Effects of High Dietary Levels of Selenium and Copper on Growth Performance, Selected Blood Biochemical Parameters and Antibody Production Against Newcastle Disease Vaccine Virus in Broiler Chickens

Document Type : Research Article


1 Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Razi University, Kermanshah, Iran

2 Department of Animal Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran


An experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of high dietary levels of selenium (as sodium selenite) and copper (as copper sulphate) on growth performance, serum biochemical parameters and antibody production against Newcastle disease vaccine (NDV) virus in broiler chickens. A total of 160 Ross 308 unsexed day old broiler chickens were randomly allocated into four treatment groups (n=40 per group) each comprising four replicates (n=10 per replicate). Group 1 was served as control and the chickens in this group were fed a standard diet without any selenium or copper supplementation. Chickens in Group 2 received a diet with selenium supplementation at the rate of 1 mg/kg of feed; Group 3 received a diet with copper supplementation at the rate of 200 mg/kg of feed; Group 4 received a diet supplemented with a combination of 1 mg/kg selenium and 200 mg/kg copper. Combined supplementation of selenium and copper decreased feed intake and body weight gain and increased feed conversion ratio (P<0.05). These effects were not observed when selenium or copper was supplemented alone (P>0.05). Serum uric acid and triglycerides concentrations decreased (P<0.05) and tended to be increased (P=0.11), respectively, by feeding copper and selenium. Moreover, serum albumin concentration was significantly increased in chickens given copper supplementation alone (P<0.05), but not in those supplemented with copper and selenium (P>0.05). Dietary treatments had no effects on antibody titres against NDV at day 28 of age (P>0.05); antibody titres against NDV, however, decreased at day 42 of age in broilers receiving a combination of copper and selenium (P<0.05). The results clearly indicate a negative interaction between the usage of sodium selenite and copper sulphate on growth performance in broiler chickens. More studies should be performed to clarify the action modes of such effects.


AAFCO. (2003). Official Publication. Association of American Feed Control Officials Incorporated, Olympia, WA.
Aaseth J. and Ringstad J. (1991). Synergism and antagonism of different elements in relation to selenium and cadmium. Pages 29-46 in Human and Animal Health in Relation to Circulation Processes of Selenium and Cadmium. J. Lag, (Ed.) Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi, Oslo, Norway.
Apsīte M., Bērzina N. and Basova N. (2012). Effects of high but non-toxic dietary intake of selenium and copper on indices of the antioxidant defence system and on accumulation of trace elements in chicks. Proc. Latvian. Acad. Sci. Sec. B. 66, 117-124.
Arias V.J. and Koutsos E.A. (2006). Effects of copper source and level on intestinal physiology and growth of broiler chickens. Poult. Sci. 85, 999-1007.
Aviagen. (2002). Ross Broiler Management Manual. Avigen Ltd., Midlothian, UK.
Aydemir T., Öztürk R., Bozkaya L.A. and Tarhan L. (2000). Effects of antioxidant vitamins A, C, E and trace elements Cu, Se on CuZn SOD, GSH-Px, CAT and LPO levels in chicken erythrocytes. Cell. Biochem. Funct. 18, 109-115.
Burk R.F., Foster K.A., Greenfield P.M. and Kiker K.W. (1974). Binding of simultaneously administered inorganic selenium and mercury to a rat plasma protein. Exp. Biol. Med. 145, 782-785.
Cantor A.H., Moorhead P.D. and Musser M.A. (1982). Comparative effects of sodium selenite and selenomethionine upon nutritional muscular dystrophy, selenium-dependent glutathione peroxidase, and tissue selenium concentrations of turkey poults. Poult. Sci. 61, 478-484.
Chmielnicka J., Komsta-Szumska E. and Zareba G. (1983). Effect of interaction between 65Zn, mercury and selenium in rats (retention, metallothionein, endogenous copper). Arc. Toxicol. 53, 165-175.
Council Directive. (2004). List of the Authorized Additives in Feedingstuffs 2004/C 50/01. Official of Journal. European Union C50/1.
Dougherty J.J. and Hoekstra W.G. (1982). Effects of vitamin E and selenium on copper-induced lipid peroxidation in Vivo and on acute copper toxicity. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol Med. 169, 201-208.
Engelking L.R. (2004). Vitamins and trace elements. Pp. 280-284 in Textbook of Veterinary Physiological Chemistry. C. Cann, (Ed.), Jackson WY, Teton New Media.
Ghazi S., Habibian M., Moeini M.M. and Abdolmohammadi A.R. (2012). Effects of dietary selenium, vitamin E, and their combination on growth, serum metabolites, and antioxidant defense system in skeletal muscle of broilers under heat stress. Biol. Trace Elem. Res. 148, 322-330.
Gladyshev V.N. and Hatfield D.L. (2010). Selenocysteine biosynthesis, selenoproteins, and selenoproteomes. Pp. 3-27 in Recoding: Expansion of Decoding Rules Enriches Gene Expression. J.F. Atkins and R.F. Gesteland, (Eds.), Springer, New York, NY.
Habibian M., Ghazi S., Moeini M.M. and Abdolmohammadi A. (2014). Effects of dietary selenium and vitamin E on immune response and biological blood parameters of broilers reared under thermoneutral or heat stress conditions. Int. J. Biometeorol. 58, 741-752.
Harris E.D., Blount J.E. and Leach R.M. (1980). Localization of lysyl oxidase in hen oviduct: implications in egg shell membrane formation and composition. Science. 208, 55-56.
Hosseini S., Arshami J. and Torshizi M.E. (2011). Viral antibody titer and leukocyte subset responses to graded copper and zinc in broiler chicks. Asian J. Anim. Vet. Adv. 6, 80-87.
Jegede A.V., Oduguwa O.O., Bamgbose A.M., Fanimo A.O. and Nollet L. (2011). Growth response, blood characteristics and copper accumulation in organs of broilers fed on diets supplemented with organic and inorganic dietary copper sources. Br. Poult. Sci. 52, 133-139.
Kanchana G. and Jeyanthi G.P. (2010). The effect of supplementation of diet with vitamin-E and selenium and their combinations on the performance and lipid profiles of layer chickens. Int. J. Pharm. Bio Sci. 1, 1-11.
Kumar P.A., Ana M.S.A., Vijayasarathi S.K., Gowda R.S. and Rao S. (2003). Pathology of lymphoid organs in aflatoxicosis and ochratoxicosis and immunomodulatory effect of vitamin E and selenium in broiler chicken. Indian J. Vet. Pathol. 27, 102-106.
Lien T.F., Chen K.L., Wu C.P. and Lu J.J. (2004). Effects of supplemental copper and chromium on the serum and egg traits of laying hens. Br. Poult. Sci. 45, 535-539.
Lu L., Wang R.L., Zhang Z.J., Steward F.A., Luo X. and Liu B. (2010). Effect of dietary supplementation with copper sulfate or tribasic copper chloride on the growth performance, liver copper concentrations of broilers fed in floor pens, and stabilities of vitamin E and phytase in feeds. Biol.TraceElem.Res. 138, 181-189.
Marquardt W.W., Snyder D.B., Savage P.K., Kadavil S.K. and Yancey F.S. (1985). Antibody response to Newcastle disease virus given by two different routes as measured by ELISA and hemagglutination-inhibition test and associated tracheal immunity. Avian Dis. 29, 71-79.
NRC. (1994). Nutrient Requirements of Poultry, 9th Rev. Ed. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
Pappas A.C., Zoidis E., Surai P.F. and Zervas G. (2008). Selenoproteins and maternal nutrition. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. Br. 151, 361-372.
Payvastegan S., Farhoomand P. and Delfani N. (2013). Growth performance, organ weights and, blood parameters of broilers fed diets containing graded levels of dietary canola meal and supplemental copper. J. Poult. Sci. 50, 354-363.
Ryu Y.C., Rhee M.S., Lee K.M. and Kim B.C. (2005). Effects of different levels of dietary supplemental selenium on performance, lipid oxidation, and color stability of broiler chicks. Poult. Sci. 84, 809-815.
Saeedi M.R. (2010). Effect of supplemental organic and inorganic copper on performance, immune responses and blood parameters in broiler chicks MS Thesis. Isfahan University of Technology, Isfahan, Iran.
Samanta B., Biswas A. and Ghosh P.R. 2011. Effects of dietary copper supplementation on production performance and plasma biochemical parameters in broiler chickens. Br. Poult. Sci. 52, 573-577.
Shahzad M.N., Javed M.T., Shabir S., Irfan M. and Hussain R. (2012). Effects of feeding urea and copper sulphate in different combinations on live body weight, carcass weight, percent weight to body weight of different organs and histopathological tissue changes in broilers. Exp. Toxicol. Pathol. 64, 141-147.
Skrivan M., Skrivanova V., Marounek M., Tumova E. and Wolf J. (2000). Influence of dietary fat source and copper supplementation on broiler performance, fatty acid profile of meat and depot fat, and on cholesterol content in meat. Br. Poult. Sci. 41, 608-614.
Stef D., Drinceanu D., Stef L., Julean C., Druga M., Marcu A. and Biron R. (2006). The effect of different levels of copper in broiler chicken feeding. Pp. 647–651 in Proc. 23th Workshop, Macro and Trace Elemen., Friedrich Schiller University Jena.
Surai P.F. (2002). Selenium in poultry nutrition I. antioxidant properties, deficiency and toxicity. World’s Poult. Sci. J. 58, 333-348.
Swain B.K., Johri T.S. and Majumdar S. 2000. Effect of supplementation of vitamin E, selenium and their different combinations on the performance and immune response of broilers. Br. Poult. Sci. 41, 287-292.
Tatum L., Shankar P., Boylan L.M. and Spallholz J.E. (2000). Effect of dietary copper on selenium toxicity in Fischer 344 rats. Biol. Trace Elem. Res. 77, 241-249.
Twomey P.J., Viljoen A., House I.M., Reynolds T.M. and Wierzbicki A.S. (2005). Relationship between serum copper, ceruloplasmin, and non-ceruloplasmin-bound copper in routine clinical practice. Clin. Chem. 51, 1558-1559.
Valko M., Morris H. and Cronin M.T.D. (2005). Metals, toxicity and oxidative stress. Curr. Med. Chem. 12, 1161-1208.
Vokal-Borek H. (1979). Selenium. University of Stockholm, Institute of Theoretical Physics, Stockholm, Sweden.
Wang T. and Guo Z. (2006). Copper in medicine: homeostasis, chelation therapy and antitumor drug design. Curr. Med. Chem. 13, 525-537.