Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 28, 2011
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: With increasing human population that is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050, there is a timely need to develop sustainable strategies to produce safe poultry meat products as a high protein dietary source. One of the challenges for agricultural scientists is to control field infectious diseases effectively. In this paper, ARS scientists discuss the current issues on emerging field infectious diseases affecting the U.S. poultry production. This review paper’s main focus is on understanding host innate immunity, risk factors and potential strategies to control necrotic enteritis (NE) since NE is a high priority disease which has been identified by the U.S. Poultry Industry. New developments in decreasing economic losses caused by bacterial and protozoal infectious diseases in poultry are discussed as well as new approaches to reduce the use of antibiotics in poultry production using natural products. The new information will enhance our ability to develop novel strategies to manage gut infections and to reduce economic losses incurred by emerging field infections in poultry.
The increasing trends of legislative restrictions and voluntary removal of antibiotic growth promoters worldwide has already impacted, and will continue to affect, poultry production and animal health. Necrotic enteritis (NE) is being considered among the most important infectious diseases in the current poultry production system globally with estimated annual economic loss of more than $ 2 billion largely due to medical treatments and impaired growth performance. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop rational, alternative, and integrated management strategies not only to control, but also to prevent NE. In both humans and many warm-blooded animals, NE is caused by Clostridium perfringens, a gram-positive, anaerobic, spore-forming bacterium. In order to accomplish these goals, better understanding of host- and environmentally-related factors on the development of NE and potential vaccination strategies against C. perfringens infection will be necessary. Furthermore, a reliable and reproducible NE disease model is needed for characterization of C. perfringens pathogenesis and host protective immunity. This review summarizes recent developments in NE disease models, pathogenesis, host immunity, risk factors, and vaccine development for C. perfringens-associated NE in poultry.