Assessment of the role of silver nanoparticles in reducing poultry mortality, risk and economic benefits

  • Indrajeet Kumar
  • Jayanta BhattacharyaEmail author
Original Article


The paper reports a study conducted in two poultry farms of West Medinipur district, West Bengal, India with a target to reduce the prevalence of pathogenic bacteria, Escherichia coli (E. coli) in the poultry drinking water by the application of a formulation of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs). The lab-synthesized AgNPs had an average size of 15 nm. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of AgNPs for the farm water was considered 50 mg/L. Two poultry farms A and B were selected as case and control groups, respectively, for sampling. The study was designed with three replications. In the case group, the supplied water, generally used for the poultry in both the cases, was dosed with synthesized AgNPs throughout the study period, while in the control group the untreated water was supplied for drinking by the poultry. The study also included the impact of AgNP dose on factors of standard poultry growth performance like mortality count, feed intake (FI), body weight (BW) and food conversion ratio (FCR). The observations revealed that, compared to the control, in the case group the percentage mortality rate was reduced significantly (p < 0.05), and FI and BW increased significantly (p < 0.05), but no significant effect, however, was observed on FCR (p > 0.05). The results of average 4.92% mortality of case poultry, compared to the average 14.13% mortality in control, would potentially provide substantial economic benefit to the farmers. Moreover, the consumption risk assessment surmised that a 1.2 µg/g of silver retained on the poultry and hazard quotient (Ag) was 0.34 (< 1) which is considered non-toxic on the poultry, and the poultry is fit for human consumption. A cost–benefit analysis weighs in favour of AgNP use by the farmers to particularly deal with the effects of E. coli.


Farm water AgNPs Growth performance Risk assessment Economic analysis 



Authors are deeply grateful to the six reviewers who have thoroughly examined the initial manuscript and suggested a number of major revisions that led to newer experiments and findings. Without their help the manuscript would not have reached the level that it could attain at present. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of fellowship for the first author by the Government of India and experimental facilities provided by Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. The measurement instrumentation support provided by Central Research Facility of IIT Kharagpur is also duly acknowledged. The field testing would not have been possible without the active help of the employees of Zelence Industries Private Limited, a start-up firm under Science and Technology Entrepreneurship Park (STEP), Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. Dr. Bidus Das on behalf of Zelence Industries coordinated both the laboratory and field research. The help is duly acknowledged.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest in this work.


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Copyright information

© King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  2. 2.Department of Mining EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia
  3. 3.Zelence Industries Private LimitedKharagpurIndia

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