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Dietary Administration of Bacillus subtilis Enhances Growth Performance, Immune Response and Disease Resistance in Cherry Valley Ducks

  • 2016-12-08
  • Frontiers in Microbiology 7
    • Mengjiao Guo
    • Guangen Hao
    • Baohua Wang
    • Ning Li
    • Rong Li
    • Liangmeng Wei
    • T. Chai


Given the promising results of applying Bacillus subtilis (B.subtilis) as a probiotic in both humans and animals, the aim of this study was to systematically investigate the effects of B. subtilis on growth performance, immune response and disease resistance in Cherry Valley ducks. At 28 d post-hatch (dph), ducks fed a diet with B. subtilis weighed significantly more, had higher relative immune organ weights (e.g., bursa of Fabricius, thymus, and spleen), and exhibited greater villus heights, villus height to crypt depth ratios (duodenum and jejunum), and shallower crypt depths in the duodenum than controls fed a normal diet (p < 0.05). Moreover, the major pro-inflammatory factors and antiviral proteins, as measured in the thymus and the spleen, were higher at 28 dph in ducks fed probiotics than those of 14 dph. After 28 d of feeding, the ducks were challenged with Escherichia coli (E. coli) and novel duck reovirus (NDRV), and ducks fed B. subtilis achieved survival rates of 43.3 and 100%, respectively, which were significantly greater than the control group's 20 and 83.3%. Altogether, diets with B. subtilis can improve Cherry Valley ducks' growth performance, innate immune response, and resistance against E. coli and NDRV.

Keywords: Bacillus subtilis; Cherry Valley duck; disease resistance; growth performance; innate immunity; probiotics.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Bacillus subtilis DE111Enhanced Disease ResistanceBeneficial
Bacillus subtilis DE111Improved Growth PerformanceBeneficial
Bacillus subtilis DE111Improved Immune ResponseBeneficial

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