Evaluation of Escherichia coli outer membrane protein EtsC as a candidate antigen for vaccine against Avian Pathogenic E. coli infections in chickens

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Couri, David
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Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression
Iowa State University Conferences and Symposia

The Symposium provides undergraduates from all academic disciplines with an opportunity to share their research with the university community and other guests through conference-style oral presentations. The Symposium represents part of a larger effort of Iowa State University to enhance, support, and celebrate undergraduate research activity.

Though coordinated by the University Honors Program, all undergraduate students are eligible and encouraged to participate in the Symposium. Undergraduates conducting research but not yet ready to present their work are encouraged to attend the Symposium to learn about the presentation process and students not currently involved in research are encouraged to attend the Symposium to learn about the broad range of undergraduate research activities that are taking place at ISU.

The first Symposium was held in April 2007. The 39 students who presented research and their mentors collectively represented all of ISU's Colleges: Agriculture and Life Sciences, Business, Design, Engineering, Human Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, and the Graduate College. The event has grown to regularly include more than 100 students presenting on topics that span the broad range of disciplines studied at ISU.

Food Science and Human Nutrition

With the average American consuming 26 chickens per year, poultry is in high demand. Avian related infectious disease is rising and bacteria pose serious concerns for the health of livestock and possess zoonotic potential. The goal of the study is to evaluate surface protein EtsC highly prevalent among Avian Pathogenic E. coli (APEC), as a vaccine antigen candidate against these pathogens in chickens. The objective of this study is to determine antibody response in chickens vaccinated with the EtsC recombinant antigen. Eighteen 4 day-old White Leghorns (N=9/group) were subcutaneously vaccinated twice at two-week interval with PBS (control) or 50μg of EtsC containing CpG adjuvant. On day 33, blood serum was collected, and then used in an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) to detect antibody response against EtsC and samples were run in duplicate. Preliminary results show that EtsC elicited antibodies in vaccinated chickens. The stimulation of the immune response may provide protection against APEC. Commercial use of this vaccine would be beneficial for livestock, ultimately reducing the number of chickens lost to the disease. To evaluate broad protection ability of the vaccine, we will use in vitro studies to test bactericidal ability of sera and splenocytes against multiple APEC serotypes.