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Frederik Larsen

Rapid whole blood assay using flow cytometry for measuring phagocytic activity of chicken leukocytes

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Phagocytic activity of leukocytes in whole blood was assessed as a potential immune competence trait in chickens. A flow cytometry based whole blood phagocytosis (WBP) assay was set up and evaluated using blood from chickens homozygous for four different MHC haplotypes, B12, B15, B19 and B21. Fluorescent latex beads and two serotypes of fluorescently labelled heat-killed bacteria (Salmonella Infantis and Salmonella. Typhimurium) were evaluated as phagocytic targets. In addition, the opsonophagocytic potential (OPp) of individual sera from the birds was included in a phagocytosis assay using the HD11 chicken macrophage cell line. Results showed that both serotypes of bacteria but not the latex beads were effectively phagocytosed by leukocytes in the whole blood cultures. Differences were observed in the phagocytic capacity of monocytes and thrombocyte/lymphocytes, respectively between the different MHC lines. No significant differences on the OPp of serum was identified between MHC lines. In addition, for both phagocytic activity of leukocytes and OPp of serum large variations between individuals were observed within MHC haplotypes. No significant relationships were observed between the phagocytic activity of leukocytes and serum OPp or Salmonella-specific IgY levels. In conclusion, our results suggest that the WBP assay, using a no-lyse no-wash single staining method, is a rapid and convenient method to assess phagocytic functions of different leukocyte populations.

Original languageEnglish
JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Pages (from-to)53-61
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

    Research areas

  • Chicken, Flow cytometry, Leukocytes, MHC haplotypes, Phagocytosis

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