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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Functional Genomics Approaches for Controlling Diseases of Poultry

Location: Animal Biosciences and Biotechnology Laboratory

Title: Relative disease susceptibility and clostridial toxin antibody responses in three commercial broiler lines co-infected with Clostridium perfringens and Eimeria maxima using an experimental model of necrotic enteritis

Authors
item Jang, Seung -
item LILLEHOJ, HYUN
item Lee, Sung
item Lee, Kyung -
item Lillehoj, Erik -
item Hong, Yeong -
item An, Dong June -
item Jeong, Hye Young -
item Chun, Ji Eun -

Submitted to: Avian Diseases
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 24, 2013
Publication Date: December 30, 2013
Citation: Jang, S.I., Lillehoj, H.S., Lee, S.H., Lee, K.W., Lillehoj, E.P., Hong, Y.H., An, D., Jeong, H., Chun, J. 2013. Relative disease susceptibility and clostridial toxin antibody responses in three commercial broiler lines co-infected with Clostridium perfringens and Eimeria maxima using an experimental model of necrotic enteritis. Avian Diseases. 57:684-687.

Interpretive Summary: Necrotic enteritis (NE) is an important intestinal infectious disease in commercial poultry production with substantial mortality. The disease causing agent of NE is an intestinal bacteria, Clostridium (C.) perfringens, which is transmitted by the fecal-oral route as well as through contaminated feed, water, housing structures, and insects. The worldwide incidence of C. perfringens-associated NE has significantly increased in the last decade, primarily related to the decreasing use of in-feed antibiotics as growth promoters and antimicrobials. In this paper, ARS scientists collaborated with scientists from the Korean government and a university to compare NE disease susceptibility among three different commercial chicken breeds. The results showed that commercial broiler chickens from different breeds demonstrate different clinical signs, which include NE-induced body weight loss and gut lesions. These results will help field veterinarians to understand the role of the host’s genetic background in determining disease susceptibility to C. perfringens.

Technical Abstract: Necrotic enteritis is an enteric disease of poultry resulting from infection by Clostridium perfringens with co-infection by Eimeria spp. constituting a major risk factor for disease pathogenesis. This study compared three commercial broiler chicken lines using an experimental model of necrotic enteritis. Day-old male Cobb, Ross, and Hubbard broilers were orally infected with viable C. perfringens and E. maxima and fed a high protein diet to promote the development of experimental disease. Body weight loss, intestinal lesions, and serum antibody levels against a-toxin and necrotic enteritis B-like (NetB) toxin were measured as parameters of disease susceptibility and host immune response. Cobb chickens exhibited increased body weight loss compared with Ross and Hubbard breeds, and greater gut lesion severity compared with Ross chickens. NetB antibody levels were greater in Cobb chickens compared with the Ross or Hubbard groups. These results suggest that Cobb chickens may be more susceptible to necrotic enteritis in the field compared with the Ross and Hubbard lines.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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