Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 15, 2012
Publication Date: August 27, 2012
Citation: Kapczynski, D.R., Zsak, A., Ewald, S., Suarez, D.L. 2012. Use of interferon treatment to protect chickens against highly pathogenic avian influenza [abstract]. 12th Avian Immunology Research Group Meeting. CDROM. Technical Abstract: Avian influenza (AI) is a significant public health concern and serious economic threat to the commercial poultry industry worldwide. While properly matched vaccines can be effective at limiting morbidity and mortality, the use of therapeutics in veterinary animals to combat this disease are relatively non-existent. Interferons (IFNs) are a group of polypeptides that are secreted from most all eukaryotic cells in response viral infection. Thus, induction of IFN-alpha results in an antiviral state which can decrease morbidity and mortality following viral infection. We have previously demonstrated the protective potential of IFN-alpha applied to poultry against low pathogenic avian influenza viruses. In those studies, intranasal application of IFN-alpha during infection reduced clinical signs of disease and the incidence of viral shedding. In the present studies, we evaluated protection of chickens against HPAI in birds during IFN-alpha application. We observed >90 percent protection from mortality with White Leghorn birds whereas White Rock birds were susceptible to HPAIV. Taken together, these studies show that IFN-alpha can protect chickens from disease associated with HPAIV and that host immunogenetics likely contributes to that protection.