Black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens L.) larval diet improves CD8+ lymphocytes proliferation to eliminate chicken coronavirus at an early infection stage. Academic Article uri icon


  • Avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), belonging to Gammacoronavirus, is an economically important respiratory virus affecting poultry industry worldwide. The virus can infect chickens at all ages, whereas young chickens (less than 15 day old) are more susceptible to it. The present study was conducted to investigate effects of dietary supplementation of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens L.) larvae (BSFL) on immune responses in IBV infected 10-day-old chickens. BSFL were ground to powder and mixed with commercial fodder (1%, 5%, and 10 % [mass] BSFL powder) to feed 1-day-old yellow broilers for ten days and then challenged with IBV. Our results indicated that commercial fodder supplemented with 10 % BSFL [mass] reduced mortalities (20 %) and morbidities (80 %), as well as IBV viral loads in tracheas (65.8 %) and kidneys (20.4 %) from 3-day post challenge (dpc), comparing to that of IBV-infected chickens fed with non-additive commercial fodder. Furthermore, at 3-day post challenge (dpc), 10 % BSFL [mass] supplemented chickens presented more CD8+ T lymphocytes in peripheral blood and a rise in interferon-g (IFN-) at both mRNA and protein levels in spleens, comparing with chickens fed with commercial fodder. Furthermore, the mRNA abundance of MHC-I, Fas, LITAF, and IL-2 in the spleens of 10 % BSFL [mass] supplemented chickens increased at different time points after challenge. The present results suggest that supplemental BSFL could improve CD8+ T lymphocytes proliferation, thus benefit young chickens to defend against IBV infection.

published proceedings

  • Vet Microbiol

altmetric score

  • 1.25

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, Y., Yang, C., Li, C., Xu, Z., Peng, P., Xue, C., ... Cao, Y.

citation count

  • 1

complete list of authors

  • Zhang, Yun||Yang, Chen-Yu||Li, Chujun||Xu, Zhichao||Peng, Peng||Xue, Chunyi||Tomberlin, Jeffery K||Hu, Wenfeng||Cao, Yongchang

publication date

  • September 2021