Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A step towards new vaccines for most important chicken parasite

Date:
October 13, 2011
Source:
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Summary:
Researchers have taken the first step in developing a new type of vaccine to protect chickens against coccidiosis, the most important parasite of poultry globally. A vaccine of this type -- based on proteins from the coccidiosis bug rather than being derived from a live parasite -- could be produced on a larger scale than is currently possible so could be used to provide much more widespread protection to chicken flocks.

Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), among others, have taken the first step in developing a new type of vaccine to protect chickens against coccidiosis, the most important parasite of poultry globally.

A vaccine of this type -- based on proteins from the coccidiosis bug rather than being derived from a live parasite -- could be produced on a larger scale than is currently possible so could be used to provide much more widespread protection to chicken flocks.

Protecting against animal diseases is going to play an important role in ensuring global food security.

The researchers have produced a much more detailed picture of how coccidiosis attacks chickens, uncovering the protein molecules which are secreted onto the surface of the coccidiosis-causing-parasite, Eimeria, that allow it to attach-to and invade cells in a chicken's gut. The scientists also found that when purified and used to inoculate chickens, one of these molecules provided the birds with some protection against coccidiosis and so shows promise as the basis of a new vaccine.

The research was carried out by an international team with funding from BBSRC, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Medical Research Council (MRC) and the Wellcome Trust. The research is published October 13 in the journal PLoS Pathogens and the UK-based research took place at Imperial College London, the Institute for Animal Health, the University of Oxford and the Royal Veterinary College.

Professor Fiona Tomley of the Royal Veterinary College said "Coccidiosis is the most important parasite of poultry globally. Conservative estimates by the EU put the annual worldwide cost of coccidiosis at over 1billion so controlling it is very important economically but it is also valuable for improving the health and welfare of chickens."

Currently, coccidiosis is treated with antimicrobial drugs or using a vaccine derived from a live parasite. Both of these methods are problematic as drug resistance is widespread and the vaccine is relatively expensive to produce so cannot be used on a wide, preventative scale. Vaccines for some other diseases are based on single proteins rather than killed versions of the disease-causing bug. These so-called 'recombinant vaccines' offer a number of advantages over killed-disease vaccines as they are safer and can be produced more cheaply and quickly and on an industrial scale.

The protein revealed in this study could form the basis of a recombinant vaccine. It is called MIC3 and is important in the early stages of a coccidiosis infection. MIC3 is secreted by the Emeria parasite and binds to sugar molecules on the surface of cells in the caecum, a section of the large intestine. Another scientist involved in this project, Professor Ten Feizi, and her team at Imperial College London, used a new and powerful technology known as carbohydrate microarray to study the particular sugar molecules which the parasite's MIC3 protein seeks out and binds.

Professor Stephen Matthews of Imperial College London said "Finding a target protein that could form the basis of a new type of vaccine for coccidiosis has been the holy grail for researchers combating coccidiosis for some time. The high resolution detail afforded by NMR spectroscopy on recombinant vaccines provides important clues for their optimal design, and paves the way for cost-effective and widespread protection against this important poultry disease."

Professor Douglas Kell, BBSRC Chief Executive, said "Finding new ways to combat diseases of farmed animals is going to be important to ensure global food security -- but also to the UK economy. We have a valuable poultry breeding and production industry in this country so any steps towards a new vaccine for coccidiosis are a triumph. This work is a nice example of how studying the fundamental biology of a process at the most minute level could lead to new weapons in the fight against disease. It also underscores the increasing importance of biologics to the UK Bioeconomy."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Livia Lai, Janene Bumstead, Yan Liu, James Garnett, Maria A. Campanero-Rhodes, Damer P. Blake, Angelina S. Palma, Wengang Chai, David J. P. Ferguson, Peter Simpson, Ten Feizi, Fiona M. Tomley, Stephen Matthews. The Role of Sialyl Glycan Recognition in Host Tissue Tropism of the Avian Parasite Eimeria tenella. PLoS Pathogens, 2011; 7 (10): e1002296 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002296

Cite This Page:

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. "A step towards new vaccines for most important chicken parasite." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013184813.htm>.
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. (2011, October 13). A step towards new vaccines for most important chicken parasite. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013184813.htm
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council. "A step towards new vaccines for most important chicken parasite." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013184813.htm (accessed July 27, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

What's To Blame For Worst Ebola Outbreak In History?

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A U.S. doctor has tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus, as the worst-ever outbreak continues to grow. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

The New York Times Backs Pot Legalization

Newsy (July 27, 2014) The New York Times has officially endorsed the legalization of marijuana, but why now, and to what end? Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins