Submitted to: World Poultry Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: May 2, 2001
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Coccidiosis is an intestinal infection caused by intracellular protozoan parasites which belong to several different species of Eimeria. Coccidiosis seriously impairs the growth and feed utilization of livestock and poultry. Drugs are currently used to control coccidiosis. However, due to the increasing incidence of drug-resistant strains of field coccidia, a novel control strategy is needed. Since the life cycle of the organism and the host immune responses to the coccidia parasites are complex, the coccidia vaccine development has been difficult. Thus, a better understanding of how the host immune system interacts with the parasites will enhance our chances for the development of a new control strategy. In this presentation, an ARS scientist summarizes a new development in chicken immunology which is pertinent to the intestinal response to coccidia. This information will help the industry and the poultry scientists to develop a new control strategy against coccidiosis.
Technical Abstract: Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is secreted by activated T-lymphocytes and controls several important aspects of cell-mediated immunity. Ability to enhance host innate and adaptive immune responses to microbial pathogens using chicken cytokines will have a major effect on future control of poultry diseases. To explore a possibility of using IL-2 to manipulate host immunity in poultry, newly hatched chickens were injected with naked DNA carrying IL-2 using a needleless injector and various aspects of host immunity were evaluated. Chicken IL-2 induced increased percentages of various T lymphocyte subpopulations and enhanced spontaneous cytotoxicity of spleen cells against tumor target cells. These results demonstrate a potential of cytokines as immunoenhancer in poultry