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Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 367846, 10 pages
Research Article

Chronic Heat Stress Weakened the Innate Immunity and Increased the Virulence of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus H5N1 in Mice

Key Laboratory of Zoonosis of Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China

Received 19 October 2010; Revised 14 March 2011; Accepted 1 April 2011

Academic Editor: Frederick D. Quinn

Copyright © 2011 Yi Jin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chronic heat stress (CHS) can negatively affect immune response in animals. In this study we assessed the effects of CHS on host innate immunity and avian influenza virus H5N1 infection in mice. Mice were divided into two groups: CHS and thermally neutral (TN). The CHS treatment group exhibited reduced local immunity in the respiratory tract, including the number of pulmonary alveolar macrophages and lesions in the nasal mucosa, trachea, and lungs. Meanwhile, CHS retarded dendritic cells (DCs) maturation and reduced the mRNA levels of IL-6 and IFN- significantly ( ). After the CHS treatment, mice were infected with H5N1 virus. The mortality rate and viral load in the lungs of CHS group were higher than those of TN group. The results suggest that the CHS treatment could suppress local immunity in the respiratory tract and innate host immunity in mice significantly and moderately increased the virulence in H5N1-infected mice.