potential antibiotic alternatives on bird health and productivity, it is important to analyze the competence of the immune cells in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT), because it is routinely involved in the surveillance of colonizing microbes as well as in interacting with the ingested feed antigens. Therefore, we studied the effect of the prebiotics mannan-oligosaccharide (MOS) and fructo-oligosaccharide (FOS) on the phenotypic and functional competence of immune cells in cecal tonsil (CT), which is a major GALT. Day-old Cobb 500 male broilers were randomized to 4 groups. Control chickens were fed the basal diet only. Chickens in experimental groups received 0.05 g/kg zinc bacitracin or 5 g/kg of either FOS or MOS in addition to basal diet. At the end of 25 d, our comparison of the experimental groups with controls revealed that the addition of prebiotics to diet resulted in a significant reduction in the proportion of B cells and in mitogen responsiveness of lymphocytes in CT. Furthermore, FOS treatment significantly enhanced the IgM and IgG antibody titers in plasma. These findings emphasize the need for the analyses of the gut immune function following treatment with novel feed additives. The knowledge obtained from such analyses may aid in understanding the mechanisms underlying the immune competence of the birds, which needs consideration when selecting and optimizing new feed additives instead of antibiotics for poultry production.
PMID: 19474157 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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