Genetic and phenotypic correlations between antibody responses to Escherichia coli, infectious bursa disease virus (IBDV), and Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV), in broiler lines selected on antibody response to Escherichia coli

R. Yunis, A. Ben-David, E. D. Heller, A. Cahaner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Scopus citations


The genetic control of antibody (Ab) response to Escherichia coli (EC), infectious bursa disease virus, and Newcastle disease virus and the genetic and phenotypic correlation between these Ab responses, were evaluated under farm conditions in which chicks were simultaneously exposed to these antigens. The experimental population comprised five groups: two lines divergently selected for high (HH) or low (LL) Ab response to EC vaccination; a commercial broiler dam-line (CC), from which HH and LL had been derived; and the HH x CC and LL x CC hybrid groups (HC and LC, respectively). Lines LL and HH expressed similar symmetric divergence to all three antigens. The ranking of the LL, LC, CC, HC, and HH genetic groups according to their mean Ab responses and their very high linear correlation with the LL vs. HH genomic scale clearly indicate the additive nature of the genetic divergence between these lines. Several estimates of correlation were calculated between Ab responses of each pair of antigens and between BW and Ab to each antigen. The high correlation between group means, the near-zero within-group correlation, and the low phenotypic correlation indicate the strongly positive genetic correlation between Ab responses and no correlation with BW. The results of this study suggest that overall immunocompetence of commercial broilers can be improved by selection for high Ab response of young chicks to controlled immunization with a single antigen, without counteracting further selection for high BW.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-308
Number of pages7
JournalPoultry Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2002
Externally publishedYes



  • Antibody response
  • Escherichia coli
  • Genetic correlation
  • Infectious bursa disease virus
  • Phenotypic correlation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology

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