Necrotic enteritis (NE) is a global disease of poultry, which causes damage to the intestines, diarrhea and death in chickens. Caused by a specific bacteria, NE is a growing concern to the poultry industry, especially impacting in areas of the world where the use of preventative antibiotics is becoming forbidden in farming, such as the US. Estimations of the cost from loss of flocks have tripled from US$2billion in 2000 to US$6billion in 2015.
In a previous Bloomsbury SET project we developed a prototype vaccine which can be delivered to poultry using another poultry parasite to vaccinate the chickens. We have proven this works as a prototype, and in this new proposal we aim to generate important information on the chicken’s immune response when administrated as an oral vaccine. We will also compare the immune responses of the vaccine component using other methods of delivery including injection. Oral vaccination with the prototype vaccine is expected to generate a better response than an injected vaccine, as it targets the gut, which is where the bacteria causing NE would naturally infect the chicken.
Our partners in the project include MSD Animal Health who will also be looking at the effectiveness of the vaccine in trials. Data from these two approaches will be collated, and is likely to lead to further applications for commercialization of this potential new vaccine solution for poultry farmers.