Chicken gout resulting from nephropathogenic infectious bronchitis virus (NIBV) has become a serious kidney disease problem in chicken worldwide with alterations of the metabolic phenotypes in multiple metabolic pathways. To investigate the mechanisms in chicken responding to NIBV infection, we examined the global transcriptomic and metabolomic profiles of the chicken’s kidney using RNA-seq and GC–TOF/MS, respectively. Furthermore, we analyzed the alterations in cecal microorganism composition in chickens using 16S rRNA-seq. Integrated analysis of these three phenotypic datasets further managed to create correlations between the altered kidney transcriptomes and metabolome, and between kidney metabolome and gut microbiome. We found that 2868 genes and 160 metabolites were deferentially expressed or accumulated in the kidney during NIBV infection processes. These genes and metabolites were linked to NIBV-infection related processes, including immune response, signal transduction, peroxisome, purine, and amino acid metabolism. In addition, the comprehensive correlations between the kidney metabolome and cecal microbial community showed contributions of gut microbiota in the progression of NIBV-infection. Taken together, our research comprehensively describes the host responses during NIBV infection and provides new clues for further dissection of specific gene functions, metabolite affections, and the role of gut microbiota during chicken gout.
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