Pathological changes, shedding pattern and cytokines responses in chicks infected with avian influenza-H9N2 and/or infectious bronchitis viruses
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Avian influenza H9N2 (AIV-H9N2) and Infectious bronchitis (IB) viruses are the most commonly isolated viruses from poultry flocks suffering from respiratory signs with mortalities. The outcome of co-infection with both viruses hasn’t been yet well understood. In this study, eighty 1-day-old specific pathogen free chicks were divided into four distinct groups. Group 1 remained uninfected as negative control group; groups 2, 3 and 4 were inoculated with either AIV-H9N2 or IBV or co infected with AIV-H9N2 followed by IBV three days post inoculation respectively. Chicks were monitored for clinical and pathological changes, virus shedding and both Interleukin-6 (IL6) and Interferon gamma (IFNγ) cytokines immune responses. Clinical signs varied from mild to moderate respiratory signs in all challenged groups but were more severe in group 4 with mortalities in groups 3 and 4. Tracheal shedding of both viruses washigher in group 4 than group 2 and 3. Mean AIV-H9 virus titer in lung and kidney was higher in group 4 than group 2 in all time points. IFNγ mRNA gene expression in lung was significantly lower in groups3 and 4. In conclusion, this study reports that co-infection of chicks with both viruses enhances the pathogenicity, increases both viruses shedding and extend AIV-H9 replication with impairment of IFNγ stimulation in lung.
KeywordsAvian influenza H9N2 IBV Co-infection Cytokines
The authors would like to acknowledge Mohamed Ahmed and Mai Morsi for their kind support.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures involving animals were reviewed and approved by the Research committee of the Animal Health Research Institute.
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