The gut microbiota has been extensively examined because it plays pivotal roles in poultry health, growth and development. In poultry flocks, gut microbiota and host health and productivity are interwoven and influenced by factors including host derived, environmental and nutritional factors, which consequently influence the growth and performance of these birds. The responsiveness of chickens’ gut microbes during stress conditions such as heat stress that is commonly encountered during production is of imminent concern because healthy maintenance of the host-gut-microbiota relationship will result in improved bird growth and productive performance. Previous studies have established the link between gut microbiota alterations and immune system dysfunction in poultry birds, which is primarily initiated by stressors. However, shifts in the gut microbiota could also be linked to several diseases that negatively affect the immune system. The goal of this mini review was to focus on understanding the impact of heat stress on the gut microbiota and how this affects the health of the birds. We also suggest possible ways to ameliorate stress in poultry for improved productivity. Good knowledge of these salient points would help to develop new approaches to provide a better environment and feeding conditions for poultry birds, as strategies toward achieving improved poultry production.
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