Salmonella carrier-state in hens: study of host resistance by a gene expression approach

Salmonellosis is one of the main causes of food-borne poisoning due to the consumption of contaminated poultry products. In the flocks, Salmonella is able to persist in the digestive tract of birds for weeks without triggering any symptom. In order to identify molecules and genes involved in the mechanism of host resistance to intestinal carrier-state, two different inbred lines of laying hens were orally inoculated with Salmonella Enteritidis. Bacterial colonization and host gene expression were measured in the caecum and its sentinel lymphoid tissue, respectively. Significantly increased expression of chemokine, anti-infectious cytokine, bacterial receptor, antimicrobial mediator and particularly, defensin genes was observed in the line carrying a lower level of bacteria in the caecum. These innate immunity molecules were either constitutively or inductively highly expressed in resistant adult birds and thus present candidate genes to play an important role in the host defence against Salmonella colonization.

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