Reduced bone formation and increased bone resorption drive bone loss in Eimeria infected broilers

Sci Rep. 2023 Jan 12;13(1):616. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-27585-5.


Coccidiosis is an economically significant disease in the global poultry industry, but little is known about the mechanisms of bone defects caused by coccidiosis; thus, the study focused on effects of coccidiosis on the bone homeostasis of young broiler chickens. A total of 480 male Cobb500 broilers were randomly allocated into four treatment groups, including an uninfected control consuming diet ad libitum, two infected groups were orally gavaged with two different concentrations of sporulated Eimeria oocysts, and an uninfected pair-fed group fed the same amount of feed as the high Eimeria-infected group consumed. Growth performance and feed intake were recorded, and samples were collected on 6 days post infection. Results indicated that coccidiosis increased systemic oxidative status and elevated immune response in bone marrow, suppressing bone growth rate (P < 0.05) and increasing bone resorption (P < 0.05) which led to lower bone mineral density (P < 0.05) and mineral content (P < 0.05) under Eimeria infection. With the same amount of feed intake, the uninfected pair-fed group showed a distinguished bone formation rate and bone resorption level compared with the Eimeria infected groups. In conclusion, inflammatory immune response and oxidative stress in broilers after Eimeria infection were closely associated with altered bone homeostasis, highlighting the role of inflammation and oxidative stress in broiler bone homeostasis during coccidiosis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial, Veterinary
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Feed / analysis
  • Animals
  • Chickens / physiology
  • Coccidiosis* / veterinary
  • Diet / veterinary
  • Eimeria* / physiology
  • Male
  • Osteogenesis
  • Poultry Diseases*