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Saba Badar
Gulbeena Saleem
Asim Aslam
Kamran Ashraf


Chicken, Ceaca, Coccidiosis, Essential oil, Intestine, T-cell immunity


Chickens frequently contract the parasite disease coccidiosis, which is expensive for the industry. This study shows that immune modulatory substances like active constituents in Rosemary essential oil (REO) have a unique immune-potentiating effect on broiler chickens’ immunity challenged with Eimeria maxima and Eimeria tenella. A total of 700 one-day-old broiler chicks (Ross-Male) were randomly distributed into six treatment groups (Positive control Eimeria maxima, Positive control Eimeria tenella, E. maxima challenged and treated with sulpha drug, E. tenella challenged and treated with sulpha drug and REO fed E. maxima challenged, REO fed E. tenella challenged) and one negative control group. Two groups fed with diet supplemented with 100 ppm of rosemary essential oil. Coccidiosis free status was determined twice at 14 days of age. On day 14 of age, unchallenged birds were inoculated by gavage with sporulated oocysts of genus Eimeria tenella and Eimeria maxima. Intestinal tissue samples from two birds per sampling day, from each group were collected on day of challenge, 5th, 7th and 9th day post infection (dpi). DNA extraction and Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction (Q-PCR) analysis was conducted for gene expression of cytokines after Eimeria challenge in the challenged and control groups. The REO groups exhibited increased gene expression of interferon (IFN), interleukin (IL), Tumor Growth Factor (TGF) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF). The REO modulated the inflammatory response against Eimeria spp. In the absence of the parasite, there was no stimulation of genes involved in the inflammatory response, demonstrating that the REO is an effective tool in specifically modulating the immune system of birds afflicted with coccidiosis.

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