Salmonella enterica serovar Gallinarum causes a disease in chickens known as fowl typhoid. Interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) has been shown to be crucial in eliminating salmonellosis infection because of its strong association with T-cell responses. This study was undertaken to compare the expression of IFN-γ in chickens generated by different vaccine formulations. Eighty one-day-old Lohmann layer chicks were divided into four groups of 20 birds each for the experiment. This comprised an unvaccinated negative control group (NEG), a group vaccinated with the live 9R vaccine by the injection route (SC), a group vaccinated with alginate-coated chitosan microparticles encapsulating live plasmid-cured S. Gallinarum strain 9 (PC) by the oral route, and a group vaccinated with a weak attenuated live S. Gallinarum strain 9 encapsulated in alginate-coated chitosan microparticles (VM) given orally. Vaccinations were done at 10 and 14 weeks of age followed by challenge at 16 weeks of age. IgG was measured using ELISA. qRT-PCR was used to compare the mRNA fold expression of IFN-γ in the PC, VM and SC groups using the unvaccinated/unchallenged group as the control. There were significant differences in the IgG levels between each vaccinated group and the unvaccinated group (P < 0.05) after booster vaccination and post-challenge. There was 100% protection of the birds in SC and VM groups, 80% protection in PC group and 0% protection in the NEG group. Using 2−ΔΔCT calculation, IFN-γ was more highly expressed in the PC group than in the SC group or VM group. In conclusion, the IFN-γ was more highly expressed in the PC group (though not significantly higher) compared to the SC and VM groups and this could be attributed to the alginate-coated chitosan microparticles which acted as an adjuvant.
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