Inclusion of Hermetia illucens larvae reared on fish offal to the diet of broiler quails: Effect on immunity and caecal microbial populations D., van Emmenes L., Cullere M., Giaccone V., Pieterse E., Hoffman L.C., Dalle Zotte A. (2020): Inclusion of Hermetia illucens larvae reared on fish offal to the diet of broiler quails: Effect on immunity and caecal microbial populations. Czech J. Anim. Sci., 65: 213-223.
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Hermetia illucens (black soldier fly, BSF) larvae meal has shown to be a good protein source in monogastric animal diets, but published data regarding its immunomodulatory properties is limited. For this purpose, a study has been conducted to evaluate the effects of larvae meal on selected immune parameters and caecal bacterial counts of broiler quails. Hermetia illucens larvae were reared on two substrates (100% chicken feed, BSF-M, or 50% chicken feed + 50% fish offal, BSF-F) in order to manipulate the fatty acid profile of larvae meal by increasing the long-chain omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids which are known for their immunomodulatory properties. For immunological purposes, a total of 60 birds were randomly allocated to three dietary treatment groups (n = 20/treatment): control quail diet (CON), or quail diets including 10% of BSF-F or BSF-M larvae meal. Blood was collected 27 and 37 days after the trial commenced to determine the humoral immune response, serum lysozyme concentrations, serum bactericidal activity and protein fractions of the serum. The dietary inclusion of BSF-M meal resulted in an increased secondary humoral immune response compared to the CON treatment group (P < 0.01). Quails in the BSF-F treatment had significantly higher serum lysozyme activity compared to quails in the CON and BSF-M treatment group. Both larvae meals significantly increased cell-mediated immunity on day 37 (P < 0.001) but they had no effect on serum bactericidal activity. Both larvae meal sources resulted in higher α2-globulin levels on both sampling days, whereas γ-globulin levels were significantly lower in quails with the BSF-F treatment on day 27. Dietary treatments had no significant effect on caecal bacterial counts. In conclusion, the present study showed that the larvae meal had immunostimulatory effects in quails, but the rearing substrate of larvae strongly influenced the immunostimulatory properties of the larvae meal.

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