In the current study whole poultry red mite antigens were extracted and birds were immunized subcutaneously with either antigen in adjuvant (antigen group) or PBS in adjuvant (control group). Immune responses of birds following immunization were investigated by ELISA and Western blotting, while vaccine efficacy was assessed by feeding of red mites on birds. Immunized birds showed a significant (P <0.05) increase in IgY titers after immunization compared to controls, while immunoglobulin A (IgA) and IgM did not change significantly. However, the antigen group had a generally higher increase in all immunoglobulin titers compared to the controls. Western blotting identified a number of protein bands at different molecular weights, although these were not different between treatments. PCR analysis of whole mite protein identified bacterial DNA that might have confounded immunological data. In addition, there was a trend toward reduced survival rate of red mites feeding on antigen-immunized birds, but the difference was not statistically significant compared to controls. This study demonstrates the potential for somatic red mite antigens to stimulate an antibody-mediated immune response, although this response did not confer protection to birds.
- Animals Antigens/ immunology Blotting, Western Cytokines/analysis Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay Feeding Behavior Immunoglobulin G/analysis Immunoglobulin M/analysis Mites/ immunology/physiology Pest Control Poultry/ parasitology Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction Vaccines/ immunology/therapeutic use