The effect of dietary betaine on intestinal and plasma levels of betaine in uninfected and coccidia-infected broiler chicks.


Journal Article

Chicks fed betaine supplemented diets and infected with Eimeria acervulina and Eimeria maxima had markedly higher levels of betaine in the duodenum and mid-gut than unsupplemented, infected chicks. Uninfected chicks fed betaine exhibited almost twice the levels of betaine in the gut as infected chicks. Plasma betaine levels were lower in E. maxima-infected chicks than in E. acervulina-or Eimeria tenella-infected chicks. Betaine supplementation reversed the decrease in weight gain in E. maxima- infected chicks but had no effect on the decrease in weight gains in E acervulina- and E. tenella-infected chicks. Coccidia-infected birds on normal diets regularly exhibit increases in plasma NO(2)(+)NO(3). This increase was abolished in E.tenella-infected birds on betaine supplement. Betaine feeding did not alter this effect in E. acervulina- and E. maxima-infected birds. Results indicate that betaine supplementation has a positive effect on gut betaine levels in birds infected with E. acervulina and E. maxima. In all treatment groups, infection lowered the levels of betaine.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Fetterer, RH; Augustine, PC; Allen, PC; Barfield, RC

Published Date

  • July 2003

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 90 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 343 - 348

PubMed ID

  • 12700979

Pubmed Central ID

  • 12700979

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1432-1955

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0932-0113

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s00436-003-0864-z


  • eng