Some of the important roles that amino acids play on maintaining and ameliorating the function of the gastrointestinal tract in broilers were discussed. It is evident that there is a lack of information regarding the losses of endogenous amino acids caused by enteric infections. However, from the available literature, it is possible to formulate some hypothesis which may drive further studies aiming towards a better understanding of the functions of the dietary amino acids and their metabolism within the gastrointestinal tract of broiler chickens submitted to various conditions. Some of the questions that remain unanswered include:
- Does coccidiosis alter the immune and metabolic pathways of enterocytes in order to use dietary amino acids more efficiently to cope with the infection?
- Do enteric infections increase the use of dietary amino acids by the intestinal cells because of:
- Higher tissue/body need?
- Compensatory for the lower digestibility?
- Similar tissue needs but lower feed intake?
- Do broilers have the same intestinal metabolism rate of amino acids, mainly threonine and methionine, as piglets?
- Do amino acids counteract the negative effects of enteric infections by changing the metabolism of enterocytes in order to reduce the endogenous losses of amino acids?
- Is tryptophan metabolized by the intestinal microbiota of chickens leading to the production of metabolites with beneficial actions on the host?