Review/Oorsig Volume 22, Issue 02 - Page 4

Oorsig/Review Unlocking Solutions to Chronic Inflammation By Adam Geiger, Ph.D., dairy research nutritionist Marco Rebollo, DVM, poultry research specialist and Mark Wilson, Ph.D., swine reproductive physiologist, Zinpro Corporation Inflammation is a natural and essential component of the immune response to infection, pathogens and/or tissue damage. While often considered a negative reaction, inflammation serves as a protective response to pathogens or tissue damage. It also promotes blood flow and immune cell recruitment to the insult site, which assists the animal in eliminating the initial cause of injury and promotes affected tissue recovery. While an appropriate inflammatory response is necessary, excessive or prolonged inflammation can become detrimental to the animal in many ways. Animals suffering from chronic, prolonged inflammation may be unable to mount a successful immune response in the future. Chronic inflammation also pulls nutrients and energy away from other key functions within the animal such as growth, reproduction, and meat, milk or egg production. An animal undergoing an inflammatory response can easily lose more than one kilogram of energy (glucose) to the immune system in a day. This energy could be used for performance and production. Based on this loss alone, it can be argued that ameliorating an inflammatory response when possible needs to be a top priority for animal agriculture. Given the recent trend in many countries to move away from antibiotic use, methods to effectively manage and minimize inflammation are becoming increasingly important. Many potential dietary ingredients, including trace minerals, are now being promoted as alternatives to antibiotics in order to enhance animal wellness and performance in poultry, swine, and dairy and beef cattle. Since inflammation is intertwined with the immune response, conditions and feedstuffs or ingredients that help modulate the inflammatory response, and subsequent immune function, are vital to animal agriculture. Trace minerals are essential to all living creatures, and production animals are no exception. Recent data has shown 4 the benefit trace minerals provide to immune responses and associated inflammation (Chirase et al., 1994; Percival et al., 1998; Underwood and Suttle, 1999; Gaylean et al., 1999; Hudson et al., 2004; Kellogg et al., 2004; Enjalbert et al., 2006; Jahanian et al., 2008; Siciliano-Jones et al., 2008; Rabiee et al., 2010). How well a diet meets an animal’s trace mineral needs will vary by not only the amount of trace minerals consumed, but also by trace mineral source, level of antagonists in the diet and stress. Feeding complexed organic trace minerals has been heavily researched in many production species. Extensive peer-reviewed research has shown this unique trace mineral category, known as Performance Trace Minerals, to significantly improve livestock and poultry wellness and performance by minimizing the effects from both antagonists and stress on trace mineral availability. This review will highlight the role they plays in the immune response and mitigation of chronic inflammation. INFLAMMATION AND THE INNATE IMMUNE SYSTEM Inflammation and the Skin The first line of defense against a threat to immunity is epithelial tissue. Commonly referred to as the largest immune organ, skin bears the constant burden of protecting a body’s internal organs from damage and invading pathogens In ruminants, the importance of skin integrity to overall health is also well documented. One such area susceptible to invading organisms is the skin region near the hoof horn. Of particular interest is the disorder known as digital dermatitis. Acute (M2) digital dermatitis typically appears as a bright-red, active lesion on the skin above the heel bulb, and is caused by a host of bacteria invading the area when skin integrity is compromised. In particular, anaerobic bacteria (Spirochetes), such as Treponema species may