International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 58, Issue 5, pp 741–752 | Cite as

Effects of dietary selenium and vitamin E on immune response and biological blood parameters of broilers reared under thermoneutral or heat stress conditions

  • Mahmood HabibianEmail author
  • Shahab Ghazi
  • Mohammad Mehdi Moeini
  • Alireza Abdolmohammadi
Original Paper


A study was conducted using 360 broiler chickens to evaluate the effects of dietary vitamin E (0, 125 and 250 mg/kg), selenium (Se, 0, 0.5 and 1 mg/kg), or their different combinations on immune response and blood biological parameters of broilers raised under either thermoneutral (TN, 23.9 °C constant) or heat stress (HS, 23.9 to 37 °C cycling) conditions. Humoral immunity was assessed by intravenous injection of 7 % sheep red blood cell (SRBC) followed by evaluation of serum for antibody titers in primary and secondary responses. Heterophil to lymphocyte (H/L) ratio also determined as an indicator of stress. Furthermore, at the end of the experiment, birds were bled for determination of some biological parameters. There was a significant reduction in body weight and feed intake, but the feed conversion ratio increased when the birds were exposed to HS (P < 0.05). Body weight and feed intake were not influenced significantly by dietary vitamin E and Se (P > 0.05), whereas feed conversion was improved significantly by 125 mg/kg vitamin E (P < 0.05). The liver and lymphoid organ weights as well as IgM and IgG, antibody titers for primary and secondary antibody responses to SRBC were reduced significantly under HS (P < 0.05). Heat stress also resulted in a significant increase in H/L ratio (P < 0.05). Dietary vitamin E resulted in improvement of primary and secondary antibody responses both in TN and HS broilers (P < 0.05). The HS birds also showed an improved antibody titer in secondary response with high concentration of Se (P < 0.05). Vitamin E and Se had interactive effects on anti-SRBC titers; however, no consistent differences were found between dietary levels during the study. The H/L ratio decreased by feeding vitamin E at both levels either under HS or TN conditions (P < 0.05). The serum concentrations of glucose, triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol were increased but serum HDL-cholesterol decreased in HS broilers (P < 0.05).


Heat stress Selenium Vitamin E Immune response Blood parameters Broilers 



This work was funded by Razi University. We thank Ebrahim Khormali for excellent technical assistance (Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Tehran, Iran).


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Copyright information

© ISB 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mahmood Habibian
    • 1
    Email author
  • Shahab Ghazi
    • 1
  • Mohammad Mehdi Moeini
    • 1
  • Alireza Abdolmohammadi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Animal Science, Faculty of AgricultureRazi UniversityKermanshahIran

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