Immune Responses in Broiler Chicks Fed Propolis Extraction Residue-supplemented Diets

  • Eyng, C. ;
  • Murakami, A.E. ;
  • Santos, T.C. ;
  • Silveira, T.G.V. ;
  • Pedroso, R.B. ;
  • Lourenco, D.A.L.
  • Received : 2014.01.27
  • Accepted : 2014.08.23
  • Published : 2015.01.01


This study was conducted to evaluate the effect of inclusion of propolis extraction residue in the feed of broilers from 1 to 21 d of age on phagocytic activity of macrophages, cutaneous basophil hypersensitivity response to phytohemagglutinin, antibody production against Newcastle disease, lymphoid organ weight and hematological profile and to determine the optimal level of inclusion. 120 chicks, reared in metabolism cages until 21 days of age, were distributed in a completely randomized design, with five treatments (0%, 1%, 2%, 3%, and 4% of propolis residue) and six replications. The relative weight of thymus and monocyte percentage were affected by propolis residue, with a quadratic response (p<0.05) and lowest values estimated at 2.38% and 2.49%, respectively. Changes in relative weight of cloacal bursa and spleen, percentage of lymphocyte, heterophil, basophil, eosinophil, and heterophil:lymphocyte ratio, antibody production against Newcastle disease, phagocytic activity of macrophages and the average number of phagocytosed erythrocytes were not observed. The nitric oxide production with regard to positive control (macrophages+erythrocytes) decreased linearly (p<0.05) with increased doses of propolis residue. The remaining variables of nitric oxide production (negative control - macrophages, and difference between the controls) were not affected by propolis residue. The cutaneous basophil hypersensitivity response to phytohemagglutinin as determined by the increase in interdigital skin thickness exhibited a quadratic response (p<0.05), which predicted a lower reaction response at a dose of 2.60% of propolis residue and highest reaction response after 43.05 hours of phytohemagglutinin injection. The inclusion of 1% to 4% of propolis extraction residue in broiler diets from 1 to 21 days of age was not able to improve the immune parameters, despite the modest changes in the relative weight in thymus, blood monocyte percentage, nitric oxide concentration, and interdigital reaction to phytohemagglutinin.


Antibody;Cutaneous Basophil Hypersensitivity;Humoral Immune Response;Macrophages;Propolis Residue


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