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Systemic and Mucosal Antibody Responses to Selected Cell Surface Antigens of Avian Pathogenic Escherichia coli in Experimentally Infected Chickens

Kariyawasam, S., Wilkie, B.N., Hunter, D.B., Gyles, C.L.
Avian diseases 2002 v.46 no.3 pp. 668-678
Escherichia coli, adhesins, air sacs, antibodies, bird diseases, blood serum, broiler chickens, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, fimbriae, immune response, immunoglobulin A, immunoglobulin G, immunoglobulin M, lipopolysaccharides, phenol, recombinant proteins, respiratory tract diseases, surface antigens, vaccination, vaccines
The immune response to four cell surface antigens of avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) was investigated as the first step in identifying vaccine candidates. F1 pilus adhesin, P pilus adhesin, aerobactin receptor protein, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from an O78 E. coli (strain EC99) were used as antigens. The proteins were purified as 6xhistidine-tagged recombinant proteins and LPS was purified from a phenol/water extract. Groups of 12 broiler chickens were vaccinated intranasally with the EC99 strain and challenged with the same strain 10 days later via the intra-air sac route. The chickens that survived were euthanatized 10 days postchallenge. Scores were assigned to infected chickens on the basis of lesions and recovery of the challenge E. coli. The immunoglobulin (Ig) IgG, IgA, and IgM antibodies to the four antigens were measured in serum and air sac washings in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Among the chickens that were not vaccinated prior to challenge, two died and three of the survivors were ill, whereas, of the chickens that were vaccinated prior to challenge, one died and one of the survivors became ill. After the intranasal vaccination, high antibody activity against all four antigens was associated with each Ig isotype in serum and air sac washings. IgG was the predominant isotype of Ig in air sac washings as detected by radial immunodiffusion. Chickens that were not ill after challenge had greater IgG, IgA, and IgM antibody activity against all four antigens in serum and air sac washings than did sick chickens. Thus, all of the antigens tested appear to be suitable candidates for a vaccine to protect chickens from respiratory tract infections caused by APEC.