Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory » Research » Research Project #431968

Research Project: Development of Control and Intervention Strategies for Avian Coccidiosis

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-32000-111-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 11, 2016
End Date: Oct 10, 2021

Objective 1: Develop improved in vitro assays to assess the level of resistance by the various species of Eimeria to coccidiostats. Objective 2: Develop and evaluate the efficacy of new vaccine regimens and new vaccine candidates using novel vaccine vector systems and platforms Subobjective 2.A. Improve gel-bead delivery of Eimeria oocysts to vaccinate chickens against aviancoccidiosis. Subobjective 2.B. Evaluate recombinant Eimeria proteins expressed by recombinant attenuated Salmonella vaccine (RASV) strains or incorporated into nanoparticles (NP) for eliciting protective immunity against coccidiosis infection. Objective 3: Assess the epidemiology of the population dynamics of Eimeria on poultry farms that will provide needed information on vaccine and treatment strategies as well as identification of the various strains on farms including potential new emerging species.

Live Eimeria oocysts vaccines will be improved by testing the efficacy of alternative delivery systems, including gel bead application to broiler and layer chicks at the hatchery or at the poultry farm. Successful vaccination will be determined by measuring Eimeria oocyst uptake and effects on chick performance after placement in poultry houses. The epidemiology of Eimeria will be studied during different coccidiosis control programs to provide insight on the efficacy of anticoccidial drug treatment or vaccination. Rapid methods for assessing anticoccidial drug sensitivity will be developed in order to obtain timely information on the drug resistance profiles of Eimeria in poultry houses. These methods include in vitro culture of Eimeria in the presence of various concentrations of ionophore drugs or synthetic chemicals used by the poultry industry to control avian coccidiosis. Alternative vaccination approaches including the development of recombinant Eimeria proteins for protecting chickens against coccidiosis will be explored as well as different methods for delivery these antigens to the chicken immune system.