Immune-related Gene Expression in Two B-complex Disparate Genetically Inbred Fayoumi Chicken Lines Following Eimeria Maxima Infection

Poult Sci. 2008 Mar;87(3):433-43. doi: 10.3382/ps.2007-00383.


To investigate the influence of genetic differences in the MHC on susceptibility to avian coccidiosis, M5.1 and M15.2 B-haplotype-disparate Fayoumi chickens were orally infected with live Eimeria maxima oocysts, and BW gain, fecal oocyst production, and expression of 14 immune-related genes were determined as parameters of protective immunity. Weight loss was reduced and fecal parasite numbers were lower in birds of the M5.1 line compared with M15.2 line birds. Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes from M5.1 chickens expressed greater levels of transcripts encoding interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma), interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta), IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, IL-15, IL-17A, inducible nitric oxide synthase, and lipopolysaccharide-induced tumor necrosis factor-alpha factor and lower levels of mRNA for IFN-alpha, IL-10, IL-17D, NK-lysin, and tumor necrosis factor superfamily 15 compared with the M15.2 line. In the spleen, E. maxima infection was associated with greater expression levels of IFN-gamma, IL-15, and IL-8 and lower levels of IL-6, IL-17D, and IL-12 in M5.1 vs. M15.2 birds. These results suggest that genetic determinants within the chicken MHC influence resistance to E. maxima infection by controlling the local and systemic expression of immune-related cytokine and chemokine genes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chickens*
  • Coccidiosis / immunology
  • Coccidiosis / veterinary*
  • Disease Susceptibility / veterinary
  • Eimeria / immunology*
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Gene Expression
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / immunology
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / veterinary*
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / parasitology
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex* / genetics
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex* / immunology
  • Oocysts
  • Parasite Egg Count / veterinary
  • Poultry Diseases / immunology*