Image_5_Protective Efficacy of Rhomboid-Like Protein 3 as a Candidate Antigen Against Eimeria maxima in Chickens.JPEG (73.03 kB)
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posted on 05.05.2021, 04:52 authored by Chen Chen, Di Tian, Junzhi Su, Xiaoqian Liu, Muhammad Ali A. Shah, Xiangrui Li, Lixin Xu, Ruofeng Yan, Xiaokai Song

Avian coccidiosis brings tremendous economic loss to the poultry industry worldwide. The third generation vaccine, including subunit and DNA vaccines, exhibited promising developmental prospects. In a previous study, we found rhomboid-like protein 3 of Eimeria maxima (EmROM3) was involved in infections by Eimeria species. However, the protective efficacy of EmROM3 against Eimeria maxima (E. maxima) remains unknown. In this study, chickens were intramuscularly immunized with the recombinant protein EmROM3 (rEmROM3) or pVAX1-EmROM3 to determine the EmROM3-induced immune response. The induced humoral immune response was determined by measuring serum IgG antibody levels in immunized chickens. The induced cellular immune response was detected by measuring the transcription level of immune related cytokines and the proportion of T cell subsets of the immunized chickens. Finally, the protective efficacy of the EmROM3 vaccine against E. maxima was evaluated by immunization-challenge trials. Results revealed that the purified rEmROM3 reacted with chicken anti-E. maxima serum. The recombinant plasmid of pVAX1-EmROM3 was transcribed and translated in the injected muscle from the vaccinated chickens. In experimental groups, the IgG titers, proportions of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and transcription level of splenic cytokines were significantly increased compared with the control groups. The immunization-challenge trial revealed that immunization with rEmROM3 or pVAX1-EmROM3 led to restored weight gain, alleviated enteric lesion, decreased oocyst output as well as the higher anticoccidial index (ACI), indicating partial protection against E. maxima. These results indicate that EmROM3 is an effective candidate antigen for developing novel vaccines against infection by E. maxima.

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