Effects of methylsulfonylmethane and neutralizing anti–IL-10 antibody supplementation during a mild Eimeria challenge infection in broiler chickens

M. S.Abdul Rasheed, U. P. Tiwari, J. C. Jespersen, L. L. Bauer, R. N. Dilger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 28-day experiment was conducted in broilers to study the effects of feeding methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) and IL-10–neutralizing antibody from dried egg product (DEP) on the growth performance, immune responsivity, oxidative stress parameters, and gut health outcomes during a mild infection with mixed species of Eimeria. A total of 500 male Ross 308 chicks were allocated to five treatments: sham-inoculated (uninfected) chickens fed control diet (UCON), Eimeria-infected chickens fed control diet (ICON), and Eimeria-infected chickens fed control diet supplemented with 287 U/tonne of DEP (I-DEP), 0.4% MSM, or their combination (I-DEP-MSM), with 10 replicate cages of 10 birds per treatment. All infected groups received 1 mL of an oral inoculum containing Eimeria acervulina (10,000 oocysts), Eimeria maxima (5,000 oocysts), and Eimeria tenella (5,000 oocysts) on study days 7 and 14. Data were analyzed as a two-way ANOVA for all treatments including Eimeria-infected groups, in addition to a single degree of freedom contrast to compare uninfected and infected groups receiving the control diet. Mild Eimeria infection did not influence the growth performance in ICON compared with UCON at any time points. Overall (day 0–28) growth performance parameters were not influenced by either infection or dietary supplementation of MSM or DEP. However, birds in I-DEP-MSM showed improved ADG during study day 7 to 14 (i.e., 7 d after primary inoculation) indicating a beneficial effect immediately after Eimeria infection. Although MSM supplementation reduced thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (day 21 and 28), both MSM and DEP improved the total antioxidant capacity (day 21) in the plasma of infected birds. Histopathological outcomes were not influenced by treatments, and fecal oocyst output was higher in MSM- and DEP-supplemented groups than with ICON, indicating no beneficial effects. Similarly, expression of cecal inflammatory cytokines (IL-10, IL-1β, and interferon-γ) was not affected by MSM, DEP, or their combination. Overall, the current results suggest that both MSM and DEP supplementation may benefit birds during a mild Eimeria infection as indicated by improvements in ADG and oxidative stress outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6559-6568
Number of pages10
JournalPoultry science
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2020


  • Broiler
  • Eimeria
  • IL-10 neutralizing antibody
  • Methylsulfonylmethane
  • Oxidative stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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