Submitted to: Molecular Immunology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 2, 2002
Publication Date: January 10, 2003
Citation: Min, W., Lillehoj, H.S., Kim, S., Zhu, J., Beard, H., Alkharouf, N., Matthews, B. 2003. Profiling local gene expression changes associated with eimeria infections using cdna microarray. Molecular Immunology. 62:392-399.
Interpretive Summary: Intestinal parasitism is a major stress factor that can lead to malnutrition and lowered performance and production efficiency of livestock and poultry. Coccidiosis, an intestinal infection caused by intracellular protozoan parasites belonging to several different species of Eimeria, costs the poultry industry more than $600 million in annual losses. Current control method using drugs will need to be replaced by non-drug-dependent method due to an increasing drug resistance of coccidia and increasing consumer's concern on the presence of drug residues in food supply. Therefore, alternative control strategy against coccidiosis needs to be developed. In this paper, ARS scientists identified host genes whose expression are altered following coccidia infection using a new genomics technology. Analysis of these genes will enhance our understanding of how host and parasite interact and will enable the development of novel control strategy against coccidiosis.
Eimeria parasites show preferential sites of invasion in the intestine and produce a species-specific host immune response. Two economically important species, E. acervulina and E. maxima, preferentially invade and develop in the 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 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, primary infection by either parasite showed more gene expression changes compared with secondary infection and E. acervulina caused more changes compared with E. maxima. Although infecting different regions of the small intestine, 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.