Eimeria parasites show preferential sites of invasion in the avian intestine and produce a species-specific host immune response. Two economically important species, Eimeria acervulina and Eimeria maxima, preferentially invade and develop in the avian duodenum and jejunum/ileum, respectively. To investigate local host immune responses induced by parasite infection, global transcriptional changes in intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) induced by oral inoculation of chickens with E. acervulina or E. maxima were monitored using cDNA microarrays containing 400 unique chicken genes. Multiple gene transcripts were significantly up- or down-regulated following primary or secondary infection with E. acervulina or E. maxima. In general, infection by either parasite resulted in the expression changes of more genes following primary infection than following secondary infection, and E. acervulina caused more changes than did E. maxima. Although different regions of the small intestine were infected, similar changes in the levels of several cytokine mRNAs were observed in both Eimeria species following primary infection. Also identified was a set of transcripts whose expression was commonly enhanced or repressed in intestinal IELs of chickens infected with either parasite. Microarray analysis of chicken genes induced or repressed following Eimeria infection offers a powerful tool to enhance our understanding of host-parasite interactions leading to protective immunity.
- Gene Expression Profiling
- Gene Expression Regulation
- Host-Parasite Interactions
- Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
- Poultry Diseases