Dietary supplementation with Withania somnifera root powder ameliorates experimentally induced Infectious Bursal Disease in chicken
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Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) is an economically important, immunosuppressive viral disease of chicken. Withania somnifera, a well-known Indian medicinal plant and functional food, finds extensive ethnomedicinal and ethnoveterinary use in the subcontinent. Root extracts of Withania somnifera have been shown to inhibit IBD virus (IBDV) in vitro. The effect of dietary supplementation with whole root powder of Withania somnifera was studied in chicken experimentally infected with IBDV. Dietary supplementation with the root powder improved erythrocytic indices, biochemical parameters, bursal weight index, and lymphocyte stimulation indices, and reduced histopathological insult in the infected birds. Viral load decreased to less than one-fourth in the birds receiving dietary supplementation with Withania somnifera root powder. It could be concluded that continued supplementation of IBDV-infected chicken with Withania somnifera root powder alleviated virus-induced stress and histological and immunological alterations and reduced viral persistence in the host.
KeywordsInfectious Bursal Disease Indian ginseng Withania somnifera Stress Physiology Immunity
The authors thank Drs. S. Kumar, A. K. Das, A. K. Upadhyay, S. K. Shukla, S. Vatsya, and M. K. Saxena of G.B.P.U.A. & T., Pantnagar, for facilitating different phases of the study.
BG received financial support during this study in the form of a Senior Research Fellowship (Ref No. 20-06/2010(i)EU-IV) from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India.
Compliance with ethical standards
All institutional and national guidelines for the care and use of laboratory animals were followed.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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