Submitted to: Veterinary Parasitology
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/1/2009
Publication Date: 9/15/2009
Citation: Lee, S.H., Lillehoj, H.S., Park, J.W., Jang, S.I., Morales, A., Garcia, D., Lucio, E., Larios, R., Victoria, G., Marrufo, D. 2009. Protective effect of hyperimmune egg yolk Ig Y antibodies against Eimeria tenella and Eimeria maxima infections. Veterinary Parasitology. 163:123-126. Interpretive Summary: This report describes a new method to control avian coccidiosis. Avian coccidiosis is caused by several distinct species of Eimeria parasites and cost poultry industry more than $ 3.2 million annual economic loss. Although drugs have been used successfully to control coccidiosis, increasing incidence of drug-resistant field strains of Eimeria compels the new strategy to control this infection. In this paper, ARS scientists and scientists at the Investigación Aplicada, S. A. de C. V. (IASA) in Puebla, Mexico work together to develop a commercially applicable new strategy using egg yolk-derived IgY antibodies to feed young birds to prevent avian coccidiosis. The results indicate a very successful strategy that can be fed to young birds with significant reduction of intestinal damage and improved body weight gains in treated birds. Furthermore, orally-administered Eimeria-specific IgY antibodies protective against more than one species of Eimeria. This is the first study that describes the development of commercially available hyperimmune antibodies which provide significant protection against avian coccidiosis in newly hatched chicks.
Technical Abstract: Avian coccidiosis is economically the most important parasitic disease of the poultry industry and is caused by intestinal infection with Eimeria spp. An alternative control strategy potentially applicable to intestinal diseases such as avian coccidiosis involves passive immunization using hyperimmune. The current study was conducted to evaluate the effect of dietary supplementation with a purified IgY fraction of egg yolk (SC) prepared from hens hyperimmunized with Eimeria oocysts on host protective immune responses against Eimeria tenella and Eimeria maxima. Broiler chickens were continuously fed from hatch with standard diets containing SC or a non-supplemented control diet, and orally challenged at day 7 post-hatch with 1.0 × 104 live E. tenella or E. maxima oocysts. Body weight gain between days 0 and 10, fecal oocyst shedding between days 5 and 10 post-infection, and lesion score were determined as parameters of protective immunity. SC significantly affects body weight gain of the birds infected with E. tenella at 0.02% and 0.05% of diet, and body weight gain of the birds infected with E. maxima at 0.05% of diet. Among the birds infected with E. tenella, oocyst shedding was reduced in the birds fed 0.05% SC diet (p<0.01). Lesion score was significantly lower only in the birds given 0.5% SC among the birds infected with 1.0 × 104 E. maxima (p<0.05) compared with the control birds fed the non-supplemented diet. We conclude that passive immunization of chickens with anti-coccidia IgY antibodies may provide protective immunity against coccidiosis due to E. tenella and E. maxima at different concentrations of diet by preventing body weight loss, oocysts production or intestinal infection.