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Publication type: Journal Article
Document type: Full Paper

Year: 2010

Author(s): Liebhart, D; Windisch, M; Hess, M

Title: Oral vaccination of 1-day-old turkeys with in vitro attenuated Histomonas meleagridis protects against histomonosis and has no negative effect on performance.

Source: Avian Pathol. 2010; 39(5):399-403

Authors Vetmeduni Vienna:

Hess Michael
Liebhart Dieter
Windisch Manfred

Vetmed Research Units
University Clinic for Poultry and Fish Medicine, Clinical Unit of Poultry Medicine

One-day-old turkey poults were vaccinated against histomonosis (syn. histomoniasis) via the oral route by application of in vitro attenuated Histomonas meleagridis. Subsequently, two different groups composed of 14 birds each were challenged cloacally with highly virulent histomonads after 2 or 4 weeks. Two additional groups of non-vaccinated birds were infected with the challenge inoculum at the same time points. In addition, a group of 19 birds, of which 14 were vaccinated but not challenged, were kept for clinical and serological examinations. Non-vaccinated and non-challenged birds (n=10) represented the negative control group. All non-vaccinated but infected birds and 10 out of 14 vaccinated turkeys challenged 2 weeks post vaccination (w.p.v.) contracted severe histomonosis. Turkeys challenged 4 w.p.v. and all remaining birds used in this experiment did not show any pathognomonic clinical signs. In addition, no adverse effect regarding the weight gain could be observed in birds that were vaccinated but not challenged. The excretion of attenuated and virulent live histomonads was observed very infrequently by re-isolation, but transmission to in-contact birds was very efficient. Presence of antibodies was first noticed 3 w.p.v. and antibody levels remained above the cut-off value until termination of the experiment at 16 w.p.v. The present experiment demonstrates for the first time the potential efficacy of in vitro attenuated histomonads used as an orally applied vaccine to 1-day-old turkeys for protection against fatal histomonosis without affecting performance.

Keywords Pubmed: Administration, Oral
Poultry Diseases/prevention & control*
Protozoan Infections, Animal/prevention & control*
Protozoan Vaccines/adverse effects
Protozoan Vaccines/immunology*
Serologic Tests
Time Factors

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