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Poult Sci. 1998 Nov;77(11):1631-5.

Effects of dietary supplementation with n-3 fatty acid ethyl esters on coccidiosis in chickens.

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USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Livestock and Poultry Sciences Institute, Parasite Biology and Epidemiology Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland 20705, USA.


The ethyl esters of eicosapentaenoic (EPA) and docosahexaenoic (DHA) acids were added to a broiler starter diet singly or in combination [as bulk purified ethyl ester concentrate from menhaden oil (n3FAC)] in quantities similar to those found in a diet supplemented with 5% menhaden oil (MO). Diets were fed to chickens from 1 d of age through 3 wk of age. At 2 wk of age, the chickens were infected with Eimeria tenella, Eimeria acervulina, or Eimeria maxima. At 6 d postinfection (PI), the effects of the diets were assessed on weight gains, plasma carotenoids, gross lesion scores, and histological parasite scores in gut cross sections, or oocyst output. Significant ameliorating effects of diet on lesion scores and parasite scores were only seen in E. tenella infections and were only produced by the n3FAC and MO supplements. These two supplements, which contained higher molar concentrations of double bonds than the other supplements, also significantly reduced plasma carotenoids in uninfected chickens, indicating that they promoted a state of oxidative stress. These results are consistent with previous reports on the interaction of coccidiosis with dietary n-3 fatty acids and strengthen the hypotheses that dietary-induced oxidative stress is an effective deterrent against cecal coccidiosis in chickens.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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