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

S. van Hemert, A.J.W. Hoekman, M.A. Smits, J.M.J. Rebel

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30 Citations (Scopus)


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
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-63
JournalVeterinary Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • t-cell response
  • typhimurium infection
  • immune-response
  • lymphocyte subpopulations
  • broiler lines
  • enteritidis
  • resistance
  • pathogenesis
  • macrophages
  • microarrays

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