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Nutritional modulation of resistance to infectious diseases

, : Nutritional modulation of resistance to infectious diseases. Poultry Science 77(8): 1119-1125

Dietary characteristics can modulate a bird's susceptibility to infectious challenges and subtle influences due to the level of nutrients or the types of ingredients may at times be of critical importance. This review considers seven mechanisms for nutritional modulation of resistance to infectious disease in poultry. 1) Nutrition may impact the development of the immune system, both in ovo and in the first weeks posthatch. Micronutrient deficiencies that affect developmental events, such as the seeding of lymphoid organs and clonal expansion of lymphocyte clones, can negatively impact the immune system later in life. 2) A substrate role of nutrients is necessary for the immune response so that responding cells can divide and synthesize effector molecules. The quantitative need for nutrients for supporting a normal immune system, as well as the proliferation of leukocytes and the production of antibodies during an infectious challenge, is very small relative to uses for growth or egg production. It is likely that the systemic acute phase response that accompanies most infectious challenges is a more significant consumer of nutrients than the immune system itself. 3) The low concentrations of some nutrients (e.g., iron) in body fluids makes them the limiting substrates for the proliferation of invading pathogens and the supply of these nutrients is further limited during the immune response. 4) Some nutrients (e.g., fatty acids and vitamins A, D, and E) have direct regulatory actions on leukocytes by binding to intracellular receptors or by modifying the release of second messengers. 5) The diet may also have indirect regulatory effects that are mediated by the classical endocrine system. 6) Physical and chemical aspects of the diet can modify the populations of microorganisms in the gastrointestinal tract, the capacity of pathogens to attach to enterocytes, and the integrity of the intestinal epithelium.


PMID: 9706075

DOI: 10.1093/ps/77.8.1119

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