Alqazlan N, Emam M, Nagy é, Bridle B, Sargolzaei M. Transcriptomics of chicken cecal tonsils and intestine after infection with low pathogenic avian influenza virus H9N2. Sci Rep. 2021 Oct 14;11(1):20462
Influenza viruses cause severe respiratory infections in humans and birds, triggering global health concerns and economic burden. Influenza infection is a dynamic process involving complex biological host responses. The objective of this study was to illustrate global biological processes in ileum and cecal tonsils at early time points after chickens were infected with low pathogenic avian influenza virus (LPAIV) H9N2 through transcriptome analysis. Total RNA isolated from ileum and cecal tonsils of non-infected and infected layers at 12-, 24- and 72-h post-infection (hpi) was used for mRNA sequencing analyses to characterize differentially expressed genes and overrepresented pathways. Statistical analysis highlighted transcriptomic signatures significantly occurring 24 and 72 hpi, but not earlier at 12 hpi. Interferon (IFN)-inducible and IFN-stimulated gene (ISG) expression was increased, followed by continued expression of various heat-shock proteins (HSP), including HSP60, HSP70, HSP90 and HSP110. Some upregulated genes involved in innate antiviral responses included DDX60, MX1, RSAD2 and CMPK2. The ISG15 antiviral mechanism pathway was highly enriched in ileum and cecal tonsils at 24 hpi. Overall, most affected pathways were related to interferon production and the heat-shock response. Research on these candidate genes and pathways is warranted to decipher underlying mechanisms of immunity against LPAIV in chickens.
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