Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 344935
Title Cold stress and immunity: Do chickens adapt to cold by trading-off immunity for thermoregulation?
Author(s) Hangalapura, B.N.
Source Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Bas Kemp, co-promotor(en): Henk Parmentier; Henry van den Brand. - s.n. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085043584 - 160
Department(s) Adaptation Physiology
Publication type Dissertation, internally prepared
Publication year 2006
Keyword(s) kippen - koudestress - voedselbeperking - immuniteit - immuniteitsreactie - kunstmatige selectie - genetica - adaptatie - diergezondheid - fowls - cold stress - food restriction - immunity - immune response - artificial selection - genetics - adaptation - animal health
Categories Poultry / Environmental Physiology, Stress Physiology / Immunology
Abstract Future animal husbandry aims at enhanced animal welfare, with minimal use of preventive medical treatments. These husbandry conditions will resemble more natural or ecological conditions. Under such farming systems, animals will experience various kinds of stressors such as environmental (e.g. cold, heat, wind), and social stressors (e.g. pecking in chicken, competition for food). In Western Europe, environmental temperature can drop significantly below the optimal temperature needed for poultry farming during winter season. Apart from cold stress, competition for food could pose nutritional stress in future husbandry practices. Therefore, cold and nutritional stressors can pose a significant threat for poultry farming, as stressors are believed to affect health and welfare of animals. However, effects of cold and nutritional stress on health of poultry are not clearly understood. It has also been proposed that "artificial selection for a trait (e.g. growth, egg production) may program an individual to allocate a large portion of its resources to a demand, leaving it lacking the ability to respond to other demands". Therefore, the focus of this thesis was a) to understand the effects of cold and nutritional stressors on health status (immunocompetence) of two lines of chicken which have selectively been bred for high and low health status (antibody responses). b) to understand the effects of artificially selection on adaptive capacity of chickens to stressful conditions. Important findings of the present thesis are 1. both cold and nutritional stressors did not affect specific antibody responses. 2. both cold and moderate nutritional stressors have positive effect on innate immune component (e.g. phagocytic activity, natural antibody levels), both at cellular and gene levels. 3. cold stress suppresses plasma corticosterone levels in a dose dependent manner, whereas severe nutritional stress enhances plasma corticosterone levels. 4. inverse relation was found between cell mediate immune competence and plasma corticosterone levels. 5. genetic selection for a trait (e.g. selection for either high or low antibody levels) did not affect the immunological adaptive capacity of chickens to both cold and nutritional stressors. It was concluded that cold and nutritional stressors may not pose significant threat for the health of chickens in future farming conditions.
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