St Paul M, Brisbin JT, Abdul-Careem MF and Sharif S. Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 152 (2013):191-199.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) are evolutionarily conserved pattern recognition receptors that have been identified in mammals and avian species. Ligands for TLRs are typically conserved structural motifs of microorganisms termed pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). Several TLRs have been detected in many cell subsets, such as in macrophages, heterophils and B cells, where they mediate host-responses to pathogens by promoting cellular activation and the production of cytokines. Importantly, TLR ligands help prime a robust adaptive immune response by promoting the maturation of professional antigen presenting cells. These properties make TLR ligands an attractive approach to enhance host-immunity to pathogens by administering them either prophylactically or in the context of a vaccine adjuvant. In this review, we discuss what is known about the immunostimulatory properties of TLR ligands in chickens, both at the cellular level as well as in vivo. Furthermore, we highlight previous successes in exploiting TLR ligands to protect against several pathogens including avian influenza virus, Salmonella, Escherichia coli, and Newcastle disease Virus.