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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Vet. Sci. | doi: 10.3389/fvets.2019.00420

Dietary antibiotic growth promoters down-regulate intestinal inflammatory cytokine expression in chickens challenged with LPS or co-infected with Eimeria maxima and Clostridium perfringens

 Sungtaek Oh1,  Hyun S. Lillehoj1*, Youngsub Lee1, David Bravo2 and  Erik Lillehoj3
  • 1Animal Biosciences and Biotechnology Laboratory (USDA-ARS), United States
  • 2Other, United States
  • 3Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, University of Maryland, United States

Subtherapeutic levels of dietary antibiotics increase growth performance in domestic animals, but the mechanisms are poorly understood. Here, 1-week-old broiler chickens were challenged with LPS (experiment 1), or co-infected with Eimeria maxima and Clostridium perfringens as an experimental model of necrotic enteritis (experiment 2), and fed a standard basal diet or a basal diet supplemented with virginiamycin or bacitracin methylene disalicylate. In experiment 1, LPS-challenged chickens fed the unsupplemented diet had decreased body weight gains, compared with unsupplemented controls given the PBS control. In contrast, antibiotic supplementation increased body weight gains in both the LPS-challenged and PBS groups, compared with the antibiotic-free diet. LPS-challenged chickens fed the unsupplemented diet had increased expression levels of intestinal tight junction proteins (ZO1, JAM2), MUC2 gel-forming mucin, and inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-17A) at 24 hr post-challenge, compared with unsupplemented chickens given the PBS control. However, LPS-challenged chickens fed the antibiotic-supplemented diets had decreased levels of intestinal inflammatory cytokine transcripts, compared with LPS-challenged chickens given the unsupplemented basal diet. In experiment 2, E. maxima/C. perfringens-co-infected chickens fed the antibiotic-supplemented diets had increased body weight gains, decreased intestinal pathology, and greater intestinal crypt depth, compared with co-infected chickens given the unsupplemented diet. Further, similar to LPS challenge, E. maxima/C. perfringens-co-infection of chickens fed the antibiotic-supplemented diets decreased expression levels of intestinal inflammatory cytokines, compared with co-infected chickens given the unsupplemented diet. These results support the hypothesis that dietary antibiotic growth promoters might increase poultry growth, in part, through down-regulation of pathogen-induced inflammatory responses.

Keywords: poultry production, cytokine, Inflammation, antibiotics, necrotic enteritis, Eimeria

Received: 11 Aug 2019; Accepted: 07 Nov 2019.

Copyright: © 2019 Oh, Lillehoj, Lee, Bravo and Lillehoj. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Hyun S. Lillehoj, Animal Biosciences and Biotechnology Laboratory (USDA-ARS), Bellsville, 20705, Maryland, United States, Hyun.Lillehoj@ars.usda.gov