We analysed intestinal tissues from groups of fast growing (Ross 308) broilers with natural or experimental coccidiosis, by genomic microarray. We identified genes that were differentially expressed (DE) in all groups and analysed expression of a panel of these, by qPCR, in Ross 308 and slow growing (Ranger classic) broilers, infected with 2500 or 7000 oocysts of Eimeria maxima for 6 or 13 days post-infection (dpi). Four genes (ADD3, MLLT10, NAV2 and PLXNA2) were upregulated (P <0.05) in Ross 308 but were not DE in Ranger Classic at 6 dpi with 2500 oocysts. Six genes (PTPRF, NCOR1, CSF3, SGK1, CROR and CD1B) were upregulated (P <0.05) in both Ross 308 and Ranger Classic infected with 2500 oocysts at 6 dpi but were not DE at 6 dpi with 7000 oocysts. At 13 dpi with 7000 oocysts, NAV2 and NCOR1 were upregulated in Ross 308 (P <0.05) and PTPRF was upregulated in both genotypes (P <0.05). DE of immune genes within the biomarker panel also occurred, with CSF3 upregulated in both genotypes infected with 2500 oocysts at 6 dpi and in Ranger Classic infected with 7000 oocysts, at 6 and 13 dpi (P <0.05). IL-22 was down-regulated in Ranger Classic infected with 2500 or 7000 oocysts at 6 dpi (P <0.05) but upregulated in both genotypes at 13 dpi (P <0.05). CD72 was down-regulated in Ranger Classic infected with 2500 oocysts at 6 dpi and with 7000 oocysts at 6 and 13 dpi (P <0.05). CD72 was upregulated in Ross 308 infected with 2500 oocysts at 6 dpi but was down-regulated following infection with 7000 oocysts at 13 dpi (P <0.05). In conclusion, differential gene expression occurs in fast and slow growing broiler genotypes with coccidiosis. In addition, we highlight a potential genetic biomarker panel for early diagnosis of coccidiosis.
- Gene biomarker