This study describes a novel immunization strategy against avian coccidiosis using exosomes derived from Eimeria parasite antigen (Ag)-loaded dendritic cells (DCs). Chicken intestinal DCs were isolated and pulsed in vitro with a mixture of sporozoiteextracted Ags from Eimeria tenella, E. maxima, and E. acervulina, and the cell-derived exosomes were isolated. Chickens were nonimmunized or immunized intramuscularly with exosomes and subsequently noninfected or coinfected with E. tenella, E. maxima, and E. acervulina oocysts. Immune parameters compared among the nonimmunized/noninfected, nonimmunized/ infected, and immunized/infected groups were the numbers of cells secreting Th1 cytokines, T h2 cytokines, interleukin-16 (IL-16), and Ag-reactive antibodies in vitro and in vivo readouts of protective immunity against Eimeria infection. Cecal tonsils, Peyer's patches, and spleens of immunized and infected chickens had increased numbers of cells secreting the IL-16 and the T h1 cytokines IL-2 and gamma interferon, greater Ag-stimulated proliferative responses, and higher numbers of Ag-reactive IgGand IgA-producing cells following in vitro stimulation with the sporozoite Ags compared with the nonimmunized/noninfected and nonimmunized/infected controls. In contrast, the numbers of cells secreting the T h2 cytokines IL-4 and IL-10 were diminished in immunized and infected chickens compared with the nonimmunized/noninfected and the nonimmunized/infected controls. Chickens immunized with Ag-loaded exosomes and infected in vivo with Eimeria oocysts had increased body weight gains, reduced feed conversion ratios, diminished fecal oocyst shedding, lessened intestinal lesion scores, and reduced mortality compared with the nonimmunized/infected controls. These results suggest that successful field vaccination against avian coccidiosis using exosomes derived from DCs incubated with Ags isolated from Eimeria species may be possible. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology.
del Cacho, E., Gallego, M., Lee, S. H., Lillehoj, H. S., Quilez, J., Lillehoj, E. P., & Sánchez-Acedo, C. (2012). Induction of protective immunity against Eimeria tenella, Eimeria maxima, and Eimeria acervulina infections using dendritic cell-derived exosomes. Infection and Immunity, 80(5), 1909–1916. https://doi.org/10.1128/IAI.06413-11