Submitted to: World Poultry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2004
Publication Date: May 10, 2004
Citation: Lillehoj, H.S., Dalloul, R., Min, W. 2004. Enhancement of intestinal immunity to coccidiosis using cytokines, oligodinucleotides and probotics. World Poultry. Special Edition. 18-23.
Interpretive Summary: Chicken coccidiosis is caused by several species of Eimeria. These parasites infect the host intestine causing severe intestinal damage. Chickens infected with Eimeria are unable to grow normally due to poor nutrient absorption by the intestine. Currently, prophylactic medication is a major method to control coccidiosis. However, due to increasing incidence of drug-resistance of these parasites, new strategy is needed. In this review, ARS scientists provide most up-to-date review on our understanding of how various immunomodulators can enhance intestinal immunity to parasites in poultry. This new information will help poultry industry to develop novel control strategies against avian coccidiosis.
In livestock and poultry production, intensive rearing practices have lead to increased animal stress and disease. Intestinal parasitism is a major stress factor that can lead to malnutrition and lowered performance and production efficiency of livestock and poultry. Infectious agents, in general, cause significant stress to the host immune system. There have been increasing efforts to understand the interactions among nutrition, infection and immunity. Although these interactions are complex, it is generally agreed that a proper nutritional state is important for the maintenance of effective immune responses to infectious agents. Furthermore, basic knowledge on the interaction of nutrition, infection and immunity will enable potential immunological and/or nutritional control strategies toward economically important diseases including coccidiosis, salmonellosis, and cryptosporidiosis. Host responses to parasitic infections are complex and involve many facets of non-specific and specific immunity, the latter encompassing cellular and humoral immune mechanisms. Understanding the interplay between host responses and parasite life cycle stages in the gut is crucial for the design of new approaches to coccidiosis control. Our laboratory has been investigating basic immunobiology of host-parasite interactions in the gut in avian coccidiosis to identify natural effector molecules which possess immunoenhancing activity. It is with anticipated optimism that increased basic knowledge on the interaction of parasites and host immunity will stimulate the birth of novel immunological and immunonutritional concepts in intestinal parasitism.