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Title: Immunopotentiating Effect of a Fomitella fraxinea Derived Lectin on Chicken Immunity and Resistance to Coccidiosis

item Lillehoj, Hyun

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/20/2006
Publication Date: 12/30/2006
Citation: Dalloul, R.A., Lillehoj, H.S., Lee, J., Lee, S., Chung, K. 2006. Immunopotentiating Effect of a Fomitella fraxinea Derived Lectin on Chicken Immunity and Resistance to Coccidiosis. Poultry Science. 85:446-451.

Interpretive Summary: Mushrooms and mushroom lectins have recently gained significant attention in medical research due to their immunoenhancing effects and their demonstrated potential in promoting health. In this paper, ARS scientists in collaboration with South Korean scientists discovered a new mushroom species (FFrl) whose extract significantly promoted innate immunity of poultry. Furthermore, treating poultry with crude FFrl extract improved gut immunity of poultry and protected against avian coccidia parasites which cause avian coccidiosis, the major parasitic disease of poultry with substantial economic burden to the industry. Although coccidiosis has been controlled by medication, there is a need for more efficient vaccines. With increasing incidence of drug resistant strains, there is an escalating public anxiety over chemical residues in meat and eggs. Thus develoment of alternative control strategy against coccidiosis is needed. In this study, we demonstrated the immunopotentiating effect of FFrL extracted from Fomitella fraxinea on poultry cell-mediated immunity and its protective effect on coccidiosis. These results will help industry to develop a non-drug dependant method to control coccidiosis.

Technical Abstract: This study reports a novel immunopotentiating effect of a lectin (FFrL) extracted from the mushroom Fomitella fraxinea on poultry cell mediated immunity and poultry coccidiosis. We describe the extraction of FFrL, its in vitro mitogenic activity and in vivo protection against an oral challenge infection with Eimeria acervulina. When tested on several cell types, crude FFrL agglutinated mouse erythrocytes and thymocytes and also various other cells including murine and human cell lines. However, crude FFrL did not agglutinate human erythrocytes. Crude FFrL showed a potent mitogenic activity on chicken splenic lymphocytes where at lower concentrations, it exerted stronger mitogenic activity than Concanavalin A, a well known potent mitogen for lymphocytes. Further, FFrL significantly induced (P < 0.05) nitric oxide secretion in HD11 cells and suppressed (P < 0.05) RP9 tumor cell growth both in a dose dependent fashion. When injected into eighteen day old chicken embryos followed by a post hatch oral E. acervulina challenge infection, FFrL treatment significantly protected chickens against weight loss associated with coccidiosis (P < 0.05). Injecting embryos with FFrL also resulted in significant reduction in oocyst shedding as compared to the control saline injected birds (P < 0.05). The results of this study demonstrate that FFrL can be an effective growth promoting and immunostimulating agent in poultry during coccidiosis.