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Immune protection of microneme 7 (EmMIC7) against Eimeria maxima challenge in chickens

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In the present study, the immune protective effects of recombinant microneme protein 7 of Eimeria maxima (rEmMIC7) and a DNA vaccine encoding this antigen (pVAX1-EmMIC7) on experimental challenge were evaluated. Two-week-old chickens were randomly divided into five groups. Experimental groups of chickens were immunized with 100 μg DNA vaccine pVAX1-MIC7 or 200 μg rEmMIC7, while control groups of chickens were injected with pVAX1 plasmid or sterile phosphate buffered saline (PBS). The results showed that the anti-EmMIC7 antibody titres in chickens of both rEmMIC7 and pVAX1-MIC7 groups were significantly higher as compared to PBS and pVAX1 control (P < .05). The splenocytes from both vaccinated groups of chickens displayed significantly greater proliferation response compared with the controls (P < .05). Serum from chickens immunized with pVAX1-MIC7 and rEmMIC7 displayed significantly high levels of interleukin-2, interferon-γ, IL-10, IL-17, tumour growth factor-β and IL-4 (P < .05) compared to those of negative controls. The challenge experiment results showed that both the recombinant antigen and the DNA vaccine could obviously alleviate jejunum lesions, body weight loss and enhance oocyst decrease ratio. The anti-coccidial index (ACI) of the pVAX1-MIC7 group was 167.84, higher than that of the recombinant MIC7 protein group, 167.10. Our data suggested that immunization with EmMIC7 was effective in imparting partial protection against E. maxima challenge in chickens and it could be an effective antigen candidate for the development of new vaccines against E. maxima.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agriculture University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, People's Republic of China

Publication date: September 3, 2015

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