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Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae-specific T-cell responses after experimental infection of chickens selectively bred for high and low serum levels of mannose-binding lectin

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  • Eva Wattrang, National Veterinary Institute
  • ,
  • Tina Sørensen Dalgaard
  • Rikke Brødsgaard Kjaerup
  • Mohammad Naghizadeh
  • ,
  • Susanne Kabell, Poultry Clinic, Odense
  • ,
  • Helena Eriksson, National Veterinary Institute
  • ,
  • Robert Söderlund, National Veterinary Institute

Erysipelas, caused by infection with Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae (ER) is an important emerging disease in laying hens. We have earlier observed prominent mannose-binding lectin (MBL) acute phase responses in experimentally ER infected chickens. The present study aimed to further examine immune responses to ER by using chickens selectively bred for high (L10H) and low (L10L) serum MBL levels. Chickens were infected with ER at 3 weeks of age and immune parameters and bacterial load were monitored in blood until day 18 after infection. Blood and spleen leukocytes collected on day 18 were stimulated in vitro with ER antigens and blast transformation of different T-cell populations was assessed. The ER infection gave a very varied outcome and no clear differences were observed between L10H and L10L chickens with respect to leukocyte counts, bacterial load or clinical outcome. Nonetheless, rapid innate responses, e.g., heterophilia and increased serum MBL levels were noted in bacteraemic chickens. All ER infected chickens also showed transient increased expression of mannose receptor MRC1L-B and decreased expression of major histocompatibility complex II on monocytes day 1 after infection indicating monocyte activation or relocation. In vitro ER stimulation showed antigen specific blast transformation of CD4+, TCRγ/δ-CD8αβ+ and TCRγ/δ+CD8αβ+ spleen cells from all infected chickens. For CD4+ and TCRγ/δ-CD8αβ+ cells the proportions of blast transformed cells were significantly higher for samples from L10L chickens than those for samples from L10H chickens. This is the first observation of ER-specific T-cells in chickens and interestingly a Th1-type response comprising cytotoxic T-cells was indicated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105
JournalVeterinary Research
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022. The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • chicken, Erysipelas, mannose-binding lectin, T-cell response

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