Cross-reactive cellular and humoral immune responses to Salmonella enterica serovars Typhimurium and Enteritidis are associated with protection to heterologous re-challenge.
Beal RK., Wigley P., Powers C., Barrow PA., Smith AL.
Chickens infected with Salmonella enterica serovars Typhimurium (ST) and Enteritidis (SE) still represent a major source of human food poisoning via consumption of contaminated meat and eggs. Vaccination represents a sustainable approach to control Salmonella in the chicken and the serovar specificity of immunity has the potential to impact on the need for multivalent vaccines. The issue of cross-reactive immune responses and cross-serovar protection was examined in these experiments. Cellular and humoral immune responses were measured by antigen-specific ELISA and splenocyte proliferation assays during primary infections (with ST and SE) and during a second challenge with homologous or heterologous serovars. Primary infection with ST or SE induced strong lymphocyte proliferation and high levels of specific antibody (IgM, IgG and IgA) responses with substantial serovar cross-reactivity. The occurrence of high levels of splenocyte proliferation and strong antibody responses corresponded to the initiation of clearance with both ST and SE. Re-challenge of ST and SE infection-primed chickens with either serovar resulted in significant levels of protection (assessed by bacterial numbers and rate of clearance) with little difference between homologous or heterologous challenge schedules. Relatively low levels of antigen-specific splenocyte proliferation were detected during secondary infection, which may be caused by splenic T cells exiting to the gut. In contrast, the more rapid specific antibody responses (compared with primary infection controls) indicate the development of a secondary antigen-specific adaptive response. The substantial level of cross-protection between serovars and the level of antigenic cross-reactivity indicates the potential for single serovar live vaccines to protect against both group B and D salmonellae.