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Asian-Australas J Anim Sci > Volume 22(3); 2009 > Article
Poultry and Laboratory Animal Nutrition
Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences 2009;22(3): 396-403.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.5713/ajas.2009.80473    Published online March 4, 2009.
Immunological Responses of Broiler Chicks Can Be Modulated by Dietary Supplementation of Zinc-methionine in Place of Inorganic Zinc Sources
Hasan Nassiri Moghaddam*, Rahman Jahanian
Correspondence:  Hasan Nassiri Moghaddam,
Abstract
Male broiler chicks were fed graded levels of organic zinc (zinc-methionine) supplementation to investigate the effects of partial or complete substitution of the organic zinc source for inorganic ones on the development of lymphoid organs and immunological responses. A total of 450 day-old male broilers were distributed into groups of 10 chicks and randomly assigned to nine experimental diets during a 42-day feeding trial. Dietary treatments consisted of two basal diets supplemented with 40 mg/kg added zinc as feed-grade Zn sulfate or Zn oxide in which, Zn was replaced with that provided from zinc-methionine (ZnMet) complex at the levels of 25, 50, 75 or 100%. Two randomly-selected birds from each pen replicate were bled and then slaughtered by cervical cutting on the final day of the trial to measure leukocyte subpopulations and relative weights of lymphoid organs. Among lymphoid organs, only thymus weight was affected (p<0.05) by dietary treatments. The sulfate-supplemented birds were heavier (p<0.01) in relative weight of thymus than oxide-supplemented birds. The 10 days of age-assessed cutaneous hypersensivity reaction was stronger in chicks fed ZnMet-containing diets. Dietary ZnMet supplementation caused (p<0.05) an increase in proportion of lymphocytes and consequently a decrease in heterophil to lymphocyte ratio. Diet fortification by zinc-methionine complex increased (p<0.01) Newcastle antibody titer at 19 days of age. Also, a similar response was observed in antibody titers at 6 and 12 d after infectious bronchitis vaccine administration. There was no significant effect of replacement of dietary zinc on antibody titer against infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) at the 6th d post-vaccine inoculation; however, at d 12 after vaccination, ZnMet-fortified diets improved antibody titer against IBDV. Although dietary inclusion of ZnMet had no marked effect on primary antibody titer against sheep erythrocytes, effective responses were observed during secondary reaction from the viewpoint of both total antibody and immunoglobulin Y (IgY) titers. From the present findings, it can be concluded that dietary supplementation with organic zinc improves both cellular and humoral immune responses. It is necessary to replace 75% of supplemental inorganic zinc with organic ZnMet complex to achieve the optimum immunological responses in broiler chicks.
Keywords: Broiler Chicks; Zinc-methionine; Lymphoid Organs; Primary and Secondary Immune Responses; Antibody Titer


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