An experiment was conducted to exploit the immune-modulation effect of trivalent chromium (Cr) for augmenting immunity against peste des petits ruminants (PPR) in dwarf black Bengal goats (Capra hircus). The goats (n = 6 per treatment group) either received a basal diet devoid of supplemental Cr (control) or were supplemented with 0.5 mg Cr as chromic chloride (+Cr) for 60 days. Live weight gain and feed conversion efficiency improved (P < 0.05) in the +Cr dietary group. Supplemental Cr did not affect the total number of monocytes, eosinophils and basophils (P > 0.1) although total leukocytes increased (P < 0.05) and the ratio of neutrophils to lymphocytes narrowed down (P < 0.05) in the +Cr dietary group. The effect of Cr supplementation on variables of the intravenous glucose tolerance test (IVGTT) was inconclusive. Compared to the control group, the basal concentration of glucose (P < 0.05) and insulin (P < 0.001) was higher, clearance rate was slower (P < 0.05) and serum half-life was greater (P < 0.05) in the +Cr dietary group during the IVGTT. Over the duration of the experiment, serum concentration of insulin increased (P < 0.001) and that of cortisol decreased (P < 0.01) in the +Cr group, which also showed a relatively higher primary antibody (Ab) response against PPR on days 10 (P < 0.01) and 20 (P < 0.05) post-vaccination. In conclusion, the experiment indicated that supplementation of Cr as CrCl3, in the diet of non-stressed goats, may improve primary Ab response against PPR and help confer an augmented immunity to the disease besides promoting growth and feed conversion.
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