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Vaccination with Eimeria tenella elongation factor-1α recombinant protein induces protective immunity against E. tenella and E. maxima infections

Lin, Rui-Qing, Lillehoj, Hyun S., Lee, Seung Kyoo, Oh, Sungtaek, Panebra, Alfredo, Lillehoj, Erik P.
Veterinary parasitology 2017 v.243 pp. 79-84
Eimeria tenella, Protozoa, antibodies, blood serum, broiler chickens, coccidiosis, cross immunity, digestive system diseases, molecular cloning, oocysts, poultry industry, poultry production, recombinant proteins, vaccination, vaccines
Avian coccidiosis is caused by multiple species of the apicomplexan protozoan, Eimeria, and is one of the most economically devastating enteric diseases for the poultry industry worldwide. Host immunity to Eimeria infection, however, is relatively species-specific. The ability to immunize chickens against different species of Eimeria using a single vaccine will have a major beneficial impact on commercial poultry production. In this paper, we describe the molecular cloning, purification, and vaccination efficacy of a novel Eimeria vaccine candidate, elongation factor-1α (EF-1α). One day-old broiler chickens were given two subcutaneous immunizations one week apart with E. coli-expressed E. tenella recombinant (r)EF-1α protein and evaluated for protection against challenge infection with E. tenella or E. maxima. rEF-1α-vaccinated chickens exhibited increased body weight gains, decreased fecal oocyst output, and greater serum anti-EF-1α antibody levels following challenge infection with either E. tenella or E. maxima compared with unimmunized controls. Vaccination with EF-1α may represent a new approach to inducing cross-protective immunity against avian coccidiosis in the field.