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Stimulation of Mucosal Immunity in Chickens to Protect Against Enteric and Respiratory Pathogens


Examine the development of local humoral immune response at mucosal surfaces in chickens and compare this response with systemic immunity. Develop vaccines for mucosal immunity against intestinal and respiratory pathogens in poultry and diagnostic tests that will predict effectiveness. Determine the mechanisms for generation of airborne pathogens. Develop controls to improve poultry health and enhance mucosal vaccine effectiveness by reducing airborne pathgens and dust.


Birds will be orally infected with salmonella enteritidis (SE) and serum and intestinal anti-SE antibody levels will be ascertained over time. The birds will be re-infected to determine the development of serum and intestinal immunological memory. Immune recognition of different components of SE in serum and the intestinal tract will be compared. The protective role of serum and mucosal antibodies will be ascertained by passive administration of antibodies to naive birds and following the progression of the infection. The development of immunity in the intestinal tract will be dilineated by immunoassay of intestinal contents and elispot analysis of purified lamina propria lymphocytes. Dust and bacterial counts will be measured in hatching cabinets and other poultry production areas. Dust reduction techniques studied will include lowering air velocity and using an electrostatic space charge with a grounded collection system. Experiments will be conducted to characterize airborne transmission of SE and to explore treatments for reducing it.

Holt, Peter
USDA - Agricultural Research Service
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