Targeting Immunosuppression: How to build a good immune foundation

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.
calendar icon 21 June 2017
clock icon 2 minute read

By Dr. Dexter M. Abrigo, Merial Asia, adapted from articles written by Stephane Lemiere, Merial S.A.S., Lyon , France

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.

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To counter immunosuppression in chickens, it is best to maintain the integrity of the bursa so as to maximize protection. Maintaining the bursal integrity not only provides for a solid immune foundation but also to provide barriers for other avian pathogens. And this can be done with the use of a vector HVT+IBD (Vaxxitek HVT+IBD) vaccine applied at the hatchery either in ovo or at day old.

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