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ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Food and Feed Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #145608


item Crippen, Tawni - Tc
item Kogut, Michael - Mike

Submitted to: Online Journal of Veterinary Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/3/2003
Publication Date: 7/20/2003
Citation: Crippen, T.L., Pevzner, I.Y., Lowry, V.K., Farnell, M.B., Kogut, M.H. 2003. Innate immunoprofiling of commercial broiler chicken lines. Online Journal of Veterinary Research. 7:78-90. Available:

Interpretive Summary: Blood cells of the immune system that defend against disease are vital for maintaining the health of any bird. We tested and compared the abilities of blood cells in four genetically different chicken lines. The cells from different chicken lines differed in their ability to perform defensive type functions during the first 15 days of life. This study demonstrates that the fitness of the blood cells corresponds with different lines of chickens. It is important to understand how blood cell responses relate to genetically different lines of chickens because diseased animals are a health risk to those who eat them. The screening of blood cell function offers a method for the selection of breeding stock to improve flock health and prevent the loss of genes important to disease resistance. This benefits not only the producer, but also those who eat chicken products.

Technical Abstract: Four commercial broiler chicken lines (designated Lines A, B, C and D) were profiled for efficiency of their innate immunologic response. Oxidative burst and bactericidal functions of both heterophils and monocytes, as well as heterophil degranulation, were analyzed. The birds were tested 1, 4, 8, and 15 days post-hatch and differential responses were obtained that correlated with the specific lines. Individual lines differed in their ability to perform innate immunological responses during the first 15 days post hatch. Line B heterophils and monocytes proved to be the most proficient at producing an oxidative burst. Line A heterophil degranulation was more proficient than Line C. Line B heterophils were comparable to Line C in their ability to degranulate, and Line D was the least proficient at heterophil degranulation. Monocytes and heterophils from the lines exhibited comparable bactericidal capabilities. This study demonstrates that differential innate capabilities correspond with specific commercial lines of broilers. The innate immune system is a critical component directing the overall response of the immune system early in the inflammatory process. Innate immune immunoprofiling offers a screening method for the selection of breeding stock from commercial chicken operations to improve flock health and prevent the loss of genes crucial to disease resistance.