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Effects of a Phytogenic Feed Additive Versus an Antibiotic Feed Additive on Oxidative Stress in Broiler Chicks and a Possible Mechanism Determined by Electron Spin Resonance
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    Phytogenic feed additives are plant-derived products used in poultry feeding to improve overall performance of broilers. In this study, 588 one day-old Cobb 500 chicks were fed one of four diets and housed on either dirty or clean litter for 3wks. Treatments included: Group I: commercial diet with no additive and housed on clean litter; Group II: commercial diet with no additive and housed on dirty litter; Group III: commercial diet with a 0.05% inclusion of the anitobiotic, BMD (bacitracin methylene disalicylate); Group IV: commercial diet with a 0.05% inclusion of a phytogenic feed additive (PFA). The study was designed around a random block assignment of treatments allocated to groups of twenty-one birds per pen. Blood samples were obtained from chicks at 18 days of age for measurement of leukocyte oxidative activity by a bioluminescence technique. Results of the study showed that chicks in the treatment groups fed the PFA had significantly lower oxidative stress (p<0.02) when compared to the BMD treatment group. Once this was determined, electron spin resonance (ESR) spin trapping was used to detect and measure hydroxyl or superoxide radicals in. Fenton chemistry was utilized for production of hydroxyl radicals and a xanthine/xanthine oxidase reaction for the production of superoxide radicals in the diet and in RAW 264.7 mouse peritoneal monocytes exposed to the diet. Results from the reactions showed that the antibiotic scavenges hydroxyl and superoxide radicals more efficiently than the phytogenic. The results were comparable to those measured in the RAW 264.7 cells.

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