A model was developed that describes the development of immunocompetence for a broiler chick, and the impact of infection. The model equations generally fit published data well. The immunological responsiveness of two combinations of baseline immunity development, representing different broiler lines, to a particular infection was compared in four scenarios with different combinations of infection age and measurement timing. Evaluation of these scenarios lead to different conclusions regarding the relative ranking of the broiler lines, and illustrated that experimental design (age at infection, timing of measurements, and type of immunological parameter) can have an important effect on the conclusions drawn from comparative studies. The model will provide useful insight into experimental design and the impact of selection for improved immunocompetence and health in general.

B. Ask, E. H van der Waaij, Stephen C Bishop

Proceedings of the World Congress on Genetics Applied to Livestock Production, Volume , , 15.07, 2006
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