Eveline de Geus
Monday 12 March 2012
Respiratory immune responses in the chicken; towards development of mucosal avian influenza virus vaccines
Promotor: Prof.dr. Willem van Eden
Defence: 22 May 2012
The Dutch poultry industry consists of about 101 million chickens divided over 24,000 different farms. On the different farms about 45 million broiler chickens are kept for meat, almost 48 million layers are housed for egg production and 9 million broiler-breeders and layer-breeders are kept. Infections with AIV can result in significant economic losses. The risk and the size of an outbreak of AIV could be restricted by vaccination of poultry. The research described in this thesis aims to unravel respiratory immune responses in the chicken in order to develop an influenza vaccine that would be suitable for a rapid intervention strategy. The rational design of novel vaccines requires a comprehensive knowledge of the structure and function of the lung-associated immune system in birds in order to target vaccines appropriately and to provide efficient mucosal adjuvants. However, there is at the moment very limited knowledge about the lung-associated immune system in the chicken and in poultry in general which might be a consequence of the unique and complex anatomy and function of the avian lung.