Coarse spray application of a coccidia vaccine for correct oocyst ingestion

Proper oocyst distribution is a key point for the success of spray application of a coccidia vaccine. Generally speaking, a coccidia vaccine is a suspension of sporulated oocysts in a PBS solution. Because of this fact and because of the characteristics of the oocysts, there are some differences to a common viral freeze-dried vaccine that must be taken into account during the vaccination process.

There are several methods by which coccidia vaccines can be applied, but probably the most convenient, consistent, reliable and accurate way is via coarse spray in the hatchery. Spraying the vaccine directly on to the feed risks desiccating the oocysts and that is one of the few weak points of oocysts.

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Can we enhance pecking and preening for oocyst ingestion in coarse spray vaccination against coccidiosis?

Uniform ingestion of coccidiosis vaccines made of attenuated sporulated oocysts is of paramount importance for the correct intake of these vaccines and subsequent onset of immunity and has to take place soon after the vaccine is coarse sprayed over the chicks. In order to achieve this, we need to enhance the pecking and preening behaviour of the chicks with the help of a colour and an aroma.

 

The application of vaccines via coarse spray was conceived mainly for the oral administration of coccidiosis vaccines made of sporulated oocysts.

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Attenuated strains in coccidiosis vaccines

With the currently increasing problems of drug-resistance and pressures from consumers to ban drugs from animal feeds, there is a pressing need to move away from chemotherapeutic control of coccidiosis towards vaccination. Most commercially available coccidiosis vaccines contain live oocysts of non-attenuated or attenuated strains of different Eimeria species, with the attenuated commercial vaccines produced using different attenuation methods.

The following video explains the process of attenuation of vaccine strains by precociousness:

 

As the world’s poultry production continues to grow, so do concerns about the control of Eimeria infections that cause coccidiosis, which remains one of the most commonly reported diseases of chickens. The ubiquity of chicken Eimeria precludes eradication so the key role in control of the disease is played by hygiene, anticoccidial drugs and vaccines.

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Oocyst vaccine production: A challenge for animal health companies


Prevention of coccidiosis in poultry relies on live vaccines. Ionophores act as coccidiostasts by maintaining a certain level of contact with the oocyst parasite but vaccines are the only products that are able to generate a good level of specific immunity from the very beginning. Oocyst production in itself is a challenge for those companies producing vaccines

Vaccines have been considered as a method of control of coccidiosis since the early 1950s when the first products appeared. In view of the complexity of the immunity established to fight against the disease, it is necessary to work with the infective part of the parasite, i.e. the sporulated oocyst. This has been the mode of action of coccidiosis vaccines. The first vaccines were produced from pathogenic oocysts gathered in the field.

oocysts-o--5-species-included-in-HIPRACOX

Microscopic picture (x400) of the oocysts of 5 species included in HIPRACOX® vaccine.

The oocysts were roughly processed to obtain a suspension containing a minimum quantity of sporulated oocysts. Obviously, at this time it was quite difficult to obtain a uniform number of these oocysts and the process of sporulation could not guarantee the number needed for complete immunization.

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