Targeting immunosuppression: How to build a good immune foundation

Dr. D.M. Abrigo
July 11, 2017
By Dr. D.M. Abrigo
July 11, 2017 - Significant economic losses are attributed to immunosuppression in the poultry industry worldwide.

Exposure to stressors in the poultry production environment, along with infectious diseases (viral or bacterial) that impair immunity, contribute to an overall reduction in flock health, causing a decrease in productivity.

Among the different viral diseases, infectious bursal disease (IBD), Marek’s and chicken infectious anemia (CIA), are the mainly recognized and implicated viruses, causing direct negative effects on the immune system, thereby increasing susceptibility to other diseases and interfering with vaccinal immunity.

In immunosuppressed birds, vaccine take can be decreased or post-vaccine reactions can be excessive, allowing secondary bacterial infections, like E. coli, to enter and manifest, thus requiring antibiotic treatment.

It is therefore imperative, to reduce immunosuppression to enhance the immune system, and to establish barriers to the most common routes of infection by avian pathogens. And this can only be done by building a good and solid immune foundation.

How to establish a good foundation? A solid immune foundation not only enhances the immune system, but also prevents entry of other pathogens by establishing barriers. This can be done by passively protecting the progeny through breeder vaccination programs and by protecting growing chickens against immunosuppressive diseases, and their economic consequences.

Many of the vaccinations performed in the field are being moved to the hatchery, which can be done either in ovo, as early as 18 days of embryonation, and at day-old of newly hatched birds. READ MORE

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