Immunocompetence in young and old laying hens in response to dietary folic acid and Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide challenge

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Munyaka, Peris Mumbi
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We investigated the effects of dietary folic acid and age, on immunological parameters in laying hens challenged with LPS. 48 Shaver White hens at different ages were fed 2 wheat-soybean based diets with 0 or 4 mg supplemental FA per kg of diet for 8 wk. 6 hens from each dietary treatment were injected with 8 mg/kg body weight of LPS or saline and observed for 4 h. A few diet X challenge interaction were observed in young hens, whereas FA and LPS independently influenced a number of parameters. In older hens, there were very few diet X challenge interactions as well as effects of FA, whereas LPS affected several parameters. In conclusion, dietary FA influenced some immune responses in younger hens, but no such effects were observed in older hens. FA may modulate immune responses in laying hens under acute LPS challenge which could be tissue and age dependent.
folic acid, lipopolysaccharide, immune response, laying hen, age