Author(s): Antonissen G, , Croubels S, Pasmans F, Ducatelle R,
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Abstract Fumonisins (FBs) are mycotoxins produced by Fusarium fungi. This study aimed to investigate the effect of these feed contaminants on the intestinal morphology and microbiota composition, and to evaluate whether FBs predispose broilers to necrotic enteritis. One-day-old broiler chicks were divided into a group fed a control diet, and a group fed a FBs contaminated diet (18.6 mg FB1+FB2/kg feed). A significant increase in the plasma sphinganine/sphingosine ratio in the FBs-treated group (0.21 ± 0.016) compared to the control (0.14 ± 0.014) indicated disturbance of the sphingolipid biosynthesis. Furthermore, villus height and crypt depth of the ileum was significantly reduced by FBs. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis showed a shift in the microbiota composition in the ileum in the FBs group compared to the control. A reduced presence of low-GC containing operational taxonomic units in ileal digesta of birds exposed to FBs was demonstrated, and identified as a reduced abundance of Candidatus Savagella and Lactobaccilus spp. Quantification of total Clostridium perfringens in these ileal samples, previous to experimental infection, using cpa gene (alpha toxin) quantification by qPCR showed an increase in C. perfringens in chickens fed a FBs contaminated diet compared to control (7.5 ± 0.30 versus 6.3 ± 0.24 log10 copies/g intestinal content). After C. perfringens challenge, a higher percentage of birds developed subclinical necrotic enteritis in the group fed a FBs contaminated diet as compared to the control (44.9 ± 2.22\% versus 29.8 ± 5.46\%).
This article was published in Vet Res
and referenced in Journal of Probiotics & Health