Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 9, pp 8836–8842 | Cite as

Supplementing dietary rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) powder and vitamin E in broiler chickens: evaluation of humoral immune response, lymphoid organs, and blood proteins

  • Hossein Rostami
  • Alireza Seidavi
  • Mohammad Dadashbeiki
  • Yadollah Asadpour
  • João Simões
  • Assar Ali Shah
  • Vito Laudadio
  • Caterina Losacco
  • Antonella Perillo
  • Vincenzo TufarelliEmail author
Research Article


The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) powder (RP) and vitamin E (VE) at different levels on humoral immunity of broilers during a 42-day production cycle. A total of 270 1-day-old male chicks were assigned to nine groups with three replicates of ten birds each, and diets were supplemented with 0, 0.5, or 1.0% RP and 0, 100, or 200 mg/kg VE, respectively. Commercial-inactivated vaccines against avian influenza (AI) and Newcastle disease (ND) viruses, and living infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) vaccine were administered by spray method. Sheep red blood cells (SRBC) were administered subcutaneously. Blood samples were collected from birds 1 week after each vaccination to determine antibody titers. At the 42nd day, blood samples were also assessed for globulin level, and lymphoid tissues (thymus, spleen, and bursa) were weighed. Neither antibody titers against viruses nor lymphoid tissues weight were affected by RP and/or VE (P > 0.05) treatments. However, broilers supplemented with 0 mg/kg of VE had lower antibody titers against SRBC than those fed 100 mg/kg of VE (P < 0.05) at the 24th day. A significant RP × VE interaction effect (P < 0.05) on plasma globulin level was observed. The findings of our study suggest that dietary RP and VE additives can interact and modulate the humoral immunity of broilers, but not sufficiently to improve antibody titers against specific virus during a 42-day production cycle.


Chicken Immunity Rosemary Vitamin E Diet 



Financial support by Rasht Branch, Islamic Azad University, grant number 4.5830, is gratefully acknowledged.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

The study was approved by the ethics committees of the authors’ institutions.


  1. AOAC (2000) Official methods of analysis, 17th edn. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, GaithersburgGoogle Scholar
  2. Babu US, Wiesenfeld PL, Jenkins MY (1998) Effect of dietary rosemary extract on cell-mediated immunity of young rats. Plant Foods Hum Nutr 53(2):169–174. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bai N, He K, Roller M, Lai CS, Shao X, Pan MH, Ho CT (2010) Flavonoids and phenolic compounds from Rosmarinus officinalis. J Agric Food Chem 58(9):5363–5367. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Boa-Amponsem K, Price SE, Picard M, Geraert PA, Siegel PB (2000) Vitamin E and immune responses of broiler pureline chickens. Poult Sci 79(4):466–470. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Borrás-Linares I, Stojanović Z, Quirantes-Piné R, Arráez-Román D, Švarc-Gajić J, Fernández-Gutiérrez A, Segura-Carretero A (2014) Rosmarinus officinalis leaves as a natural source of bioactive compounds. Int J Mol Sci 15(11):20585–20606. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Botsoglou NA, Florou-Paneri P, Christaki E, Fletouris DJ, Spais AB (2002) Effect of dietary oregano essential oil on performance of chickens and on iron-induced lipid oxidation of breast, thigh and abdominal fat tissues. Brit. Poult Sci 43(2):223–230. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Chandrashekar PM, Venkatesh YP (2009) Identification of the protein components displaying immunomodulatory activity in aged garlic extract. J Ethnopharmacol 124(3):384–390. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Coles HE (1986) Veterinary clinical pathology, 4th edn. W.B. Saunders Co., USA, PhiladelphiaGoogle Scholar
  9. Corzo-Martínez M, Corzo N, Villamiel M (2007) Biological properties of onions and garlic. Trends Food Sci Technol 18(12):609–625. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cunningham CH (1971) Virologia Practica, 6th edn. Acribia, Zaragoza, p 260Google Scholar
  11. del Baño MJ, Lorente J, Castillo J, Benavente-García O, Marín MP, Del Río JA, Ibarra I (2004) Flavonoid distribution during the development of leaves, flowers, stems, and roots of Rosmarinus officinalis. Postulation of a biosynthetic pathway. J Agric Food Chem 52(16):4987–4992. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dhama K, Tiwari R, Khan RU, Chakroborty S, Gopi M, Kathik K, Saminathan M, Desingu PA, Sunkara LT (2014) Growth promoters and novel feed additives improving poultry production and health, bioactive principles and beneficial applications: the trends and advances—a review. Int J Pharmacol 10(3):129–159. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Diaz DJC, Feria CAR, Garcia JMC, Gaytan CN, Guzma MER, Montes ES (2012) Effects of arginine and vitamin e supplemented diets on the immunological response of broilers chickens. Trop Subtrop Agroecosyst 15:367–374Google Scholar
  14. Doumas BT, Watson WA, Biggs HG (1971) Albumin standards and the measurement of serum albumin with bromcresol green. Clin Chim Acta 31(1):87–96. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. El-Latif ASA, Saleh NS, Allam TS, Ghazy EW (2013) The effects of rosemary (Rosemarinus afficinalis) and garlic (Allium sativum) essential oils on performance, hematological, biochemical and immunological parameters of broiler chickens. Br. J Poult Sci 2:16–24Google Scholar
  16. Ghazalah AA, Ali AM (2008) Rosemary leaves as a dietary supplement for growth in broiler chickens. Int J Poult Sci 7(3):234–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Gornall AG, Bardawill CJ, David MM (1949) Determination of serum proteins by means of the biuret reaction. J Biol Chem 177(2):751–766Google Scholar
  18. Griminger P (1986) Lipid metabolism. In: Avian physiology. Springer, New York, pp 345–358. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Guo FC (2003) Mushroom and herb polysaccharides as alternatives for antimicrobial growth promoters in poultry. PhD Dissertation, Wageningen University, WageningenGoogle Scholar
  20. Hanieh H, Narabara K, Piao M, Gerile C, Abe A, Kondo Y (2010) Modulatory effects of two levels of dietary Alliums on immune response and certain immunological variables, following immunization, in White Leghorn chickens. Anim Sci J 81(6):673–680. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hosseini SA, Meimandipour A, Alami F, Mahdavi A, Mohiti-Asli M, Lotfollahian H, Cross D (2013) Effects of ground thyme and probiotic supplements in diets on broiler performance, blood biochemistry and immunological response to sheep red blood cells. Ital J Anim Sci 12(1):116–120CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Hosseini-Vashan SJ, Golian A, Yaghobfar A, Zarban A, Afzali N, Esmaeilinasab P (2012) Antioxidant status, immune system, blood metabolites and carcass characteristic of broiler chickens fed turmeric rhizome powder under heat stress. Afr J Biotechnol 11(94):16118–16125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jafari RA, Jalali MR, Ghorbanpoor M, Saraei SM (2008) Effect of dietary garlic on immune response of broiler chicks to live Newcastle Disease vaccine. Pak J Biol Sci 11(14):1848–1851. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Khaligh F, Sadeghi G, Karimi A, Vaziry A (2011) Evaluation of different medicinal plants blends in diets for broiler chickens. J Med Plant Res 5(10):1971–1977Google Scholar
  25. Khan RU, Naz S, Tufarelli V, Laudadio V (2012a) Potential applications of ginger (Zingiber officinale) in poultry diet. Worlds Poult Sci J 68(2):245–252. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Khan RU, Naz S, Javadani M, Nikousefat Z, Selvaggi M, Tufarelli V, Laudadio V (2012b) The use of turmeric (Curcuma longa) in poultry diets. Worlds Poult Sci J 68(1):97–103. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Khan RU, Rahman ZU, Nikousefat Z, Javdani M, Tufarelli V, Dario C, Selvaggi M, Laudadio V (2012c) Immunomodulating effects of vitamin E in broilers. Worlds Poult Sci J 68(1):31–40. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Khan RU, Rahman ZU, Javed I, Muhammad F (2014) Effect of vitamins, protein level and probiotics on immune response of molted male broiler breeders. J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr 98(4):620–627. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Konjufca VK, Bottje WG, Bersi TK, Erf GF (2004) Influence of dietary vitamin E on phagocytic functions of macrophages in broilers. Poult Sci 83(9):1530–1534. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Krishan G, Shukla SK, Bhatt P, Kumar R, Tiwari R, Malik YS, Dhama K (2015) Immunomodulatory and protective effects of a polyherbal formulation (immon) against infectious anemia virus infection in broiler. Int J Pharmacol 11(5):470–476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Leshchinsky TV, Klasing KC (2001) Relationship between the level of dietary vitamin E and the immune response of broiler chickens. Poult Sci 80(11):1590–1599. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nelson NA, Lakshmanan N, Lamont SJ (1995) Sheep red blood cell and Brucella abortus antibody responses in chickens selected for multitrait immunocompetence. Poult Sci 74(10):1603–1609. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Osman M, Yakout HM, Motawe HF, Ezz El-Arab WF (2010) Productive, physiological, immunological and economical effects of supplementing natural feed additives to broiler diets. Poult Sci 30:25–53Google Scholar
  34. Polat U, Yesilbag D, Eren M (2011) Serum biochemical profile of broiler chickens fed diets containing rosemary and rosemary volatile oil. J Biol Environ Sci 5(13):23–30Google Scholar
  35. Pourhossein Z, Qotbi AAA, Seidavi A, Laudadio V, Centoducati G, Tufarelli V (2015) Effect of different levels of dietary sweet orange (Citrus sinensis) peel extract on humoral immune system responses in broiler chickens. Anim Sci J 86(1):105–110. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Rahman Z u, Chand N, Khan RU (2017) The effect of vitamin E, L-carnitine and ginger on production traits, immune response and antioxidant status in two broiler strains exposed to chronic heat stress. Environ Sci Pollut Res 24(34):26851–26857. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ross JG, Christie G, Halliday WG, Jones RM (1976) Determination of haematology and blood chemistry values in healthy six-week old broiler hybrids. Avian Pathol 5(4):273–281. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rostami H, Seidavi A, Dadashbeiki M, Asadpour Y, Simões J (2015) Effects of different dietary Rosmarinus officinalis powder and vitamin e levels on the performance and gut gross morphometry of broiler chickens. Braz J Poult Sci 17:23–30Google Scholar
  39. Rostami H, Seidavi A, Dadashbeiki M, Asadpour Y, Simões J, Laudadio V, Milis C, Tufarelli V (2017) Oxidative stability of chilled broiler breast meat as affected by dietary supplementation with rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) powder and vitamin E. Food Sci Nutr 5(4):904–910. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sakamoto MI, Murakami AE, Silveira TGV, Fernande JIM, de Oliveira CAL (2006) Influence of glutamine and vitamin E on the performance and the immune responses of broiler chickens. Braz J Poult Sci 8(4):243–249Google Scholar
  41. Schwarz K, Ternes W, Schmauderer E (1992) Antioxidative constituents of Rosmarinus officinalis and Salvia officinalis. III. Stability of phenolic diterpenes of rosemary extracts under thermal stress as required for technological processes. Z Lebensm Unters Forsch 195(2):104–107. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Toghyani M, Tohidi M, Gheisari AA, Tabeidian SA (2010) Performance, immunity, serum biochemical and hematological parameters in broiler chicks fed dietary thyme as alternative for an antibiotic growth promoter. Afr J Biotechnol 9(40):6819–6825Google Scholar
  43. Ulbricht C, Abrams TR, Brigham A, Ceurvels J, Clubb J, Curtiss W, Isaac R (2010) An evidence-based systematic review of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) by the Natural Standard Research Collaboration. J Diet Suppl 7(4):351–413. CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hossein Rostami
    • 1
  • Alireza Seidavi
    • 1
  • Mohammad Dadashbeiki
    • 2
  • Yadollah Asadpour
    • 3
  • João Simões
    • 4
  • Assar Ali Shah
    • 5
  • Vito Laudadio
    • 6
  • Caterina Losacco
    • 7
  • Antonella Perillo
    • 7
  • Vincenzo Tufarelli
    • 6
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Animal Science, Rasht BranchIslamic Azad UniversityRashtIran
  2. 2.Department of Veterinary Science, Rasht BranchIslamic Azad UniversityRashtIran
  3. 3.Agricultural and Natural Resources Research Center of GuilanRashtIran
  4. 4.Department of Veterinary ScienceUniversity of Trás-os-Montes e Alto DouroVila RealPortugal
  5. 5.College of Animal Science and TechnologyNanjing Agricultural UniversityWeigangChina
  6. 6.Section of Veterinary Science and Animal Production, Department of DETOUniversity of Bari Aldo MoroValenzanoItaly
  7. 7.Department of Veterinary MedicineUniversity of Bari Aldo MoroValenzanoItaly

Personalised recommendations