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Impaired broiler performance and intestinal integrity as a carry-over effect in broilers fed diets naturally contaminated with moderate levels of deoxynivalenol
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1  Schothorst Feed Research

Published: 13 January 2021 by MDPI in 1st International Electronic Conference on Toxins session Poster

Natural exposure to mycotoxins is a common event in the poultry industry. Deoxynivalenol (DON) is usually detected at levels lower than the maximum recommended ones (5,000 ppb). However, depending on the diet and bird age, such low levels might be sufficient to induce intestinal damage and impair broiler performance. We evaluated the effect of 900 and 2,300 ppb DON with or without activated charcoal as a binding agent on performance and intestinal morphometry and lesions in broilers. 736 day-old male Ross 308 broilers were divided into four treatments with eight replicates. The broilers were fed diets naturally contaminated with low DON (LD; 900 ppb) or moderate DON (MD; 2,300 ppb) with or without activated charcoal, for 28 days. Afterward, all birds were fed a diet without DON or activated charcoal for 7 days. During the first 28 days of the trial, MD without activated charcoal significantly reduced body weight gain and FCR. Even after the 7-d wash-out period, MD resulted in an overall significantly reduced body weight gain and FCR, regardless of the presence of activated charcoal. At 28 d of age, MD diet without activated charcoal caused a decrease in jejunum villus height and an increase in ileum crypt depth, thereby reducing villus:crypt ratio in both intestinal segments. Based on these results, it can be concluded that broiler production and intestinal morphology are negatively affected when feed is contaminated with DON even at moderate levels (2,300 ppb), and performance losses are not recovered even if the broilers are fed a non-contaminated diet afterward.

Keywords: broiler; deoxynivalenol; activated charcoal; performance; intestinal morphology