The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) B locus of chickens has been associated with resistance to different viral diseases. We previously provided evidence that chicken lines expressing MHC haplotypes B2 and B19 exhibit different resistance to a challenge with infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) Massachusetts 41 (M41). In the current study, we attempted to determine if those differences were true for genetically diverse IB viruses, i.e., IBV M41 and Arkansas-Delmarva poultry industry (ArkDPI). Clinical, pathologic, molecular, and immunologic outcomes were compared. Our results showed subtle clinical and pathologic differences between the two MHC chicken lines tested. Clinical differences were observed in respiratory signs at 2 days postinfection (dpi) in M41-infected birds. Pathologic differences were detected in viral load at 2 dpi in M41-infected birds and in tracheal epithelial thickness at 6 dpi in ArkDPI-infected birds. Substantial differences were observed in antibody responses at 14 dpi. The transcriptome analysis showed that B19 chickens highly expressed genes related to inflammatory and innate immune responses. This increased immune gene expression detected in B19 birds at 6 dpi did not lead to enhanced antibody production at 14 dpi. On the other hand, B2-haplotype chickens highly expressed genes related to cell responses, suggesting that B2 is able to diligently control the infection. Although not identical, genes triggered by M41 and ArkDPI are part of communal pathways and suggest similar immune and cell responses to both IBV genotypes. This work provides modest evidence for differential resistance to IBV by chickens displaying different MHC haplotypes as well as insights into the expression of a variety of genes after IBV replication in the host.
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Vol. 63 • No. 2