Effect of whole yeast cell product supplementation (CitriStim®) on immune responses and cecal microflora species in pullet and layer chickens during an experimental coccidial challenge

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Abstract

Three separate experiments were conducted to study the effects of whole yeast cell product supplementation in pullets and layer hens. Body weight gain, fecal and intestinal coccidial oocyst counts, cecal microflora species, cytokine mRNA amounts, and CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell populations in the cecal tonsils were analyzed following an experimental coccidial infection. In Experiment I, day-old Leghorn layer chicks were fed 3 experimental diets with 0, 0.1, or 0.2% whole yeast cell product (CitriStim®, ADM, Decatur, IL). At 21 d of age, birds were challenged with 1 × 105 live coccidial oocysts. Supplementation with whole yeast cell product decreased the fecal coccidial oocyst count at 7 (P = 0.05) and 8 (P < 0.01) d post-challenge. In Experiment II, 27-week old Leghorn layer hens were fed 3 experimental diets with 0, 0.05 or 0.1% whole yeast cell product and challenged with 1 × 105 live coccidial oocysts on d 25 of whole yeast cell product feeding. Supplementation with whole yeast cell product decreased the coccidial oocyst count in the intestinal content (P < 0.01) at 5, 13, and 38 d post-coccidial challenge. Supplementation with whole yeast cell product increased relative proportion of Lactobacillus (P < 0.01) in the cecal tonsils 13 d post-coccidial challenge. Supplementation with whole yeast cell product decreased CD8+ T cell percentages (P < 0.05) in the cecal tonsils at 5 d post-coccidial challenge. In Experiment III, 32-week-old Leghorn layer hens were fed 3 experimental diets with 0, 0.1, or 0.2% whole yeast cell product and challenged with 1 × 105 live coccidial oocysts on d 66 of whole yeast cell product feeding. At 5 d post-coccidial challenge, whole yeast cell product supplementation down-regulated (P = 0.01) IL-10 mRNA amount. It could be concluded that supplementing whole yeast cell product can help minimize coccidial infection in both growing pullets and layer chickens.

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