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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Biosciences & Biotechnology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #324533

Title: The role of host genetic factors and host immunity in necrotic enteritis

item OH, S.T. - US Department Of Agriculture (USDA)
item Lillehoj, Hyun

Submitted to: Avian Pathology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/2/2016
Publication Date: 6/1/2016
Citation: Oh, S., Lillehoj, H.S. 2016. The role of host genetic factors and host immunity in necrotic enteritis. Avian Pathology. 45(3):313-316. doi: 10.1080/03079457.2016.1154503.

Interpretive Summary: Multiple challenges confront the rising demand for poultry food products, including governmental restrictions on the use of antibiotics, particularly those that are used to promote the animal growth. Necrotic enteritis (NE) is caused by an intestinal bacteria which produces several gut-damaging toxins. Although NE has been controlled by growth promoting antibiotics, there is a timely need to develop a new solution to reduce the negative consequences of NE with increasing regulatory bans on using drugs in animal production. In this mini-review, ARS scientists give an overview of the current state of knowledge on chicken immune system and chicken immune response to NE-causing pathogens. New studies on host genetics using new genomics technology is revealing the nature of host-pathogen relationship and the identity of many different biological pathways that control poultry’s immune response to this complex disease. Understanding host genetic factors that control NE susceptibility will lead to potential genetic manipulation of host and pathogens that will mitigate the use of antibiotics in poultry production. This paper will help industry as well as researchers who are interested in NE control to identify future directions for NE control.

Technical Abstract: The increasing number of legislative restrictions and the voluntary withdrawal of antibiotic growth promoters worldwide will continue to impact poultry production and health. The rising incidence of Clostridium infections and development of necrotic enteritis (NE) in commercial chickens has been associated with the withdrawal of antibiotics during poultry production. High-throughput genomic analysis of intestinal tissues from NE-afflicted chickens showed alterations in the local immunity and gut microbiota. Therefore, a better understanding of host- and environmentally-related factors on Clostridium perfringens infections will be necessary for the development of effective sustainable strategies aimed to reduce the negative consequences of NE and other Clostridium-related diseases. In this short review, we summarize the current knowledge on the role of host genomics and immunity in NE. The limited progress in understanding the complexity of host-pathogen interactions in NE underscores the urgent need for more fundamental research in host immunity against Clostridium pathogens in order to develop effective control strategies against NE.