Free Access
Vet. Res.
Volume 38, Number 1, January-February 2007
Page(s) 51 - 63
Published online 08 December 2006
How to cite this article Vet. Res. (2007) 51-63
Vet. Res. 38 (2007) 51-63
DOI: 10.1051/vetres:2006048

Immunological and gene expression responses to a Salmonella infection in the chicken intestine

Saskia Van Hemert, Arjan J.W. Hoekman, Mari A. Smits and Johanna M.J. Rebel

Animal sciences group of Wageningen UR, Infectious Diseases, PO Box 65, 8200 AB Lelystad, The Netherlands

(Received 27 February 2006; accepted 30 August 2006; published online 8 December 2006)

Abstract - Besides infection in humans, Salmonella enteritidis can also cause serious illness in young chickens. However, the genetic and immunological parameters important for the disease in chickens are not well characterized. In this study, processes in the chicken intestine in response to a Salmonella infection were investigated in two different chicken lines. One-day-old chickens were orally infected with Salmonella. T-cell subpopulations, phagocytic properties of intestinal mononuclear cells and RNA expression levels of the jejunum were investigated. The two chicken lines differed in the amount of cfu in the liver and growth retardation after the infection. Differences in phagocytic activity of intestinal mononuclear cells were found between control and Salmonella infected chickens. The number of CD4+ T-cells of the intestine decreased after the Salmonella infection in one chicken line, while the number of CD8+ T-cells increased in both chicken lines, but the time post infection of this increase differed between the lines. In one chicken line the expression levels of the genes carboxypeptidase M and similar to ORF2 decreased after the Salmonella infection, which might be related to a decrease in the amount of macrophages. With the microarray, ten genes were found that were regulated in only one of the chicken lines, while we found six genes regulated in response to the infection in both chicken lines. So differences in genetic background of the chickens influence the intestinal host response of the Salmonella infection as observed by phagocytic activity, gene expression and changes in the number of T-cell subpopulations and macrophages.

Key words: immunology / microarray / Salmonella / T-cell

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© INRA, EDP Sciences 2007