2002 Volume 64 Issue 5 Pages 405-411
Protective effects of recombinant R7 (rR7) vaccine against Leucocytozoon caulleryi in chickens were studied. After injection of oil-adjuvanted rR7 vaccine into chickens, antibody titers against second-generation schizonts (2GS) antigen of L. caulleryi (anti-2GS antibody) rapidly rose in all the immunized chickens, reached to a peak value 2 weeks after injection, and the titers persisted through 4 or 5 months after injection. Chickens having high levels of the anti-2GS antibody titers (≥ 102,400 ) at pre-challenge completely protected against sporozoites challenge of L. caulleryi. After the challenge inoculation, relatively high parasitemia of L. caulleryi was observed in all the inadequately immunized chickens having low levels of the antibody titers (≤ 3,200 ) at pre-challenge, although some of them seemed to be clinically normal. Correlation of protective effects in the immunized chickens was observed between both prevention of appearance of clinical signs and parasitemia after parasites challenge and anti-2GS antibody titers of the chickens at pre-challenge. The present study shows that chicken leucocytozoonosis can be prevented by vaccination, and humoral immunity may play an important role in the control of chicken leucocytozoonosis.