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Modulation of antibody-mediated immune response by probiotics in chickens.

Probiotic bacteria, including Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum, have been shown to enhance antibody responses in mammals. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of a probiotic product containing the above bacteria in addition to Streptococcus faecalis on the induction of the chicken antibody response to various antigens, both systemically and in the gut. The birds received probiotics via oral gavage and subsequently were immunized with sheep red blood cells (SRBC) and bovine serum albumin (BSA) to evaluate antibody responses in serum or with tetanus toxoid (TT) to measure the mucosal antibody response in gut contents. Control groups received phosphate-buffered saline. Overall, BSA and SRBC induced a detectable antibody response as early as week 1 postimmunization (p.i.), which lasted until week 3 p.i. Probiotic-treated birds had significantly (P

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