Biological characteristics of Chinese precocious strain of eimeria acervulina and its immune efficacy against different field strains

Wu, L.-L.; Lin, R.-Q.; Sun, M.-F.; Liu, L.-D.; Duan, W.-F.; Zou, S.-S.; Yuan, Z.-G.; Weng, Y.-B.

Avian Diseases 58(3): 367-372


ISSN/ISBN: 0005-2086
PMID: 25518429
DOI: 10.1637/10706-102413.1
Accession: 057305229

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In this study, the biologic characteristics of one experimental precocious strain of Eimeria acervulina and seven field isolates from different geographic locations in China were compared, and the immune efficacy of two precocious strains against coccidiosis in chickens was assessed to explore their potential use as coccidiosis vaccines. All the different strains were purified by single oocyst separation and their monospecificity was confirmed using E acervulina-specific PCR assays. The average sizes of E. acervulina oocysts were 18.28-20.19 X 14.09-14.79 microm and the shape indexes were from 1.28 to 1.40. The prepatent periods ranged from 93 to 115 hr, except for the Heyuan precocious strain (HYP; 75 hr). Chickens infected with Huadu field strain (GHD) produced the highest oocyst output whereas HYP induced the lowest level. When inoculated with 50,000 sporulated oocysts or more, the average weight gains of infected chickens were reduced, with apparent clinical symptoms. To assess the immunogenicity of precocious strains HYP and Baoding (BDP), birds were orally immunized and challenged with seven different field strains of E. acervulina. Body weight gain, fecal oocyst output, and gut lesion scores were compared to evaluate their vaccine potential. The results showed that the average body weight gains of chickens in all the vaccinated and challenged groups were higher than those of nonvaccinated and challenged groups. In general, oocyst shedding was reduced 34.39%-95.31% and gut lesion scores decreased 31.03%-86.21% compared with unvaccinated and challenged control chickens. In summary, this study indicated that the precocious strains of E. acervulina could induce a protective immune effect with various responses against coccidiosis caused by different field strains.