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Determination of best candidates for novel orally delivered therapeutic candidates to combat spread of coccidiosis in poultry
Title: Chief Operating Officer
Phone: (901) 755-6868
Title: Executive Vice President
Phone: (901) 490-5857
Avian coccidiosis is the major parasitic disease of poultry that can result in the deaths of millions of birds in a short time. Prophylactic medication and live parasite vaccines are employed as therapeutics. The development of parasite strains resistant to drug treatments, and immune-evasive mutations introduced in response to live parasite treatments will soon limit the effectiveness. The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has developed three promising candidate therapeutics, NK-lysin (treatment), cNK-2 (treatment - single biopeptide of NK-Lysin), and 3-1e (vaccine) that circumvent such issues. Without a safe, effective, and cost-efficient delivery method, these therapeutics remain impractical. One opportunity is to combine the formulations with an oral-delivery platform such as one developed by US BIOLOGIC. The entities have entered into a research partnership to combine these technologies to utilize an intestine-targeted delivery vector carrying NK-lysin, cNK-2, and/or 3-1e genes in a novel oral delivery formulation that will lead to enhanced host immunity to coccidiosis to reduce gut damage caused by intracellular parasitism. The goal of this project is the development of a stable vaccine or treatment-coated chicken feed that will control coccidiosis infection upon an administered challenge. To determine the most viable candidate of the three, the researchers will create in silico models of each, engineer each in liquid form, and then administer the gavages in a small-scale poultry study at the ARS. A successfully commercialized product would offer a transformative tool for poultry farmers to limit destruction caused by coccidiosis, encouraging better food security, and limiting threats from bioterrorism.
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *