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GALLIPRO® FIT and Immunity

The gastro-intestinal tract is both a barrier from the outside world and an immense absorption surface for the absorption of essential nutrients for birds' life and growth. Therefore, it plays a key role in the success of the poultry industry so far leading to a superior feed efficiency compared to other animals.

Consequently, the immune system of the birds is mainly driven by the gastro-intestinal tract. We estimate that 70% of the total immune system of chickens are in the gastro-intestinal tract. 
It is well documented how probiotics can increase the size of the villi and the depth of the intestinal crypts. Also, there are research evidence that the goblet cells number can also be influenced by the application of in feed probiotics. However, there is more limited knowledge on the impact of probiotics and the role they can play with their interaction with the bird’s immune system. For instance, it was demonstrated that Bacillus subtilis can favorably influence the CD4/CD8 ratio in the intestine.1
In this research, during a mild necrotic enteritis challenge, deep investigations were made to understand the interaction of a new 3-Strain Bacillus-based probiotic (GALLIPRO® Fit) and the immune system.

The experimental design was as follow: 36 pens where populated with 50 day old birds each allowing 9 repetitions and 4 treatment groups: negative control T1, neg. control + probiotic T2, positive control T3, positive control + probiotic T4.

The Necrotic Enteritis Challenge consisted by the addition of Clostridium perfringens into empty drinkers at a dose of approximately 1x108 CFU/ml on Days 18, 19, and 20.
3 birds per pen were sampled at day 21. Intestinal samples for cytokine gene expression assay were taken. This was by measuring pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1b, IL-18, IL-6, and IL-12b and regulatory cytokine IL-10. The results are summarized in the below graph:

Cytokines IL-1b, IL-6, and IL-18 are pro-inflammatory. Cytokine IL-10 modulates the inflammatory immune response to NE challenge. There was no expression of IL-12b (not shown). The quantification was determined by comparing the number of cycles required per sample to cross a certain threshold of fluorescence (Ct). A mean fold change of 2 or greater is considered to be significant. IL-1b, IL-6, and IL-18 are upregulated in the Probiotic/Challenged group, but not in the other groups, indicating immune modulation by the probiotic treatment.

The new 3-strain Bacillus-based probiotic GALLIPRO® Fit ‘primes’ the immune response. It does not up-regulate the pro-inflammatory cytokine gene expression without challenge. GALLIPRO® Fit is yet not a immune stimulator in absence of necrotic enteritis challenge.  

The cytokine gene activity was found to be greater in the cecum versus the duodenum.  This is consistent with what has been seen with other immune modulators.  
These results suggest a selective functional activity.  IL-18 induces IFN-gamma mediated immunity by Th1 responses.  IL-6 and IL-1B induce the acute phase response and mediate innate immunity (inflammation).  
Conclusion from this study:

 

  • GalliPro® Fit performed as an immune modulator: IL-1b, IL-6, and IL-18 are upregulated in the T4 group, but not in the other groups, indicating immune modulation properties by GALLIPRO® Fit. 
  • GALLIPRO® Fit modulates the immune response: Once the challenge was presented, the T4 group had an increase in cytokine gene expression vs T1, T2 and T3.
  • There were no up-regulation observed of the pro-inflammatory cytokine gene expression by GALLIPRO® Fit without challenge (T2 vs T1 group). 

1Reference:
Trial 80423
Molnár A.K., et Al. 2011, British Poultry Science, 52:6, 658-665,
Goodarzi Boroojeni F., 2018, Poultry Science 97:3967–3976

 

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