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

Open Access Proceedings

Insights into gene expression profiling of natural resistance to coccidiosis in contrasting chicken lines

Thomas Heams1*, Bertrand Bed'hom1, Emmanuelle Rebours12, Florence Jaffrezic1 and Marie-Hélène Pinard-van der Laan1

Author Affiliations

1 INRA/AgroParisTech, UMR1313 Génétique Animale et Biologie Intégrative, F-78352 Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, France

2 INRA, PICT-Gem, F-78352 Jouy-en-Josas Cedex, France

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BMC Proceedings 2011, 5(Suppl 4):S26  doi:10.1186/1753-6561-5-S4-S26

Published: 3 June 2011


Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease with major economic impact, one of whose main causative agents is Eimeria tenella. Chicken breeds display variable natural resistance to this disease. Unravelling the genetic bases of such variations could provide new clues for protection strategies. Transcriptomic experiments were conducted comparing resistant (Fayoumi) and susceptible (Leghorn) lines. Caecum and caecal tonsils were analysed. A global increase in differential gene expression following infection was observed for caecum comparisons, whereas a global decrease following infection was observed for caecal tonsils.

Gene lists for infected tissues display 40 genes in common across breeds, 20 of which were specific to infected tissues. Among these specific genes, 9 belong to the 100 more differentially expressed genes of the infected caecum comparison. Gene expression networks were constructed in parallel, identifying highly connected genes. Comparing information from differential gene lists and gene network analysis allows one to highlight potential pivotal genes in the infection process, one of which was located in a putative significant QTL region for infection associated lesions.