Immune deficiency in poultry, causes and consequences | Veterinaria Digital

Immune deficiency in poultry, causes and consequences

26/07/2016 Parasites Bacteria Intestine Poultry Immunoboosters

Immune deficiency in poultry, causes and consequences

As is known, poultry suffer from immune system deficiencies due to different causes, and this involves the development of various diseases.

What causes immunodeficiency in poultry?


Infectious diseases, especially those caused by viruses (such as infectious bronchitis, Gumboro disease or Marek), weaken the immune system. After a viral infection, the animal is more prone to other infections, particularly those caused by E. coli and Mycoplasma.

Ex. Colibacillosis (infection caused by E. coli or similar bacteria from water, food, or breeding environment) after suffering infectious bronchitis.


Mycotoxins contribute to reduction of the synthesis, absorption and utilization of proteins, so antibody production is reduced. At the same time, also directly interfere with the immune system cells. All this causes a reduction in the response to vaccination and, therefore, an increase in the appearance of viral and bacterial diseases.

Among the mycotoxins that affect the immune system are:

- Aflatoxins: reduce lymphocyte stimulation, antibody production and phagocytosis.

- Trichothecens: Interfere with the response of macrophages and lymphocytes. Necrosis of lymphoid organs.

- Ochratoxins A: Interferes with macrophage and lymphocyte metabolism. Necrosis of the lymph nodes of the gut.

Other mycotoxins which affect the immune system are: rubratoxina B, patulin, citrinin.

3) Liver Diseases

The liver is related to the immune system :

- Indirectly , because protein metabolism which occurs in the liver is linked to antibody synthesis.

- Directly, because the liver is a large concentration of immune cells : belonging to the adaptive immune system and the innate immune System.

4) fungal infections in the gut

The widespread use of antibiotics results in an imbalance of intestinal flora that involves the growth of fungi of the order Mucorales.

 These tissue-damaging immune-related ( Peyer's patches , ileocecal valve ) causing immune deficiencies. Therefore, the animals are more prone to get sick.


- Poor management of vitamins (especially water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C and biotin).

- Deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D and E, usually related to liver problems because it is the body where they are stored.

- Poor management of minerals (especially zinc , copper and selenium) .

- Deficient in methionine , cysteine ​​, arginine in the food / t (probably other amino acids).

- Insufficient protein content. Low metabolizable energy.

What are the consequences immunodeficiency in poultry?

- Innate immune response insufficient.

- Less antibody production

- The risk of secondary infections

- reduced response to vaccines

- Sensitization: fewer microorganisms needed to cause disease)

Animals with inmunodeficiency are more likely to get sick. We should show special attention to the animal immunity, strengthen your immune system, especially in fast growing animals or high prolificacy and under stress. For this there are products on the market as ALQUERNAT INMUPLUS: naturally occurring immunostimulatory composed of natural extracts of Taraxacum officinale and Echinacea purpurea. These plants provide pronutrients that, incorporated into food, strengthen the immune system of animals, enhance the effectiveness of vaccines and complement drug therapy in infections or in cases where drug therapy is not possible because of the withdrawal period. Especially useful for enhancing the physiology of immune system diseases



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