Interdigital skin test for evaluation of delayed hypersensitivity and cutaneous basophil hypersensitivity in young chickens

Donald E. Corrier From the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Veterinary Toxicology and Entomology Research Laboratory, Route 5, Box 810, College Station, TX 7784.

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John R. DeLoach From the USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Veterinary Toxicology and Entomology Research Laboratory, Route 5, Box 810, College Station, TX 7784.

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Summary

A skin test to assess T-cell mediated delayed hypersensitivity (dh) and cutaneous basophil hypersensitivity (cbh) was evaluated in the interdigital skin of young chickens. Three-day-old chickens were sensitized with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and the dh reaction was elicited in the interdigital skin in 10-, 17-, 24-, and 31-day-old chickens by intradermal injection of tuberculin. Cutaneous basophil hypersensitivity was elicited in the interdigital skin of 10- and 14-day-old chickens by a single intradermal injection of phytohemagglutinin-P (200 μg). The effect of immunosuppression on the results of interdigital skin test for dh and for cbh was evaluated in chickens that were treated with dexamethasone daily for 4 days before testing.

The dh reaction, as indicated by a significant (P < 0.01) increase in the mean interdigital skin thickness, was detectable in 10-day-old chickens and was consistently evident in 17-, 24-, and 31-day-old chickens. The dh response in the interdigital skin of 24-day-old chickens was comparable with that elicited in the standard wattle test. The cbh reaction, as indicted by a significant increase (P < 0.005) in skin thickness, was evident in the interdigital skin of 10- and 14-day-old chickens. Treatment with dexamethasone significantly decreased (P < 0.01) the dh and cbh reactions. Results of the study indicated that the interdigital skin test may be used to evaluate normal and suppressed cell-mediated dh and cbh reactions in chickens as young as 10 and 14 days old.

Summary

A skin test to assess T-cell mediated delayed hypersensitivity (dh) and cutaneous basophil hypersensitivity (cbh) was evaluated in the interdigital skin of young chickens. Three-day-old chickens were sensitized with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and the dh reaction was elicited in the interdigital skin in 10-, 17-, 24-, and 31-day-old chickens by intradermal injection of tuberculin. Cutaneous basophil hypersensitivity was elicited in the interdigital skin of 10- and 14-day-old chickens by a single intradermal injection of phytohemagglutinin-P (200 μg). The effect of immunosuppression on the results of interdigital skin test for dh and for cbh was evaluated in chickens that were treated with dexamethasone daily for 4 days before testing.

The dh reaction, as indicated by a significant (P < 0.01) increase in the mean interdigital skin thickness, was detectable in 10-day-old chickens and was consistently evident in 17-, 24-, and 31-day-old chickens. The dh response in the interdigital skin of 24-day-old chickens was comparable with that elicited in the standard wattle test. The cbh reaction, as indicted by a significant increase (P < 0.005) in skin thickness, was evident in the interdigital skin of 10- and 14-day-old chickens. Treatment with dexamethasone significantly decreased (P < 0.01) the dh and cbh reactions. Results of the study indicated that the interdigital skin test may be used to evaluate normal and suppressed cell-mediated dh and cbh reactions in chickens as young as 10 and 14 days old.

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