Breeding for high specific immune reactivity affects sensitivity to the environment

H.K. Parmentier, L.P.M. Verhofstad, G. de Vries Reilingh, M.G.B. Nieuwland

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5 Citations (Scopus)


Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are present in high levels in the air of chicken houses and likely have immune-modulating effects. In this study, layers from the 30th generation of a divergent selection experiment for humoral immune reactivity to subcutaneously administered sheep red blood cells were concurrently intratracheally challenged with human serum albumin (HuSA) and LPS at 7 and 12 wk of age following a crossing over design. Chickens selected for high humoral immune reactivity (H line) showed higher specific antibody responses to intratracheally administered HuSA and a higher level of natural antibody binding keyhole limpet hemocyanin compared with chickens genetically selected for low humoral immune reactivity (L line), and were also more sensitive to immune modulation by LPS at 7 wk of age. Body weight gain was negatively affected by LPS at 7 wk of age in the L line, but after 12 wk of age in the H line. Egg production was lower and delayed in the H line. We conclude that these chicken selection lines differ in sensitivity to the environment (LPS), and consequently may therefore also react differently to infection, vaccinations, and other immune responses. In addition, selection for immune responsiveness affected growth and egg lay
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3044-3051
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • red-blood-cells
  • secondary antibody-responses
  • intratracheal lipopolysaccharide
  • bacterial-endotoxin
  • molecular-patterns
  • dendritic cells
  • chickens
  • poultry
  • responsiveness
  • interleukin-1

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