Antibody responses, serum complement haemolytic activity, and complement component C3 and Factor B consumption were studied in chickens divergently selected for high and low antibody responses to sheep red blood cells, and in a randombred control line. Significantly higher total and IgG antibody responses to SRBC were found after intramuscular immunisation in the high antibody responder (H) line versus the low antibody responder (L) line and the control (C) line. Also significantly higher antibody titres were found in the C line as compared to the L line. Ca-dependent (classical) and Ca-independent (alternative) complement haemolytic activity was significantly higher in the H line than in the L line. Also initial complement haemolytic activity and C3 levels prior to immunisation with SRBC were significantly higher in the H than in the L line. The L line, on the other hand, showed numerically higher Factor B levels. Immunisation with SRBC was followed by a different consumption of C3 in serum of the H line than the L line. The results indicated that divergent selection of chickens for specific antibody responses to SRBC affected complement levels and C3 consumption in these chickens. This suggests a genetic linkage between these two immune traits.
- Sheep red blood cells