Early intestinal development and mucin transcription in the young poult with probiotic and mannan oligosaccharide prebiotic supplementation

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Abstract

Alternative and adjunctive approaches to decreasing the use of dietary antibiotics are becoming popular areas of study. Supplemental probiotics (commensal microbes) and prebiotics (indigestible complex carbohydrates) are 2 dietary approaches to facilitating the intestinal colonization of beneficial bacteria to compete with potential pathogens, thus creating a healthy mucosal environment. The intestinal mucosa is composed of mucin glycoproteins, which play a key role in preventing the attachment of pathogenic bacteria. At hatch, the neonatal turkey intestine is relatively aseptic and vulnderable to bacterial colonization by both commensal and pathogenic microbes. In the current study, we determined the transcription of MUC2, the primary mucin protein produced by goblet cells within the small intestine, and we also measured intestinal morphology immediately post-hatch through d 11. Poults were fed a conventional starter diet, the starter diet supplemented with one of 2 commercial probiotics (A, B), or a commercial mannan oligosaccharide. MUC2 transcription increased from d zero to d 4 post-hatch (P < 0.05), but there was no effect of probiotic or prebiotic supplementation. Villus height and villus area both increased with Probiotic B and mannan oligosaccharide supplementation (P < 0.05) and there was a significant d X treatment interaction effect for crypt depth (P = 0.007). These results suggest that probiotic and prebiotic supplementation can positively alter the intestinal microenvironment.

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