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Poult Sci. 2003 Oct;82(10):1519-29.

A comparison of the immune response of a 2001 commercial broiler with a 1957 randombred broiler strain when fed representative 1957 and 2001 broiler diets.

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Department of Poultry Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina 27695-7608, USA.


Immunocompetence of the 2001 Ross 308 broiler strain and the 1957 Athens Canadian Randombred Control (ACRBC) strain was compared when they were given diets representative of those that were being used in 1957 and 2001. Antibody response against SRBC, in vivo lymphoproliferation against Phytohemagglutinin-P (PHA-P), and inflammatory and phagocytic responses of the macrophages were measured. The Ross 308 strain on the 2001 diet had higher BW at 24 d of age (P = 0.0001), whereas the ACRBC had greater lymphoid organ weights (except thymus) relative to BW (P < or = 0.003). The ACRBC strain showed greater antibody responses against SRBC than the 2001 Ross 308 birds for much of the trial (P < or = 0.0362). However, the Ross 308 broilers had greater PHA-P-induced toe-web swelling response (P < or = 0.0129). Inflammatory exudate cell numbers were higher in the Ross 308 broilers than in the ACRBC birds (P = 0.0261). The percentage of macrophages that phagocytized SRBC was comparable between the two strains, but the number of SRBC phagocytized by individual macrophages was higher (P = 0.0122) in the Ross 308 broiler than in the ACRBC chickens. Nitrite production by macrophages following lipopolysacharide stimulation was comparable between the two strains. Interactions of diet, strain, and sex were inconsistent among all parameters tested. In conclusion, the current study suggested that genetic selection for improved broiler performance has resulted in a decrease in the adaptive arm of the immune response but an increase in the cell-mediated and inflammatory responses.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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