Email updates

Keep up to date with the latest news and content from BMC Proceedings and BioMed Central.

This article is part of the supplement: Proceedings of the International Symposium on Animal Genomics for Animal Health (AGAH 2010)

Open Access Open Badges Proceedings

Analysis of global transcriptional responses of chicken following primary and secondary Eimeria acervulina infections

Chul-Hong Kim1, Hyun S Lillehoj1*, Yeong-Ho Hong1, Calvin L Keeler2 and Erik P Lillehoj3

Author Affiliations

1 Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory, Animal and Natural Resources Institute, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA

2 Department of Animal and Food Sciences, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, USA

3 Department of Pediatrics, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 20201, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 4):S12  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S4-S12

Published: 3 June 2011



Characterization of host transcriptional responses during coccidia infections can provide new clues for the development of alternative disease control strategies against these complex protozoan pathogens.


In the current study, we compared chicken duodenal transcriptome profiles following primary and secondary infections with Eimeria acervulina using a 9.6K avian intestinal intraepithelial lymphocyte cDNA microarray (AVIELA).


Gene Ontology analysis showed that primary infection significantly modulated the levels of mRNAs for genes involved in the metabolism of lipids and carbohydrates as well as those for innate immune-related genes. By contrast, secondary infection increased the levels of transcripts encoded by genes related to humoral immunity and reduced the levels of transcripts for the innate immune-related genes. The observed modulation in transcript levels for gene related to energy metabolism and immunity occurred concurrent with the clinical signs of coccidiosis.


Our results suggest that altered expression of a specific set of host genes induced by Eimeria infection may be responsible, in part, for the observed reduction in body weight gain and inflammatory gut damage that characterizes avian coccidiosis.