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Title: Improving poultry innate immunity through novel immunological and genomics strategies

item Lillehoj, Hyun

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/1/2007
Publication Date: 9/1/2007
Citation: Lillehoj, H.S. 2007. Improving poultry innate immunity through novel immunological and genomics strategies. Conf. of Research Workers in Animal Diseases, Porte Alegro, Brazil, September 2007.

Interpretive Summary: Traditionally, disease control strategies rely heavily on chemoprophylaxis and to a certain extent on live vaccines. Coccidiosis is the major parasitic disease of poultry with substantial economic burden estimated to cost the industry greater than $3 billion in annual losses worldwide. In-feed medication for prevention and treatment contributes a major portion of those costs and alternative new strategies are urgently needed. In this presentation, ARS scientist summarizes up-to-date information on poultry immune system and new technologies which are emerging to help to understand poultry immune system and poultry immune response to infections and vaccination. The information presented in this paper will help scientists at industry to devise better vaccines and alternative non-drug strategies against poultry diseases.

Technical Abstract: Wth increasing demand for poultry products including meat and eggs as a major protein source in the American diet, poultry industry is facing new challenges for producing healthy chickens. One of the major challenges is the disease control, specially those infections that are caused by pathogens entering the mucosal surface. Control of pathogens infecting the mucosa represents a major challenge to the poultry industry since more than 95 % of pathogens enter the host through the mucosal surfaces of the respiratory, digestive and reproductive tracts. Traditionally, vaccines and antibiotics have been used to control infections. However, there are increasing concerns over the ability of current vaccines to adequately protect against emerging hyper-virulent strains of pathogens and a lack of suitable, cost effective adjuvants. Therefore, better understanding of host mucosal immune system and its innate immune mechanisms that mediate local host defense response against pathogens will be necessary to develop new and effective strategies for improving poultry health, food safety and the sustain the economic viability of the US poultry industry. In this presentation, I will give an overview of poultry immune system and our current understanding of local innate immunity to Eimeria and describe how newly developed immunological and molecular genomics techniques are facilitating our understanding of host-pathogen immunobiology in enteric diseases. Comprehensive understanding of complexity of local host-pathogen interactions in many mucosal diseases in poultry will lead to logical new strategies that will effectively reduce economic losses due to these pathogens.