White blood cell counts in broilers

Eva Wattrang, Jolin Währn, Emma Ivarsson, Mohammad Naghizadeh, Tina Sørensen Dalgaard, Helena Wall

Publikation: KonferencebidragKonferenceabstrakt til konferenceForskningpeer review


The study aimed to evaluate the use of a flow cytometry based method to monitor white blood cell counts during the rearing period of broilers. Two groups of 12 Ross-308 chickens in a larger feed experiment were included in this pilot study. The birds were hatched and reared at a high biosecurity facility. Group 1 had access to feed and water from hatch while group 2 received feed and water on day 2 after hatch, mirroring conventional hatching and distribution. Chickens were weighed and blood samples were collected at 2, 8, 15, 23, 37 and 42 days of age. Absolute heterophil, monocyte and lymphocyte counts were determined by direct fluorescence labelling of whole blood with a panel of monoclonal antibodies to CD45, CD41/61 and Kul01, respectively, using a no-wash, no-lyse protocol. Results were compared to data, generated with the same protocol, from SPF-raised layer hybrid chickens sampled between 27 and 45 days of age.
At 2 days of age heterophil numbers were ≈12000 cells/µl blood and decreased 4-fold to 8 days of age and then progressively returned to the initial levels at 23 days of age and onwards and were then 4 times higher compared to age matched layers. Monocyte numbers commenced at ≈1000 cells/µl blood and then transiently increased 4-fold, subsequently returned to initial levels at 30 days of age and onwards and were comparable to age matched layers. Lymphocyte numbers commenced at ≈2000 cells/µl blood and then progressively increased and were similar to those in age matched layers. There were no significant differences in leukocyte numbers, body weights or daily weight gains between the two groups apart from at 2 days of age when chickens in group 2 had significantly lower body weights than those in group 1. There was no clinical evidence of infectious diseases among the broiler chickens. Hence, one may hypothesise that the elevated heterophil numbers were due to stress or an “inflammaging”-type response due to their high growth rate.
StatusUdgivet - 2018
Begivenhed15th Avian Immunology Research group meeting OXFORD, UK 5-7 September 2018 -
Varighed: 5 sep. 20187 sep. 2018


Konference15th Avian Immunology Research group meeting OXFORD, UK 5-7 September 2018


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