Nov 1, 1975

Some mechanisms of reduction of carotenoid levels in chickens infected with Eimeria acervulina or E. tenella

The Journal of Nutrition
M D Ruff, H L Fuller


The levels of plasma carotenoids were markedly reduced in broiler cockerels infected with Eimeria acervulina or E. tenella. The mechanisms of this depigmentation differed between the two species, being primarily associated with interference of absorption of xanthophyll (carotenoids) from the intestinal lumen with E. acervulina infection and with leakage through the damaged wall of the cecum with E. tenella infection. Chicks reared on an essentially carotenoid-free diet and inoculated with E. acervulina showed no detectable levels of carotenoids in the blood 48 hours after being changed to a diet containing 30 mg of xanthophyll/kg. Conversely, uninoculated chicks and chicks inoculated with E. tenella showed significant and similar increases in plasma levels of carotenoids. Chicks reared on a diet containing xanthophyll and inoculated with E. tenella showed a more rapid decrease in plasma carotenoids than did uninoculated controls when changed to a xanthophyll-free diet. In chicks fed high xanthophyll diets containing chromic oxide, no indication of malabsorption was seen in chicks infected with E. tenella compared with uninoculated controls, whereas chicks inoculated with E. acervulina showed significantly less xanthophyll absor...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Hypopigmentation Disorder
Eimeria tenella
Chromium oxide

About this Paper

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