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Summary

Coccidiosis caused by Eimeria spp. is a critical economic issue for the poultry industry. We evaluated effects of L-Arginine on growth performance and intestinal health in broilers challenged with Eimeria spp. We found that Arginine supplementation improved growth performance and gut health in broilers during Eimeria infection.

Situation

Coccidiosis is a disease caused by Eimeria spp. and causes a negative economic impact on the poultry industry, generating global losses over 2.4 billion dollars annually. Specific Eimeria spp. identified in poultry includes E. acervulina, E. brunetti, E. maxima, E. necatrix, E. praecox, E. mitis, E. tenella, E. mivatti, and E. hagani. During the infection, the parasite multiplies within the epithelial mucosa in different parts of the intestine, causing damage such as inflammation, hemorrhaging, and diarrhea, and as a result the bird will have poor growth performance.

Response

Arginine may play an important role on intestinal health and growth performance in broilers under coccidiosis challenge conditions. Thus, we conducted a study to evaluate the effect of different levels of Arginine (1.04, 1.14, 1.24, 1.34, 1.44%) on growth performance, intestinal permeability and intestinal lesion scores in broilers during Eimeria challenge. At 5 d post infection (dpi), intestinal permeability was measured. At 6 and 14 dpi, performance, intestinal histomorphology, nutrient digestibility, tight junction protein (TJP) gene expression, and antioxidant markers were evaluated.

Impact

We have demonstrated that birds fed 1.34 and 1.44% Arginine supplementation showed higher weight gain, lower feed conversion and improved intestinal integrity, indicating that the level of Arginine fed should be increased to improve gut health and growth performance in broilers during Eimeria infection. The result in this current study is significant, because it provides potential practical strategies to minimize intestinal damage from Eimeria infection and maintain efficient production, promoting sustainable poultry production.

State Issue

Animal Production

Details

  • Year: 2020
  • Geographic Scope: National
  • County: Clarke
  • Location: College Station, Athens
  • Program Areas:
    • Agriculture & Natural Resources

Author

  • Kim, Woo Kyun
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