A detailed analysis of innate and adaptive immune responsiveness upon infection with Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis in young broiler chickens

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Abstract

Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis (SE) is a zoonotic pathogen which causes foodborne diseases in humans as well as severe disease symptoms in young chickens. More insight in innate and adaptive immune responses of chickens to SE infection is needed to understand elimination of SE. Seven-day-old broiler chickens were experimentally challenged with SE and numbers and responsiveness of innate and adaptive immune cells as well as antibody titers were assessed. SE was observed in the ileum and spleen of SE-infected chickens at 7 days post-infection (dpi). At 1 dpi numbers of intraepithelial cytotoxic CD8+ T cells were significantly increased alongside numerically increased intraepithelial IL-2Rα+ and 20E5+ natural killer (NK) cells at 1 and 3 dpi. At both time points, activation of intraepithelial and splenic NK cells was significantly enhanced. At 7 dpi in the spleen, presence of macrophages and expression of activation markers on dendritic cells were significantly increased. At 21 dpi, SE-induced proliferation of splenic CD4+ and CD8+ T cells was observed and SE-specific antibodies were detected in sera of all SE-infected chickens. In conclusion, SE results in enhanced numbers and activation of innate cells and we hypothesized that in concert with subsequent specific T cell and antibody responses, reduction of SE is achieved. A better understanding of innate and adaptive immune responses important in the elimination of SE will aid in developing immune-modulation strategies, which may increase resistance to SE in young broiler chickens.

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Meijerink, N., van den Biggelaar, R. H. G. A., van Haarlem, D. A., Stegeman, J. A., Rutten, V. P. M. G., & Jansen, C. A. (2021). A detailed analysis of innate and adaptive immune responsiveness upon infection with Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis in young broiler chickens. Veterinary Research, 52(1), 109. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13567-021-00978-y

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