Periódicos Brasileiros em Medicina Veterinária e Zootecnia

Influence of sulfur amino acid levels in diets of broiler chickens submitted to immune stress

Rubin, LLRibeiro, AMLCanal, CWSilva, ICTrevizan, LVogt, LKPereira, RALacerda, L

Several changes in amino acid levels occur during an infection. As a rule, glycine, taurine and serine levels diminish considerably, while cysteine levels increase. Such changes may be attributed to the intense consumption of sulfur amino acids (SAA- methionine+cysteine) during infectious challenge. Methionine plays an important role in humoral and cellular immune responses. It has been suggested that such effect is exerted by intracellular glutathione and cysteine levels. Four-hundred thirty-two day-old Ross male broiler chickens were fed (from 1 to 42 days of age) three SAA levels in the diet (0.72, 0.82, and 0.92% from 1 to 21 days of age; 0.65, 0.75, and 0.85% from 22 to 42 days of age) and submitted to two immunological stimulus series. Vaccines against Marek's disease, Fowlpox, Infectious Bronchitis and Infectious Bursal disease, Freund's Complete Adjuvant, and avian tuberculin were used as immunological stimuli. The experiment comprised 6 treatments, with 6 replications using 12 birds per replicate. Performance data were collected weekly. Gumboro antibodies were measured by ELISA, and the cellular immune response by the tuberculin test. SAA levels tested did not influence immune response. Nevertheless, the vaccines applied on the 1st day impaired chick performance up to the 21 days of age. The SAA levels generally adopted in poultry husbandry may not be enough to assure weight gain, especially when birds are raised if a low-challenge infectious environment.

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