Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG) is one of the major pathogens that cause respiratory signs in the poultry industry. To control MG infection, vaccination is the useful procedure. In this study, MG vaccine was developed by using the local Thai MG isolate (AHRL 20/52). Chitosan, a polysaccharide adjuvant derived from crustaceans, has been successfully used in various vaccines. The objectives of this study were to prepare MG bacterins by using chitosan, serving as an adjuvant, to determine protection against the field Thai MG isolate and to evaluate tissue reaction at the injection site. Six groups of 6-wk-old layers (20 birds/group) were intramuscularly vaccinated with bacterin containing various concentrations of chitosan (0.25, 0.5, and 1%), a commercially available MG bacterin, respectively. Sham-negative and sham-positive controls were included in the experiment. Six weeks postvaccination, all groups excluding the negative control were intratracheally challenged with 100 μl of 108 colony-forming units of Thai MG isolate (AHRL 58/46). At 1, 2, 3, and 4 wk postchallenge, five birds from each group were euthanatized and necropsied to determine the gross and histopathologic lesions. For a tissue reaction study, three groups of 24 birds each including sham negative control, 0.5% chitosan bacterin and commercial vaccine were given as previously described. At 1, 2, and 3 wk postvaccination, 8 birds from each group were randomly selected to euthanatize, necropsy, and determine the gross lesions, and 3 out of 8 birds were randomly selected to determine the histopathologic lesions. The results demonstrated that prepared bacterins induced lower numbers of positive antibody birds compared to the commercial vaccine, but groups receiving bacterin containing 0.5 and 1% chitosan exhibited significantly lower tracheal lesions than the positive control and commercial vaccine groups (P < 0.05). Chitosan formulation caused less tissue reaction than the commercial vaccine. These results demonstrated that the prepared MG bacterins could effectively reduce MG-induced pathologic lesions and that chitosan could be used as adjuvant in MG bacterins.
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