A Natural Way to Control a Costly Parasite in Chickens Researchers use mushroom protein to fight(trị) coccidiosis.

Transcript of radio broadcast: 05 February 2007 This is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report. The chicken industry loses billions of dollars worldwide because of a disease called coccidiosis(bệnh trùng cầu). Coccidiosis is caused by parasites(ký sinh trùng). The single-cell organisms(thể đơn bào) infect(đầu độc) and destroy(phá hoại) cells(tế bào trong ruột) in the intestines. Infected chickens lose weight from the disease.Gà bị nhiễm bệnh bị giảm cân mắc bệnh) Less body weight means economic losses for producers.Trọng lượng gà bị giảm đi có nghĩa là bị thiệt hại về kinh tế đối với nhà sản xuất) The disease spreads from(lây lan từ loài chim qua phân của chúng) bird to bird through infectious droppings. Sometimes infected chickens die from the disease. The infection causes diarrhea, and infected animals may not want to eat. Other kinds of animals, including cows, also get coccidiosis. But research by Hyun Lillehoj and her team could offer a new way to reduce(giảm bớt) losses from the disease. Hyun Lillehoj is an immunologist(nhà ncứu miễn dịch) in the Agricultural Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture. She works in the Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory(phòng nghiên cứu bệnh ký sinh trùng ở động vật) in Beltsville, Maryland. She led a team of scientists from research centers in South Korea. She says many producers traditionally use drug treatments(thuốc điều trị) and live parasite vaccines(và vaccine để chồng bệnh trùng cầu) against coccidiosis. But the coccidia parasite is increasingly resistant to drug treatment(nhưng coci lại tăng khả năng kháng thuốc). Also(mặc dù một vài loại thuốc đã được sử dụng để trị bệnh như là các loại kháng sinh), some of the drugs used to treat the disease are antibiotics. Many people are concerned about antibiotics in animals because of the increasing problem of drug resistance(sức đề kháng) in humans.

The new method uses proteins from mushrooms. The proteins are called lectins. The lectins cause an animal's own defense system to release chemicals that fight the parasites. Mushroom lectin is injected into chicken embryos. The lectin is also added to drinking water for chickens. The team used a lectin from a mushroom found mainly in the stumps of black locust trees. The researchers injected the lectin into eighteen-day-old embryos. When the chickens came out of their eggs, the scientists infected them with parasites to test the treatment. The team reported in Poultry Science magazine last year that the treatment protected the chickens against weight loss. It also reduced the number of live parasites in their waste. Hyun Lillehoj and her team are seeking patent protection for the natural control method they developed. She tells us that she and her team are also looking for companies to work with to further develop it. This VOA Special English Agriculture Report was written by Jerilyn Watson. Transcripts and audio files are at voaspecialenglish.com. I'm Steve Ember.