Lower expression of sialic acid receptors in the cecum of silky fowl (Gallus gallus domesticusBrisson) compared to white leghorn

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Avian influenza virus has received increasing attention in recent years because of the potential for recombination with the human virus. Distributions of sialic acid receptors on target cells are determinants of the susceptibilities of different species to influenza virus infection. In this study, the distribution of sialic acid receptors in the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts of Silky Fowl and White Leghorn chickens were compared. The results showed that sialic acid-α-2,3-galactose receptors and sialic acid-α6-galactose receptors were both observed in Silky Fowl and White Leghorn, but fewer positive cells were detected in Silky Fowl with significant difference in the cecum. The lower abundance of sialic acid receptors likely results from the lower abundance of CD3 and F4/80 immune cells in the cecum of Silky Fowl.

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