Role of Vaccination in the Control of Turkey Coccidiosis: Vaccine Associated Oocyst Shedding, Lesions, and Mucosal Gene Expression



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Coccidiosis vaccine associated side effects, oocyst shedding patterns, intestinal lesions, and mucosal gene expression in the turkey were studied. The first study examined vaccine associated side effects and oocyst shedding patterns under experimental conditions. Peak oocyst shedding occurred on days 5-6, 13-17, and 19-20 days post vaccination. Throughout the course of the study, several poults exhibited clinical coccidiosis. Based on body weights, growth was correlated with vaccine cycling.

The second study examined coccidiosis vaccine induced lesions and changes in mucosal gene expression on day 5, 10, 13, 17, and 20 days post vaccination. Poults were gavaged the equivalent of 0x, 1/2x, 1x, and 2x the available vaccine dose. Intestinal sections adjacent to the Meckel's diverticulum, ileocecal junction, and middle of the ceca were collected for histological analysis and gene expression. Measurements from the tip of the villus to the base of the lamina propria, villus width, and the muscularis mucosae thickness were acquired from the histological sections. Interleukin-10, IL-1beta, and GAPDH gene expression were measured by extracting mRNA in the tissues and quantified using real-time RT-qPCR.

Starting on day five post vaccination, the control group weighed significantly more than the group that received the 2x dose. Body weight and oocyst dose were inversely related through day 17. Intestinal measurements did not necessarily correlate with the vaccine dose, although there appears to be some correlation on day five. There were no significant changes in the mucosal gene expression of IL-10 and IL-1beta in the intestinal tissue adjacent to the Meckel's diverticulum throughout the course of the study. On day five post vaccination, IL-10 and IL-1beta were significantly upregulted in the ileocecal junction. Interleukin-10 was significantly upregulated on day 17 and IL-1beta was significanlty down regulated on day 20 in the ileocecal junction. Both IL-10 and IL-1beta were significantly upregulated in the ceca days 5, 10, and 13 post vaccination. Interleukin-10 was significnalty upregulated in the ceca on day 17 and significantly down regulated on day 20. Individual variation among poults in the same group merits further attention.