Marek's disease (MD) is a complex pathology of chickens caused by MD virus (MDV) 1 and is observed as paralysis, immune suppression, neurologic signs, and the rapid formation of T-cell lymphomas. The incidence of MD in commercial broilers is largely controlled via vaccination, either in ovo or at hatch with live attenuated vaccines, i.e., turkey herpesvirus (HVT) or a bivalent combination of HVT with the MDV 2 strain (SB1). To further extend the protection conferred by bivalent HVT/SB-1, recombinant HVTs encoding transgenes of other avian viruses have similarly been used for in ovo administration. Despite decades of use, the specific mechanisms associated with vaccine-induced protection remain obscure. Additionally, the mechanistic basis for vaccine synergism conferred by bivalent HVT/SB-1, compared with HVT or SB-1 administered alone, is largely unknown. In the present study, we report on temporal changes in innate and acquired immune-patterning gene expression by using ex vivo splenocyte infection and in ovo vaccination models. We report that in the ex vivo splenocyte infection model, by 72 hr postinfection, vaccines induced IFN and IFN-stimulated gene expression, with lesser proinflammatory cytokine induction. For several genes (TLR3, IFN-γ, OASL, Mx1, NOS2A, and IL-1β), the effects on gene expression were additive for HVT, SB1, and HVT/SB1 infection. We observed similar patterns of induction in in ovo–vaccinated commercial broiler embryos and chicks with HVT/SB-1 or recombinant HVT–based bivalent combination (HVT-LT/SB-1). Furthermore, HVT/SB-1 or HVT-LT/SB-1 in ovo vaccination appeared to hasten immune maturation, with expression patterns suggesting accelerated migration of T and natural killer cells into the spleen. Finally, HVT/SB-1 vaccination resulted in a coordinated induction of IL-12p40 and downregulation of suppressors of cytokine signaling 1 and 3, indicative of classical macrophage 1 and T-helper 1 patterning.
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Vol. 63 • No. 4