Acta Vet. Brno 2013, 82: 141-146

Effect of β-1,3/1,6-D-glucan in diet on productivity and humoral and cellular defense mechanisms in sheep

Katarzyna Ząbek1, Stanisław Milewski1, Roman Wójcik2, Andrzej Krzysztof Siwicki2

1University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Faculty of Animal Bioengineering, Department of Sheep and Goat Breeding, Olsztyn, Poland
2Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Microbiology and Clinical Immunology, Olsztyn, Poland

The aim of this study was to determine the effect of β-1,3/1,6-D-glucan, isolated from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, on indicators of milk and meat performance in sheep as well as on selected non-specific indicators of humoral and cellular defense. The experiment was carried on 26 suckling ewes divided into 2 equal groups, and their offspring (21 in each group). The ewes were administered concentrate with the addition of β-1,3/1,6-D-glucan at a dose of 3 g/kg. Indicators of milk performance and markers of humoral and cellular immunity were analyzed on days 28 and 70 of lactation; and the indicators of meat performance of lambs on day 28 and 70 of their life. The addition of β-1,3/1,6-D-glucan was observed to cause an increase in milk performance by 13.5–14%. Simultaneously, milk was characterized by a lower somatic cell count. Diet supplementation had a positive effect on the chemical composition of milk, which was manifested by increased percentage contents of fat (by 15– 30%) and protein (by 11%). Lambs were characterized by a higher growth rate and better muscle tissue development. The supplementation caused an increase of gamma-globulin concentration (by 6.33–9.5 g/l), lysozyme activity (by 0.1 mg/l), respiratory burst activity (by 0.11–0.14), potential killing activity (by 0.10–0.12), proliferative response of T-cells stimulated by mitogen concanavalineA (by 0.07–0.09 RI) and proliferative response of B-cells stimulated by mitogen lipopolysaccharide (by 0.13–0.16 RI) in sheep’s blood. The activity of β-1,3/1,6-D-glucan as a natural immunostimulator has been studied in many animal species, however, this is the first study conducted on sheep.


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