Title page for ETD etd-06202011-123953

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Sumners, Lindsay Hart
Author's Email Address lhsumners@vt.edu
URN etd-06202011-123953
Title Immunological Response to Clostridium perfringens in Two Genetically Divergent Lines of Chickens as Influenced by Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) Genotype
Degree Master of Science
Department Animal and Poultry Sciences
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dalloul, Rami A. Committee Chair
McElroy, Audrey P. Committee Member
Wong, Eric A. Committee Member
  • immune response
  • genetic resistance
  • necrotic enteritis
  • Clostridium perfringens
  • chicken
Date of Defense 2011-06-06
Availability restricted
Chickens genetically selected for low (LA) or high (HA) antibody response to sheep red blood

cells (SRBC) displayed a correlated change in major histocompatibility complex (MHC), so that

LA chickens were 96% B13 and HA chickens were 96% B21. During a clinical outbreak of

necrotic enteritis, B21B21 genotypes experienced significantly less mortality (6% vs. 13 %)

compared to B13B13 genotypes. A study was carried out to assess immunological differences

between LA and HA lines during exposure to Clostridium perfringens. In Experiment 1,

chickens were orally gavaged with a low (10^7 CFU/mL) or high (10^9 CFU/mL) dose of C.

perfringens. In Experiment 2, chickens were orally gavaged with live coccidia oocysts on

experiment d 1, followed by 107 CFU/mL C. perfringens on d 5. Unfortunately, establishment of

necrotic enteritis infection was unsuccessful in both experiments as evidenced by lack of

significant intestinal lesions, as well as no negative effect on bird performance. In an ex vivo

study, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were isolated from each genetic line,

cultured, stimulated with LPS (4 h), and exposed to varying concentrations of C. perfringens α-

toxin (1, 10, 100, 1000 U/L) for 2 and 4 h. Evaluation of cellular proliferation, percent

cytotoxicity and immunological gene expression was carried out in a variety of experiments.

Genetic lines were found to be highly divergent in all analyses.

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