Effects of Nigella sativa on immune responses and pathogenesis of avian influenza (H9N2) virus in turkeys

Umar, S.; Rehman, Abdul GND; Younus, M.; Qamar-un-Nisa; Ali, A.; Shahzad, M.; Shah, M.A.A.; Munir, M.T.; Aslam, H.B.; Yaqoob, M.

The main objective of this study was to determine the effects of various levels of dietary Nigella sativa seeds on immune-responsiveness and pathogenesis of H9N2 avian influenza virus (AIV) in turkeys. The experiment was performed on 80 unvaccinated turkey poults, divided into four groups of 20 birds each. Group A was kept as a non-infected, non-treated negative control; group B was inoculated intranasally with H9N2 AIV (106 EID50) at 4 wk of age; groups C and D were fed on diets containing 1% and 3% Nigella sativa seeds, respectively, from d 1 through the entire experiment period and inoculated intranasally with H9N2 AIV (106 EID50) at the wk 4 of age. Infected birds showed clinical signs of differing severity, with the most prominent disease signs appearing in birds of the H9N2 group. All infected birds showed positive results for virus shedding; however, the pattern of virus shedding was different, with birds of group B showing more pronounced virus secretion than the birds in the groups C and D, which were fed different levels of N. sativa. Moreover, significantly higher antibody titer against H9N2 AIV in group D birds show the immunomodulatory nature of N. sativa. Similarly, increased IFN-γ mRNA expression suggest antiviral behavior of N. sativa, leading to suppressed pathogenesis of H9N2 viruses in N. sativa-fed birds.This study showed that dietary supplementation with N. sativa seed at the level of 3% would enhance immune responsiveness and suppress pathogenicity of influenza viruses in turkeys.

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Umar, S. / Rehman, Abdul / Younus, M. / et al: Effects of Nigella sativa on immune responses and pathogenesis of avian influenza (H9N2) virus in turkeys. 2015.

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