Submitted to: Handbook of Vertebrate Immunology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: April 30, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Avian coccidiosis is the major parasitic disease of poultry which cause an annual economic loss of >$600 million. Drugs are mainly used to control coccidiosis. Due to increasing incidence of drug resistance of coccidia, a novel strategy of coccidiosis control is currently sought. This report summarizes our current understanding of the avian intestinal immune system and demonstrates the role of various effector cells and lymphokines in host disease resistance to microbial agents. This article will provide valuable information to poultry scientists and industry and will further increase our knowledge of the avian immune system.
In chickens as in mammalian systems, a separate mucosal immune system exists. It exhibits a number of unique features including antigen presenting cells, immunoregulatory cells, and effector cell types distinct from their counterparts in the systemic immune system (reviewed in Lillehoj, 1991). It is now widely accepted that the common mucosal immune system consists of two separate but interconnected compartments; mucosal inductive sites which include the nasal-associated and gut-associated lymphoid tissues strategically located where they encounter environmental antigens and mucosal effector sites which include the lamina propria (LP) of the intestine and the upper respiratory tract (reviewed in McGhee et al., 1989).