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Articles » The effects of Thymus vulgaris L., Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench., Allium sativum L. extracts and virginiamycin antibiotic on intestinal microflora population and immune system in Broilers

Abstract: The present study was designed to evaluate comparison of the effects on the intestinal
microflora population and immune system of broilers of three commercial herbal extracts and
virginiamycin antibiotic. A total four hundred and eighty 1-day old male broiler chicks were
assigned to the basal diet (control) and basal diet supplemented with 150 ppm virginiamycin,
0.1% extract of thyme (Thymus vulgaris L.), coneflower (Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench.),
garlic (Allium sativum L.) and blend of extracts with the same dose. The colony forming units of
Escherichia coli in digesta of ileo-cecum in the blend group showed a significantly lower
number compared with control group. However, there was no difference in E. coli counts
between blend group and others except control. The lactic acid bacteria counts in the thyme
group increased compared with other groups except coneflower (p<0.05). Relative weights of
immune organs (spleen and bursa of Fabricious) as two immune indexes were compared among
different groups. Relative weight of bursa of Fabricious in the Garlic group showed a
significantly increase compared with other groups, but relative weight of spleen was unaffected
by treatments. Cutaneous basophils hypersensitivity response (to phytohemagglutinin injection)
and antibody responses to sheep red blood cells were higher in coneflower group (p<0.05).
Antibody responses to Newcastle vaccine (Lasota) was unaffected by treatments but coneflower
group improved antibody levels (p>0.05).
: Dr.Reza Omidbaigi
Keywords: echinacea purpurea l. moench. - thymus vulgaris l. - allium sativum l. - virginiamycin - microflora - immune