Large-scale Investigation of the Parameters in Response to Eimeria maxima Challenge in Broilers

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  • Edin Hamzic, Danmark
  • Bertrand Bed'hom, Ukendt
  • Herve Juin, Ukendt
  • Rachel Hawken, Ukendt
  • Mitchell S Abrahamsen, Ukendt
  • Jean-Michel Elsen, Ukendt
  • Bertrand Servin, Ukendt
  • Marie-Hélène Pinard-van der Laan, Ukendt
  • Olivier Demeure, Ukendt
Coccidiosis, a parasitic disease of the intestinal tract caused by members of the genera Eimeria and Isospora, is one of the most common and costly diseases in chicken. The aims of this study were to assess the effect of the challenge and level of variability of measured parameters in chickens during the challenge with Eimeria maxima. Furthermore, this study aimed to investigate which parameters are the most relevant indicators of the health status. Finally, the study also aimed to estimate accuracy of prediction for traits that cannot be measured on large scale (such as intestinal lesion score and fecal oocyst count) using parameters that can easily be measured on all animals. The study was performed in two parts: a pilot challenge on 240 animals, followed by a large-scale challenge on 2,024 animals. In both experiments, animals were challenged with 50,000 Eimeria maxima oocysts at 16 days of age. In the pilot challenge all animals were measured for BW gain, plasma coloration, hematocrit and rectal temperature and in addition a subset of 48 animals was measured for oocyst count and the intestinal lesion score. All animals from the second challenge were measured for BW gain, plasma coloration and hematocrit whereas a subset of 184 animals were measured for intestinal lesion scores, fecal oocyst count, blood parameters, plasma protein content and composition. Most of the parameters measured were significantly affected by the challenge. Lesion scores for duodenum and jejunum (P <0.001), oocyst count (P <0.05), plasma coloration for the optical density values between 450 and 490 nm (P <0.001), albumin (P <0.001), $1-globulin (P <0.01), $2-globulin (P <0.001), $3-globulin (P <0.01) and $2-globulin (P <0.001) were the most strongly affected parameters and expressed the greatest levels of variation. Plasma protein profiles proved to be a new, reliable parameter for measuring response to Eimeria maxima. Prediction of intestinal lesion score and fecal oocyst count using the other parameters measured was not very precise (R2 <0.7). The study was successfully performed in real raising conditions on a large scale. Finally, we observed a high variability in response to the challenge, suggesting that broilers’ response to Eimeria maxima has a strong genetic determinism which may be improved by genetic selection.
TidsskriftJournal of Animal Science
Sider (fra-til)1830-1840
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - 1 maj 2015

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