Coccidiosis control in broilers
Intracellular protozoan parasites of genusEimeria cause the disease coccidiosis in chickens, which is the economicallymost important disease in commercial broiler production. The overall aim of theproject is to generate novel knowledge about the induction of protectiveimmunity to Eimeria infections inchickens by monitoring host-parasite interaction in vivo (at the transcriptome level in parasite infected tissuesand in cell function assays) in experimentally infected birds. We will 1)identify proteins that are induced and signalling pathways that are activatedin response to parasite infection in the infected host cell and in immunecells; 2) identify parasite proteins/mechanisms involved in evasion and inductionof the immune response; 3) identify crucial immune mechanisms involved inprotective immunity against the parasites. The results generated hereby arenovel and will enable us to continue the project by evaluating adjuvants andnovel sub-unit vaccines for induction of protective immune responses. Ourresults will hence create new means to control poultry coccidiosis, which willimprove animal health and welfare, the economy of the poultry producers and inthe long run contribute to improving global food resources. Furthermore,knowledge gained from these studies will contribute to the generalunderstanding of immunity to Apicompexan parasites and also to the field ofchicken immunology.