Skip to main content
ARS Home » Southeast Area » Athens, Georgia » U.S. National Poultry Research Center » Exotic & Emerging Avian Viral Diseases Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #323699

Title: The innate and adaptive immune response to avian influenza virus

item VERVELDE, LONNEKE - University Of Edinburgh
item Kapczynski, Darrell

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/14/2016
Publication Date: 11/4/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Vervelde, L., Kapczynski, D.R. 2016. The innate and adaptive immune response to avian influenza virus. In: Swayne D.E., Editor(s). Animal Influenza. 2nd Edition. Ames, IA: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. p. 135-152.

Interpretive Summary: Among poultry species there is great variation in susceptibility to disease and immune response to AI virus (AIV) infection. The immunological reasons for resistance or susceptibility to AIV in avian species are unknown and likely depend on several factors including, but not limited to, host genetics, virulence of the isolate, dose of infection, and immune status of the bird. The virus is difficult for the immune system to handle, because of how quickly the virus can injure the host, and because the virus has evolved to alter the host innate immune response. In addition, AIV has a high mutation rate and the ability to reassort gene segments, which allows rapid antigenic drift in the virus, thus evading adaptive immunity. In this review we will highlight the innate and adaptive immune responses, including the cell types involved with responding to AIV infections.

Technical Abstract: Protective immunity against viruses is mediated by the early innate immune responses and later on by the adaptive immune responses. The early innate immunity is designed to contain and limit virus replication in the host, primarily through cytokine and interferon production. Most all cells are capable of producing innate responses to avian influenza. The adaptive immune responses can be divided into two main types, humoral and cellular. Humoral immunity includes the production of antibodies from bursal-derived cells (B-cells) that function in virus-neutralization and cell-mediated immunity (CMI), which is dependent on thymus-derived cells (T-cells). Cell-mediated immunity utilizes highly specific antigen receptors on B- and T- cells that are generated by random processes of gene rearrangement to induce different mechanisms of immune reaction. B-cells are designed to interact with major histocompatibility class II molecules, which present antigen for antibody production. This chapter will review the immune response to avian influenza.