Marques A.T., Lecchi C., Grilli G., Giudice C., Restelli L., Rota Nodari S., Vinco L.J., Ceciliani F.

Road transportation is one of the most stressful events during the turkeys’ lifetime and is associated with economic losses. Beside their use as biomarkers of inflammation, acute phase proteins (APP) have been also used as biomarkers of animal welfare, including stress due to transport, but no information is available in turkey species.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate whether the gene expression of four APP, namely α1-acid glycoprotein (AGP), C-Reactive Protein (CRP), Serum Amyloid A (SAA) and PIT54, as potential indicators of transport stress in turkey (Meleagris gal-lopavo), by qualitative and quantitative real time (qPCR) in liver and adipose tissue. Fourteen healthy animals were divided into two groups: a group subject to road transport and a control group not subject to road transport.
The expression of AGP and CRP mRNA was found to be increased in animals slaughtered after road transport. AGP mRNA expression was increased in both liver and adipose tissue, and identified as one of the major stress indicators . The presence of AGP protein in liver and adipose tissue was also confirmed by immunohistochemistry. CRP mRNA expression was found to be increased in liver alone. The results of this study suggest that AGP may serve as biomarker of stress to evaluate the transporting conditions in turkeys.