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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Protection against Coccidiosis: Role of Passive Immunity (Immediate Immunity) Mediated by Hyperimmune IgY Antibodies

item Lillehoj, Hyun
item Lee, Sung
item Morales, A
item Garcia, D
item Larios, R
item Victoria, G
item Marrufo, D
item Decannini, E
item Lucio, E

Submitted to: International Seminar Animal Parasitology Acapulco Mexico
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/22/2009
Publication Date: 9/1/2009
Citation: Lillehoj, H.S., Lee, S.H., Morales, A., Garcia, D., Larios, R., Victoria, G., Marrufo, D., Decannini, E., Lucio, E. 2009. Protection against Coccidiosis: Role of Passive Immunity (Immediate Immunity) Mediated by Hyperimmune IgY Antibodies. Asociacion National de Especialistas en Ciencias Avicolas de Mexico (ANECA), Acapulco, Mexico, p. 13-20.

Interpretive Summary: Although prophylactic use of anti-coccidia feed additives has been the primary method of controlling avian coccidiosis, alternative control methods are needed due to increasing concerns with prophylactic drug use and high cost of vaccines. Avian coccidiosis is caused by several distinct species of Eimeria parasites and costs poultry industry more than $ 3.2 million economic losses. Passive immunization relies on the transfer of humoral immunity in the form of active antibodies from one individual to another. This type of passive immunity using therapeutic application of antibodies which are specific against target antigens of interest have been widely used to prevent infectious diseases and to block the invasion of pathogens to host cells. In this paper, ARS scientists and scientists at the Investigacion Aplicada, S. A. (IASA), Puebla, Mexico, collaborated to develop a commercially available hyperimmune IgY product which reduces parasite invasion of host cells with significant reduction in the intestinal damage. Commercial product is called Supracox and is made of hyperimmune IgY egg yolk chicken antibodies which are specific against several different Eimeria species. The IgY antibodies in the yolk of avian eggs is an alternative to the serum antibodies because of its feasibility to produce large scale for commercial application, and the relative non-invasiveness of collection. The studies reported here clearly indicate potential of using chicken egg antibody (IgY), which is specific for certain stages of the Eimeria to reduce the body weight loss and decrease the fecal oocyst shedding to reduce economic loss due to avian coccidiosis. This finding could also be applied to develop similar strategies against other poultry pathogens.

Technical Abstract: Avian coccidiosis is a major parasitic disease of poultry with substantial economic consequences. Although good management practices and live vaccination with prophylactic medication have helped to reduce the spread of coccidiosis, alternative control strategies need to be developed due to the evidence of increasing incidence of drug-resistant Eimeria strains, limited availability of new drugs, lack of cross-protection mediated by live/attenuated parasite vaccines, and lack of comprehensive understanding of protective immune mechanisms. Therefore, it is necessary to develop alternative control strategies which are compatible with the current poultry production system to limit the use of anticoccidials and enhance productivity. In this article, an emerging novel concept of alternative prevention and/or treatment measures using non-chemical feed supplements, such as hyperimmune IgY antibodies, that effectively reduce parasite infectivity and enhance passive immunity will be discussed.

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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