Submitted to: Poultry Egg and News
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: February 1, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Avian coccidiosis causes significant economic losses (>$600 million) to poultry industry. Currently, medication is a major means of control. However, increasing incidence of drug resistance to coccidian parasites warrants the development of a new control strategy. In this review, ARS scientist summarizes new approaches involving immunological and molecular biological technologies. Immunological control strategy includes the development of cytokine based recombinant vaccine and the molecular biological strategy includes the development of recombinant sporozoite vaccine which can block parasite invasion of host lymphocytes. These new strategies for coccidiosis control will lead to a better control of coccidiosis which is a major parasitic disease of poultry.
Technical Abstract: Coccidiosis is a ubiquitous intestinal infection caused by many species of Eimeria protozoa that seriously impairs the growth and feed utilization of livestock and poultry. The ability to vaccinate for the control of coccidiosis would have a major impact on the poultry industry and reduce the current annual loss of over $440 million world-wide. Development of novel control strategies toward coccidial vaccine development is urgently needed. In this report, a new approach to identify potential coccidial vaccine antigens is discussed. This approach involves: (1) identification of the sporozoite receptor proteins of Eimeria responsible for recognition and penetration of host lymphocytes, and (2) investigation of the ability of recombinant receptor proteins to elicit protective immunity that block parasite invasion of host cells. Identification of the Eimeria-specific epitopes involved in the invasion of the host cells will lead to the development of a practical and effective immunological control strategy for coccidiosis.