Title page for ETD etd-12212004-140717

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Meade, Sharonda Madrica
Author's Email Address shmeade@vt.edu
URN etd-12212004-140717
Title The Effect of Social Stress and Vitamin C on Immunity and Response to Hemorrhagic Enteritis Virus in Turkeys
Degree PhD
Department Veterinary Medical Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Pierson, Frank William Committee Chair
Ahmed, S. Ansar Committee Member
Larsen, Calvert T. Committee Member
McElroy, Audrey P. Committee Member
Meng, Xiang-Jin Committee Member
  • turkeys
  • hemorrhagic enteritis virus
  • HEV
  • vitamin C
Date of Defense 2004-12-07
Availability unrestricted
The Effect of Social Stress and Vitamin C on Immunity and Response to Vaccination with Hemorrhagic Enteritis Virus in Turkeys


Sharonda Madrica Meade, MS

Committee Chair:

F. William Pierson

Large Animal Clinical Sciences


Hemorrhagic Enteritis (HE) vaccine is perhaps the most commonly used vaccine in the turkey industry. Although it provides protection against clinical disease, the vaccine is still thought to produce transient immunosuppression. In the field, HE still remains a significant concern for turkey producers.

Research conducted over the years has shown that management stressors such as movement of turkeys from brooding to finishing environments and the timing of these stressors may influence the short-term response to vaccination. Strategic stress application may be of benefit in the optimization of protective responses and the development of vaccination protocols without detrimental effects on performance. Ascorbic acid may also have important implications on social stress and may play a role in immunity and response to HE vaccination in turkeys.

Trials were conducted to examine the interrelationship among social stress, nutrition (vitamin C), immunity and their influence on response to hemorrhagic enteritis virus (HEV) vaccination.

Stress is unavoidable, however if it is managed properly, it can be beneficial. In this dissertation, it was first demonstrated that stress in the form of social disruption can have negative physiological and immunological effects on turkey poults and that these effects can be alleviated with the addition of 300mg/kg vitamin C to the diet. Secondly, it was also demonstrated that when stress is applied on the day of vaccination, response to HEV vaccination can be improved. Thirdly, vitamin C supplementation at 300mg/kg can improve responses to HEV vaccination. However, it was concluded that vitamin C supplementation during periods of simultaneous stress application and vaccination does not provide benefit to response to vaccination.

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