Authors: MASOOD AKHTAR, MUTEEN HUMAYUN, ZAFAR IQBAL, MIAN MUHAMMAD AWAIS, MUHAMMAD IRFAN ANWAR
Abstract: Plant-derived polysaccharides have been reported for diverse biological response modification (BRM) and immunotherapeutic (IT) activities in animals by activating their defense systems to perform better immunogenically against invading pathogens. Keeping this in view, this study was conducted to assess the BRM and IT activities of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)-derived arabinoxylans (AXs) against coccidiosis in broilers. Significantly enhanced (P < 0.05) in vivo and in vitro lymphoproliferative responses to T-cell mitogens were revealed in broilers administered barley AXs when compared to the control group. Humoral immune response in terms of antibody titers against sheep erythrocytes was also found higher (P < 0.05) in AX-administered chickens. Furthermore, AX-administered chickens also showed higher weekly weight gains and improved feed conversion ratios as compared to controls. Results of the challenge experiment showed that the percentage of protection and daily weight gains were statistically higher (P < 0.05) whereas mean oocysts per gram of droppings and lesion scores were significantly lower (P < 0.05) in the chickens administered barley AXs as compared to controls. In conclusion, barley-derived AXs led to better growth performance and elicited humoral and cellular immune responses in commercial broilers that persisted against coccidial infection in broiler chickens.
Keywords: Biological response modification, arabinoxylans, immunotherapy, avian coccidiosis
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