Submitted to: Japan Poultry Science
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 2000
Publication Date: N/A
Intensive rearing practices have been developed within the past few decades to keep pace with the increasing demand for the high quality, low cost protein source that poultry provides. A major negative consequence of these practices has been an increase in the incidence of diseases. Enteric diseases, in particular, have emerged as a major problem threatening the future viability of the poultry industry. Development of vaccines agains the major avian diseases has become a priority in the poultry industry. Protozoan parasites of the genus Eimeria and Cryptosporidium represent two major parasitic diseases which multiply in the gut of wide range of hosts, including poultry and livestock. However, development of drug resistance by coccidia parasites, the increasing cost of identifying new antibiotic compounds and public awareness of drug residues in foods warrant alternative methods to prevent parasitic diseases. To this end, enhanced understanding of basic immunobiology of gut-associated lymphoid tissues (GALT) will facilitate the development of alternate control strategy against these parasites. Because of the importance of cell-mediated immunity, coccidiosis vaccines must be capable of stimulating intestinal T cells. Future successful development of an effective vaccine against coccidiosis will depend on further investigation of protective immunity to Eimeria infection and identification of important immunogenic parasite molecules. This review will highlight recent progress in avian intestinal immune system and vaccine development against major avian enteric parasites, Eimeria and Cryptosporidium .