Effects of Glycyrrhizic Acid on Productive and Immune Parameters of Broilers


Rev. Bras. Cienc. Avic.




ABSTRACT Considering that glycyrrhizic acid (GRA) has been shown to have in-vitro and in-vivo antiviral activity against a wide range of viruses as well as immunostimulating activity, a trial to evaluate its effects on the performance and the immune response against Newcastle disease of broiler chickens was carried out. The study was performed with one-day-old Ross x Ross broiler chickens. GRA was added to the drinking water throughout the 49-d production cycle at a dose of 0.03%. Sample size of the trial was established in a pilot assay. Results showed that broiler chickens treated with GRA presented better weight gain, final body weight, feed conversion ratio, and lower mortality rate than the non-treated controls. In addition, GRA-treated birds presented higher antibody titers against Newcastle disease virus and more efficient cellular immune response, as demonstrated by the late-hypersensitivity response test. Blood lymphocyte and thrombocyte counts also increased in this group. The histopathological examination of the bursa, spleen, and thymus revealed that only the thymus of the GRA-treated group had a clearly defined increase in cortex thickness on day 49. The bursa showed a higher number of lymphoid lesions in CG on days 21 and 49 compared with the GRA group. These results suggest that GRA has growth promotion properties, which are possibly linked to immune-based effects.

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