Saturday, February 16, 2013

Innate immune cocktail partially protects broilers against cellulitis and septicemia.

Innate immune cocktail partially protects broilers against cellulitis and septicemia.



Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), International Vaccine Centre (Intervac), University of Saskatchewan, 120 Veterinary Road, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, S7N 5E3.


Antimicrobial/host defense peptides (A/HDP) are natural compounds that are found in leucocyte cells and on the skin and bodily fluids of birds, reptiles, and mammals. Not only do they possess antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitic characteristics but they also stimulate the host immune system to combat infectious diseases and may play a role in the promotion of wound repair. Gamma-amino butyric acid (GABA) is an amino acid-based inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain that has also been shown to promote wound healing on skin. The objective of this study was to establish a therapeutic cocktail that protects birds against Escherichia coli-related disease and lesions in broilers. We injected a cocktail of six A/HDPs with or without GABA into 3-wk-old broilers by a subcutaneous or intramuscular route followed 24 hr later by challenge with a field isolate of serogroup O2 E. coli. Birds were examined for 5-6 days post-E. coli challenge and clinical, pathologic, and bacteriologic assessments were conducted. Birds that were subcutaneously injected with an A/HDP plus GABA cocktail had significantly higher survival rates and lower levels of bacteremia (P < 0.05), but a similar percentage of the surviving birds had large cellulitis lesions compared to the surviving phosphate-buffered saline-injected control birds. When this cocktail was administered intramuscularly, there was a trend towards protection against E. coli-related death, although the results were not statistically significant and there was no reduction in bacteremia. A significant number of birds had a reduced bacterial load on cellulitis lesions but no reduction in lesion size, which suggests that when the cocktail was administered intramuscularly it failed to protect against cellulitis. These results suggest that the route of administration of the cocktail influences disease outcome. Gene expression analysis was performed to investigate whether the cocktail induced immunomodulatory functions in avian cells that complemented their antimicrobial and anti-endotoxic effects. A/HDP plus GABA mediated temporal induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines but no induction of any of the chemokines under investigation. This cocktail shows potential to protect against E. coli-related death, which is a major economic burden to the poultry industry.

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