Skip to main content
ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #221579


item Lillehoj, Hyun

Submitted to: Journal of Korean Poultry Science
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/28/2007
Publication Date: 12/30/2007
Citation: Lillehoj, H.S. 2007. Host innate immunity against intestinal parasites. Journal of Korean Poultry Science. 34:77-83.

Interpretive Summary: Chicken meat is a major protein source in the American diet and also represents a major U.S. export particularly to developing countries where increasing meat consumption parallels national economic growth. Thus, improving the efficiency of U.S. poultry production will have a positive impact on our national broiler industry profitability and trade competitiveness in international markets both now and in the future. Infectious diseases are one of the greatest threats to the viability of the food animal industry. Coccidiosis is a poultry disease of substantial economic importance, estimated to cost the U.S. industry greater than $700 million annually. In the absence of efficient vaccines to control this disease and the emergence of new antigenic variants of Eimeria, the broiler industry has relied upon prophylactic medication. However, anti-coccidial drugs are expensive and their effectiveness is hindered by widespread parasite drug resistance and the high cost of new drug development and consumer concern about drug residues in the food supply may eventually force the industry to eliminate this practice. In this paper, ARS scientist reviews a new genomics strategy which will facilitate the development of alternative, non-drug dependant method to control coccidiosis. With the recent improvements of sequencing technologies, and in particular the publication of the chicken genome sequence together with the large-scale sequencing of transcribed sequences, have opened the field of functional genomics. New technology combining genomic and immunological technologies is defined as immunogenomics and will facilitate studying complex immunological processes such as immune response to complex disease. This information will help poultry industry to develop novel strategy to control enteric diseases.

Technical Abstract: In the poultry industry, there are mounting 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. Thorough investigation of the immunogenetic responses involved in host-pathogen interactions will lead to the development of new and effective strategies for improving poultry health, food safety and the economic viability of the US poultry industry. In this paper, I describe the development of immunogenomic and proteomic tools to fundamentally determine and characterize the immunological mechanisms of the avian host to economically significant mucosal pathogens such as Eimeria. Recent completion of poultry genome sequencing and the development of several tissue-specific cDNA libraries in chickens are facilitating the rapid application of functional immunogenomics in the poultry disease research. Furthermore, research involving functional genomics, immunology and bioinformatics is providing novel insights into the processes of disease and immunity to microbial pathogens at mucosal surfaces. In this presentation, a new strategy of global gene expression using avian macrophage (AMM) to characterize the multiple pathways related to the variable immune responses of the host to Eimeria is described. This functional immunogenomics approach will increase current understanding of how mucosal immunity to infectious agents operates, and how it may be enhanced to enable the rational development of new and effective strategies against coccidiosis and other mucosal pathogens.