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Association of Candidate Genes with Response to Heat and Newcastle Disease Virus


Newcastle disease is considered the number one disease constraint to poultry production in low and middle-income countries, however poultry that is raised in resource-poor areas often experience multiple environmental challenges. Heat stress has a negative impact on production, and immune response to pathogens can be negatively modulated by heat stress. Candidate genes and regions chosen for this study were based on previously reported associations with response to immune stimulants, pathogens, or heat, including: TLR3, TLR7, MX, MHC-B (major histocompatibility complex, gene complex), IFI27L2, SLC5A1, HSPB1, HSPA2, HSPA8, IFRD1, IL18R1, IL1R1, AP2A2, and TOLLIP. Chickens of a commercial egg-laying line were infected with a lentogenic strain of NDV (Newcastle disease virus); half the birds were maintained at thermoneutral temperature and the other half were exposed to high ambient temperature before the NDV challenge and throughout the remainder of the study. Phenotypic responses to heat, to NDV, or to heat + NDV were measured. Selected SNPs (single nucleotide polymorphisms) within 14 target genes or regions were genotyped; and genotype effects on phenotypic responses to NDV or heat + NDV were tested in each individual treatment group and the combined groups. Seventeen significant haplotype effects, among seven genes and seven phenotypes, were detected for response to NDV or heat or NDV + heat. These findings identify specific genetic variants that are associated with response to heat and/or NDV which may be useful in the genetic improvement of chickens to perform favorably when faced with pathogens and heat stress.

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