Genetic resistance or susceptibility to infectious diseases has been largely associated with the avian major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes. Our goal was to determine resistance and susceptibility of MHC B haplotype in congenic and inbred chicken lines in order to establish a resistant–susceptible model. Eight congenic lines (253/B18, 254/B15, 330/B21, 312/B24, 331/B2, 335/B19, 336/B21, and 342/BO), two inbred lines (003/B17 and 077/B19), and three commercial lines (white leghorn, brown layers, and broilers) were used in two experiments. We analyzed and compared immunologic responses and the effect of challenge by measuring viral load, IgG and IgA humoral responses, histopathology and histomorphometry, clinical signs, and immune cell populations in the different MHC B haplotype lines. We found that respiratory signs, tracheal deciliation and inflammation, airsacculitis, viral shedding in tears, and local humoral responses were good parameters to determine resistance or susceptibility. Based on these results, we identified 331/B2 as the most resistant and 335/B19 as the most susceptible congenic chicken lines. These two lines will be used as an animal model in subsequent experiments to understand the mechanisms by which the immune system in chickens generates resistance to infectious bronchitis virus.
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Vol. 61 • No. 3