T-cell cytokine response in Salmonella Typhimurium-vaccinated versus infected pigs

Vaccination with the live attenuated vaccine Salmoporc is an effective measure to control Salmonella Typhimurium (STM) in affected swine populations. However, the cellular immune response evoked by the Salmoporc vaccine including differences in vaccinated pigs versus non-vaccinated pigs upon STM infection have not been characterized yet. To investigate this, tissue-derived porcine lymphocytes from different treatment groups (vaccination-only, vaccination and infection, infection-only, untreated controls) were stimulated in vitro with heat-inactivated STM and abundances of IFN-γ, TNF-α and/or IL-17A-producing T-cell subsets were compared across organs and treatment groups. Overall, our results show the induction of a strong CD4+ T-cell response after STM infection, both locally and systemically. Low-level induction of STM-specific cytokine-producing CD4T cells, notably for the IFN-γ/TNF-α co-producing phenotype, was detected after vaccination-only. Numerous significant contrasts in cytokine-producing T-cell phenotypes were observed after infection in vaccinated and infected versus infected-only animals. These results suggest that vaccine-induced STM-specific cytokine-producing CD4+ T cells contribute to local immunity in the gut and may limit the spread of STM to lymph nodes and systemic organs. Hence, our study provides insights into the underlying immune mechanisms that account for the efficacy of the Salmoporc vaccine.

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