Turkeys are extremely sensitive to aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) which causes decreased growth, immunosuppression and liver necrosis. The purpose of this study was to determine whether probiotic Lactobacillus, shown to be protective in animal and clinical studies, would likewise confer protection in turkeys, which were treated for 11 days with either AFB1 (AFB; 1 ppm in diet), probiotic (PB; 1 × 1011 CFU/ml; oral, daily), probiotic + AFB1 (PBAFB), or PBS control (CNTL). The AFB1 induced drop in body and liver weights were restored to normal in CNTL and PBAFB groups. Hepatotoxicity markers were not significantly reduced by probiotic treatment. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes BG1 and BG4, which are differentially expressed in liver and spleens, were not significantly affected by treatments. These data indicate modest protection, but the relatively high dietary AFB1 treatment, and the extreme sensitivity of this species may reveal limits of probiotic-based protection strategies.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank Moroni Feed Co (Ephraim, UT) for supplying turkeys and feed. This study was funded by USDA-AFRI Grants 2005-01326 , 2007-35205-17880 and 2009-35205-05302 , 2013-01043 from the USDA NIFA Animal Genome Program . Support from the Utah and Minnesota Agricultural Experiments Stations is also gratefully acknowledged. None of these sponsors were involved in this study.
- Gene expression