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The individual and combined effects of heat stress, Eimeria maxima infection on ileum function and tissue morphology in meat-type chickens

2021 CPRF
Eimeria (E.) maxima is a common Eimeria spp causing coccidiosis and invading the middle jejunum and ileum, damaging the intestinal mucosa. Heat stress (HS) is a stressor that contributes to inflammation and oxidative stress. We investigated the effect of E. maxima infection and HS on ileal digestibility, mRNA expression of nutrient transporters, and ileal tissue morphology in broiler chickens. There were four treatment groups: thermoneutral control (TNc), thermoneutral infected (TNi), heat stress control (HSc), and heat stress infected (HSi). Each group had 6 replicates and 10 birds per replicate. Chickens were fed a diet containing 0.2% TiO2. At 6-day-post infection, ileal content and tissue were collected and used to quantify ileal digestibility of crude protein and fat, mRNA levels of nutrient transporters and histopathology. Growth and feed intake were reduced in all treatment groups compared with the TNc. The combination of E. maxima and HS in the TNi group exhibited almost normal digestibility, while only the TNi birds had reduced digestibility compared with the TNc group. The TNi group showed the lowest mRNA expression of the transporters: SGLT1, GLUT2-5-8-10-12, FABP1-2-6, and PEPT1compared with the other treatment groups. The mRNA expression of absorptive enterocyte gene markers (ACSL5, IAP, and GLUT5) supported by the ileal tissue morphology indicated that the TNi group had the highest enterocytic destruction. The mRNA expression of oxidative genes (iNOS and CYBB) increased only in the TNi group compared with the other treatment groups. Our results showed that exposing broiler chickens to HS can mitigate the disruptive effect of E. maxima on the ileal digestibility and absorption by limiting the parasite-induced tissue injury and suppressing the enterocytic inducible oxidative damage.
Tags :
eimeria maxima,heat stress,ileum function
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PhD Candidate

University of Georgia

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