Broiler breeders with an efficient innate immune response are more resistant to the protozoan parasite Eimeria tenella, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture study.

The study, an expansion of a previous study focusing on poultry resistance to salmonella, enterococcus and campylobacter, took two parental broiler lines (A and B) and tested them in three separate experiments. As in the other tests, parental line A, with a more efficient immune response, were more resistant to the parasite. In addition, the birds had higher weight gain compared with line B chickens, reducing potential revenue loss associated with low carcass weights usually found in conjunction with Eimeria tenella.


The results from this study showed that, in addition to having enhanced resistance against bacterial infections, line A chickens were more resistant to coccidial infections compared with line B birds. Taken together with the earlier studies, an efficient innate immune response protects against a broad range of foodborne and poultry pathogens.