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Background: Salmonella enterica serovar Gallinarum (S. Gallinarum) is the causative agent of fowl typhoid, a severe systemic disease of chickens that results in high mortality amongst infected flocks. Due to its virulence, the immune response to S. Gallinarum is poorly characterised. In this study we have utilised infection by the live attenuated S. Gallinarum 9R vaccine strain in inbred chickens to characterise humoral, cellular and cytokine responses to systemic salmonellosis. Results: Infection with 9R results in a mild systemic infection. Bacterial clearance at three weeks post infection coincides with increases in circulating anti-Salmonella antibodies, increased T cell proliferation to Salmonella challenge and increased expression of interferon gamma. These responses peak at four weeks post infection, then decline. Only modest increases of expression of the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1β were detected early in the infection. Conclusion: Infection of chickens with the 9R vaccine strain induces a mild form of systemic salmonellosis. This induces both cellular and humoral immune responses, which peak soon after bacterial clearance. Unlike enteric-associated Salmonella infections the immune response is not prolonged, reflecting the absence of persistence of Salmonella in the gastrointestinal tract. The findings here indicate that the use of the S. Gallinarum 9R vaccine strain is an effective model to study immunity to systemic salmonellosis in the chicken and may be employed in further studies to determine which components of the immune response are needed for protection. © 2005 Wigley et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Original publication




Journal article


BMC Veterinary Research

Publication Date