The effect of Myrtus communis oil extract on growth performance, serum biochemistry and humoral immune responses in broiler chicks fed diet containing aflatoxin B1
A study was conducted to investigate the capability of Myrtus communis essential oil (MCE) in counteracting the deleterious effects of aflatoxin B1 (AFB1) on growth performance, serum biochemistry and humoral immune responses in broiler chickens. In a completely randomized design, 300 day-old male chicks were assigned to four treatments with five replicates of 15 birds for 42 days. Chickens, up to day 7 of age, were fed the same diet and then, they were fed the experimental diets. The dietary treatments were 1) the negative control (no dietary aflatoxin or MCE), 2) the positive control (diet containing AFB1 at 0.5 mg/kg, without MCE), 3) diet containing AFB1 at 0.5 mg/kg plus 500 mg/kg MCE, and 4) basal diet containing 500 mg/kg MCE, without AFB1. Growth performance was measured from day 7 to 42. Serum biochemical parameters, organ weights on day 42 and the antibody titers against Newcastle and influenza viruses on day 28 of age were determined. Addition of aflatoxin to diet decreased ( P<0.05) the weight gain and feed intake and MCE supplementation diminished ( P<0.05) the inhibitory effects of AFB1 on the growth performance. Addition of AFB1 to diet of chicks increased the serum activities of aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alkaline aminotransferase (ALT), alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and decreased the antibody titers against Newcastle and influenza viruses. Addition of MCE to diet alleviated the negative effects of AFB1 on these parameters ( P<0.05). In conclusion, our results showed that addition of MCE may reduce the adverse effects of AFB1 on broiler chickens.