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item Lillehoj, Hyun

Submitted to: Latin American Poultry Congress
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2008
Publication Date: 5/1/2008
Citation: Lillehoj, H.S. 2008. Improving poultry innate immunity through novel immunological and genomics strategies. Latin American Poultry Congress, Sept. 25-28, 2007, Porte Allegro, Brazil. p. 53-72.

Interpretive Summary: There is an increasing interest to develop alternative control methods for controlling poultry diseases, especially the ones caused by enteric pathogens. However, the lack of basic information on host-pathogen immunobiology hinders a rapid progress in the development of novel vaccines. In this presentation, ARS scientists discuss future research directions in the developments of disease control strategies against poultry pathogens using molecular biology and genomics tools. With the completion of chicken genome sequencing and the development of new molecular tools to decipher the function of many poultry genes, increasing opportunities exist to apply these technology to basic poultry science research. Timely progress in understanding basic immunology of host response to mucosal pathogens will soon enable U.S. poultry industry to apply new knowledge in developing new vaccines and novel strategies that will lead to the reduction of economic losses due to enteric diseases.

Technical Abstract: With 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.