Poultry science

Effects of in ovo injection with selenium on immune and antioxidant responses during experimental necrotic enteritis in broiler chickens.

PMID 24795303


This study was conducted to investigate the effects of in ovo injection of Se on modulating the immune system and antioxidant responses in broiler chickens with experimental necrotic enteritis. Broiler eggs were injected at 18 d of embryo age with either 100 μL of PBS alone or sodium selenite (Na2SeO3) in PBS, providing 0 (SS0), 10 (SS10), or 20 (SS20) μg of Se/egg. At 14 d posthatch, PBS-treated and uninfected chickens were kept as the control group, whereas the remaining chickens were orally infected with 1.0 × 10(4) sporulated oocysts of Eimeria maxima (SS0, SS10, SS20). At 18 d posthatch, E. maxima-infected chickens were orally infected with 1.0 × 10(9) cfu of Clostridium perfringens. Infected control SS0 group showed significantly decreased BW compared with the uninfected control. However, SS20 group showed significantly increased BW compared with the infected control SS0 group, whereas the BW were similar among uninfected control and infected SS10 and SS20 groups. The SS10 group showed significantly lower intestinal lesions compared with the SS0 group, and oocyst production was decreased in both SS10 and SS20 groups. Serum malondialdehyde level and catalase activity were also decreased in both SS10 and SS20 groups, whereas the superoxide dismutase level was significantly lower in the SS10 group compared with the SS0 group. The SS20 group showed significantly higher levels of transcripts for IL-1β and IL-6 in intestine, and SS10 and SS20 groups had higher levels of transcripts for IL-8 and inducible nitric oxide synthase expression and decreased glutathione peroxidase 7 mRNA levels compared with the SS0 group. The SS10 and SS20 groups also showed increased serum antibody levels to C. perfringens α-toxin and NetB toxin compared with the SS0 group. These collective results suggest that the injection of Se into the amniotic cavity of developing eggs may be beneficial for enhancing immune and antioxidant responses in the hatched chickens exposed to the necrotic enteritis-causing pathogens.