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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 #262238

Title: Broiler breeders with an efficient innate immune response are more resistant to Eimeria tenella

Author
item Swaggerty, Christina - Christi
item Genovese, Kenneth - Ken
item HE, LOUIS
item Duke, Sara
item PEVZNER, I - COBB-VANTRESS, INC.
item Kogut, Michael - Mike

Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/23/2011
Publication Date: 4/28/2011
Citation: Swaggerty, C.L., Genovese, K.J., He, L.H., Duke, S.E., Pevzner, I.Y., Kogut, M.H. 2011. Broiler breeders with an efficient innate immune response are more resistant to Eimeria tenella. Poultry Science. 90:1014-1019.

Interpretive Summary: For the past several years, we have characterized the innate immune response of two parental broiler lines (A and B) and compared their resistance against Salmonella, Enterococcus, and Campylobacter challenges. In all cases, line A is more responsive and more resistant than line B. In the present study, we sought to determine if this trend is also observed following challenge with the protozoan parasite Eimeria tenella. In three separate experiments, 14-day-old chickens from lines A and B were challenged orally with 15 to 50 × 103 E. tenella oocysts. Birds were sacrificed six days post-challenge, the ceca was removed and scored for lesions and final body weight (BW) compared to non-infected controls. Line A birds were more resistant to intestinal pathology as demonstrated by lower lesion scores compared to line B. As might be expected, the lower lesion scores in line A chickens were often accompanied by higher final BW compared to line B chickens, thus reducing potential revenue loss associated with low carcass weights often observed with coccidia-infected birds. The results from this study demonstrated that in addition to enhanced resistance against bacterial infections, line A chickens are also more resistant to coccidial infections compared to line B birds. Taken together with all of our earlier studies utilizing these lines of birds, an efficient innate immune response protects against a broad range of food-borne and poultry pathogens including costly coccidial infections.

Technical Abstract: Coccidial infections are caused by Eimeria spp. and cost the United States poultry industry an estimated $800 million in low carcass weights and prophylactic drugs per year. For the past several years, we have characterized the innate immune response of two lines of chickens (lines A and B) and compared their resistance against key food-borne pathogens: Salmonella, Enterococcus, and Campylobacter. In all instances, line A is more resistant than line B. In the current study, we wanted to know if line A was also more resistant to Eimeria tenella. In three separate experiments, 14-day-old chickens from lines A and B were challenged orally with E. tenella. Birds were sacrificed six days post-challenge, the gut was removed and scored for lesions and final body weight measured and compared to non-infected controls. Line A birds were more resistant as shown by lower lesion scores in the gut compared to line B. As might be expected, the lower lesion scores in line A chickens were often accompanied by less weight loss compared to line B chickens, thus reducing potential revenue loss associated with low carcass weights often observed with coccidia-infected birds. The results from this study demonstrated that in addition to enhanced resistance against food-borne bacterial infections, line A chickens are also more resistant to coccidial infections compared to line B birds. Taken together with all of our earlier studies utilizing these lines of birds, an efficient innate immune response protects against a broad range of highly important food-borne and poultry pathogens including costly coccidial infections.