Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 11, 2008
Publication Date: July 24, 2008
Citation: Lillehoj, H.S., Kim, C., Keeler, C.L., Zhang, S. 2008. Immunogenomic approaches to study host immunity to enteric pathogens. Poultry Science. 86:1491-1500.
Interpretive Summary: In the poultry industry, there are mounting concerns over increasing governmental regulations of the use of in-feed antibiotic growth promoters, which historically have been used to raise poultry under high density housing conditions. In addition, questions concerning the ability of current vaccines to adequately protect against emerging hypervirulent strains of pathogens, and a lack of suitable, cost effective adjuvants are raising new interest in the development of alternative control strategies against poultry pathogens such as Eimeria and Salmonella. In this paper, ARS scientists and scientists at the University of Delaware and Mississippi State University describe studies on the comprehensive investigation of the immunobiology of host-pathogen interactions in coccidiosis and salmonellosis. These information will help the novel development of novel effective alternative control strategies for these pathogens. This knowledge will be used by poultry industry to make application of immunogenomic and proteomic tools to enteric disease research to enhance our understanding of basic immunological mechanisms of the avian host, but also to develop efficient vaccination protocols against pathogens of economic importance to the poultry industry.
With increasing consumer’s demands for safe poultry products, effective control of disease-causing pathogens is becoming a major challenge to the poultry industry. Many chicken pathogens enter the host through the gastrointestinal tract, and over the past few decades in-feed antibiotics and active vaccination have been the two main mechanisms of disease control. However, increasing public concerns are prompting government regulations on the use of growth promoting drugs in animal production, and the ability of current vaccines to protect against emerging hypervirulent strains of pathogens is becoming an issue. Therefore, there is a need to develop alternative control strategies against poultry pathogens of economic importance, as well as to carry out basic research to enhance understanding of host-pathogen interactions at local sites of infection. Effective control strategies against pathogens can only be accomplished by comprehensive analysis of the basic immunobiology of host-pathogen interactions. Recent sequencing of the poultry genome and the availability of several tissue-specific cDNA microarrays are facilitating the rapid application of functional immunogenomic technologies to poultry disease research. Studies using functional genomic, immunology and bioinformatic approaches have provided novel insights into disease processes and protective immunity to chicken pathogens. In this review, we summarize recent published literature concerning the host response to Eimeria and Salmonella infections with emphasis on our studies using immunogenomic tools to investigate and characterize the mechanisms of avian immunity to these mucosal pathogens. The results clearly indicate that this immunogenomic approach will lead to increased understanding of immune responses to infectious agents that will enable the development of effective prevention strategies against mucosal pathogens.