Open Access

Protective effects of Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract against ochratoxin A-induced nephrotoxicity and immunotoxicity in broiler chickens



Ochratoxin A (OTA) is a mycotoxin notably produced by Aspergillus and Penicillium spp. Bacillus subtilis fermentation extract (BSFE) contains specific enzymes which hydrolyse OTA. This study evaluated the efficiency of BSFE in ameliorating the immunotoxic and nephrotoxic effects of OTA in broiler chickens.

Material and Methods

Day-old broiler chicks were divided equally into four groups of ten: control, OTA (0.5 mg/kg feed), BSFE product (1 mL/L water) and OTA + BSFE at the same concentrations. The chicks were vaccinated against avian influenza, Newcastle disease, and infectious bronchitis, and lymphoproliferation was induced in all birds by phytohaemagglutinin-P (PHA-P). Serum samples were taken before sacrifice and organ tissue samples were taken after, in which renal function biomarkers were assayed and the presence of OTA residue was evaluated by high-performance thin-layer chromatography. Protein markers of apoptosis were determined by qPCR, and tissue lesions were examined histopathologically.


Exposure to OTA significantly decreased the antibody response to the vaccines and the lymphoproliferative response to PHA-P, and significantly elevated the renal function indicators: serum urea, uric acid and creatinine. It also induced oxidative stress (reduced catalase activity and glutathione concentration), lipid peroxidation (increased malondialdehyde content), apoptosis (increased Bax and Caspase-3 and decreased Bcl-2 gene levels) and pathological lesions in kidney, bursa of Fabricius, spleen and thymus tissue. Residues of OTA were detected in the serum and tissue. BSFE mitigated most of these toxic effects.


BSFE counters OTA-induced immunotoxicity and nephrotoxicity because of its content of carboxypeptidase and protease enzymes.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Life Sciences, Molecular Biology, Microbiology and Virology, other, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine