Submitted to: Proceedings of the Anniversary Celebration of Veterinary Medical College
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/30/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Several different Eimeria parasites cause severe damage in the intestine of chickens and result in a significant economic loss to the poultry industry. New strategies for controlling coccidiosis are needed since the current methods of control do not work. In order to develop various immunological and genetic control strategies against avian coccidiosis, ARS scientists have been conducting basic research in these areas. This report summarizes the current status of the development of new control strategies such as genetic selection of resistant chickens and DNA vaccines. This review will provide valuable information on coccidiosis control to the poultry industry.
Technical Abstract: U.S. poultry consumption has experienced phenomenal growth over the last 50 years. Accordingly, production problems associated with increasing demands for poultry products require technological interventions to improve both poultry quality and the nutritional needs of consumers. Coccidiosis caused by Eimeria spp., remains the major parasitic disease for the poultry industry. Although current coccidiosis control strategies depend heavily upon prophylactic medication, efforts are underway to develop drug-free chickens. In this regard, novel approaches based upon nature's own immunity and genetics are the current targets of our research. Overall, these approaches will guide development of an integrated parasite control strategy to enhance animal health and well-being. Genetic improvements to increase disease resistance through genetic selection and by insertion of new genetic material directly into chickens should be feasible in the very near future.