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Poult Sci. 2016 Jul 1;95(7):1513-20. doi: 10.3382/ps/pew069. Epub 2016 Mar 4.

Synergistic effects of thymoquinone and curcumin on immune response and anti-viral activity against avian influenza virus (H9N2) in turkeys.

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Faculty of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
Faculty of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, University of Arid Agriculture, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Department of Poultry Farming and Pathology, National Veterinary School Sidi Thabet, Tunisia.
College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences Jhang, Pakistan.
University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences Lahore Pakistan.
University College of Veterinary & Animal Sciences, The Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Pakistan.
University of Agriculture Faisalabad Pakistan.


The main objective of this study was to determine the possible effects of thymoquinone (TQ) and curcumin (Cur) on immune-response and pathogenesis of H9N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) in turkeys. The experiment was performed on 75 non-vaccinated mixed-sex turkey poults, divided into 5 experimental groups (A, B, C, D, and E) of 15 birds each. Group A was kept as non-infected and a non-treated negative control (ctrl group) while group B was kept as infected and non-treated positive control (H9N2 group). Turkeys in groups A and B received normal commercial feed while turkeys in groups C and D received TQ, and Cur respectively, and group E concurrently received TQ and Cur from d one through the entire experiment period. All groups were challenged intra-nasally with H9N2 AIV (A/chicken/Pakistan/10RS3039-284-48/2010) at the fourth wk of age except group A. Infected turkeys showed clinical signs of different severity, showing the most prominent disease signs in turkeys in group B. All infected turkeys showed positive results for virus shedding; however, the pattern of virus shedding was different, and with turkeys in group B showing more pronounced virus secretion than the turkeys in the other groups receiving different levels of TQ and Cur. Moreover, significantly higher antibody titer against H9N2 AIV in turkeys shows the immunomodulatory nature of TQ and Cur. Similarly, increased cytokine gene expression suggests antiviral behavior of TQ and Cur especially in combination, leading to suppressed pathogenesis of H9N2 viruses. However, reduced virus shedding and enhanced immune responses were more pronounced in those turkeys receiving TQ and Cur concurrently. This study showed that supplements of TQ and Cur in combination would significantly enhance immune responsiveness and suppress pathogenicity of influenza viruses in turkeys.


H9N2; antiviral turkey; avian influenza; curcumin; thymoquinone

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