Associations of chicken Mx1 polymorphism with antiviral responses in avian influenza virus infected embryos and broilers. Academic Article uri icon


  • Avian influenza virus (AIV) is a major respiratory disease of poultry that causes catastrophic losses to the poultry industry. The Mx protein has been shown to confer antiviral responses to influenza viruses in mice. One nonsynonymous substitution (S631N) in the chicken Mx protein is reported to be associated with resistance to AIV infection in vitro. The previous studies suggested controversy over whether this substitution in the Mx protein plays an important antiviral role in AIV infection in the chicken. It would be intriguing to investigate if the substitution is associated with resistance to AIV infection both in ovo and in vivo in chickens. In this study, the embryos and young chicks were generated from the cross of Mx1 heterozygous (S631N) parents with an expected segregating ratio of 1:2:1 in the progeny. A PCR length polymorphism was developed to genotype the Mx1 gene from 119 embryos and 48 chickens. The embryonated chicken eggs were inoculated with 10(6) 50% embryo infectious dose (EID(50)) H5N9 AIV on d 13. Hemagglutinating units in allantoic fluid were determined at 48 h postinoculation. For the in vivo study, twenty-four 1-wk-old broilers were inoculated with 10(6) EID(50) H5N3, and virus titers in lungs were evaluated at d 4 postinoculation. This is the first report revealing no significant association between Mx1 genotypes and low pathogenesis AIV infection both in ovo and in vivo in the chicken. Total RNA samples were isolated from chicken lung tissues in the in vivo study, and the Mx1 mRNA expression assay among 3 genotypes also suggested that only heterozygote birds had significantly greater expression with AIV infection than noninfected birds. A recombination breakpoint within Mx1 gene was also first identified, which has laid a solid foundation for further understanding biological function of the Mx1 gene in chickens. The current study provides valuable information on the effect of the Mx1 gene on the genetic resistance to AIV in chickens, and Mx1 will not be applicable for enhancing genetic resistance to AIV infection in chickens.

published proceedings

  • Poult Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Wang, Y., Brahmakshatriya, V., Lupiani, B., Reddy, S., Okimoto, R., Li, X., Chiang, H., & Zhou, H.

citation count

  • 18

complete list of authors

  • Wang, Y||Brahmakshatriya, V||Lupiani, B||Reddy, S||Okimoto, R||Li, X||Chiang, H||Zhou, H

publication date

  • December 2012