FIGURE 2-1. Dietary requirements set by the National Research Council (NRC) (shown as arrows) are usually based on concentrations that maximize growth and reproduction and prevent known deficiency pathologies. Optimal immunocompetence may occur at nutrient levels that are: higher than the NRC requirement (panel A); equal to the NRC requirement (panel B); or less than the NRC requirement (panel C).

components within the immune system should be measured and what functional endpoints are the best indicators of animal health.

Eventually target animal species need to be examined to determine specific concentrations of nutrients for optimal immunocompetence and health. Field tests and epidemiologic studies in production facilities will be necessary to verify the results with authentic disease challenges. Achieving this goal will be complicated because each species of animal has potential pathogens because and the defense to these organisms may respond differently to nutritional

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