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Dose-dependent differential resistance of inbred chicken lines to avian pathogenic Escherichia coli challenge

Alber, Andreas, Costa, Taiana, Chintoan-Uta, Cosmin, Bryson, Karen J., Kaiser, Pete, Stevens, Mark P., Vervelde, Lonneke
Avian pathology 2019 v.48 no.2 pp. 157-167
Escherichia coli, antibacterial properties, bacterial colonization, chickens, dose response, inbred lines, leukocytes, lungs, models, serotypes, signs and symptoms (animals and humans), spleen, tissues
Avian pathogenic E. coli (APEC) cause severe respiratory and systemic disease. To address the genetic and immunological basis of resistance, inbred chicken lines were used to establish a model of differential resistance to APEC, using strain O1 of serotype O1:K1:H7. Inbred lines 7₂, 15I and C.B12 and the outbred line Novogen Brown were inoculated via the airsac with a high dose (10⁷ colony-forming units, CFU) or low dose (10⁵ CFU) of APEC O1. Clinical signs, colibacillosis lesion score and bacterial colonization of tissues after high dose challenge were significantly higher in line 15I and C.B12 birds. The majority of the 15I and C.B12 birds succumbed to the infection by 14 h post-infection, whilst none of the line 7₂ and the Novogen Brown birds developed clinical signs. No difference was observed after low dose challenge. In a repeat study, inbred lines 7₂ and 15I were inoculated with low, intermediate or high doses of APEC O1 ranging from 10⁵ to 10⁷ CFU. The colonization of lung was highest in line 15I after high dose challenge and birds developed clinical signs; however, colonization of blood and spleen, clinical signs and lesion score were not different between lines. No difference was observed after intermediate or low dose challenge. Ex vivo, the phagocytic and bactericidal activity of lung leukocytes from line 7₂ and 15I birds did not differ. Our data suggest that although differential resistance of inbred lines 7₂, 15I and C.B12 to APEC O1 challenge is apparent, it is dependent on the infectious dose. Research HighlightsLines 15I and C.B12 are more susceptible than line 7₂ to a high dose of APEC O1. Differential resistance is dose-dependent in lines 15I and 7₂. Phagocytic and bactericidal activity is similar and dose independent.