Meta-analysis of Chicken - Salmonella infection experiments

M.F.W. te Pas, B. Hulsegge, D.J. Schokker, M.A. Smits, M. Fife, R. Zoorob, M.L. Endale, J.M.J. Rebel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Chicken meat and eggs can be a source of human zoonotic pathogens, especially Salmonella species. These food items contain a potential hazard for humans. Chickens lines differ in susceptibility for Salmonella and can harbor Salmonella pathogens without showing clinical signs of illness. Many investigations including genomic studies have examined the mechanisms how chickens react to infection. Apart from the innate immune response, many physiological mechanisms and pathways are reported to be involved in the chicken host response to Salmonella infection. The objective of this study was to perform a meta-analysis of diverse experiments to identify general and host specific mechanisms to the Salmonella challenge. Results: Diverse chicken lines differing in susceptibility to Salmonella infection were challenged with different Salmonella serovars at several time points. Various tissues were sampled at different time points post-infection, and resulting host transcriptional differences investigated using different microarray platforms. The meta-analysis was performed with the R-package metaMA to create lists of differentially regulated genes. These gene lists showed many similarities for different chicken breeds and tissues, and also for different Salmonella serovars measured at different times post infection. Functional biological analysis of these differentially expressed gene lists revealed several common mechanisms for the chicken host response to Salmonella infection. The meta-analysis-specific genes (i.e. genes found differentially expressed only in the meta-analysis) confirmed and expanded the biological functional mechanisms. Conclusions: The meta-analysis combination of heterogeneous expression profiling data provided useful insights into the common metabolic pathways and functions of different chicken lines infected with different Salmonella serovars.
Original languageEnglish
Article number146
Number of pages28
JournalBMC Genomics
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • gene-expression responses
  • wd-repeat proteins
  • typhimurium infection
  • jejunal development
  • actin cytoskeleton
  • immune-response
  • enteritidis
  • resistance
  • enterica
  • lines


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