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Arch Anim Nutr. 2012 Oct;66(5):416-29. doi: 10.1080/1745039X.2012.710081. Epub 2012 Aug 14.

Effect of silver nanoparticles on growth performance, metabolism and microbial profile of broiler chickens.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary Clinical and Animal Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


This study evaluated the potential of silver nanoparticles (AgNano) as an antimicrobial growth-promoting supplement for broiler chickens. One hundred forty-four seven-day-old broiler chicks were distributed randomly to AgNano treatments at 0, 10 and 20 mg/kg (Control, Group AgNano10, and Group AgNano20, respectively) provided via the drinking water from day 7 to 36 post-hatching. Body weight and feed consumption were measured weekly. In addition, balance and respiration experiments were carried out to determine nitrogen (N) utilisation and energy retention. At days 22 and 36, blood samples and intestinal content were collected to evaluate the effects of AgNano on plasma concentration of immunoglobulins and the intestinal microflora, respectively. The provision of water solutions containing different concentrations of AgNano had no effect on postnatal growth performance and the energy metabolism of broiler chickens. However, in Group AgNano10 N intake (p = 0.05) and retention (p = 0.03) was increased, but N excretion and efficiency of utilisation was not affected. The populations of bacteria in the intestinal samples were not affected by AgNano supplementation. The concentration of immunoglobulin (IgG) in the blood plasma of broilers supplemented with AgNano decreased at day 36 (p = 0.012). The results demonstrated that AgNano affects N utilisation and plasma IgG concentration; however, it does not influence the microbial populations in the digestive tract, the energy metabolism and growth performance of chickens.

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