Salmonella Gallinarum and Salmonella Enteritidis are genetically closely related however associated with different pathologies. Several studies have suggested that S. Gallinarum is less invasive in vitro than S. Enteritidis. In this study we confirm that the S. Gallinarum strains tested were much less invasive than the S. Enteritidis strains tested in cells of avian or human origin. In addition, the S. Gallinarum T3SS-1-dependent ability to invade host cells was delayed by two to three hours compared to S. Enteritidis, indicating that T3SS-1-dependent entry is less efficient in S. Gallinarum than S. Enteritidis. This was neither due to a decreased transcription of T3SS-1 related genes when bacteria come into contact with cells, as transcription of hilA, invF and sipA was similar to that observed for S. Enteritidis, nor to a lack of functionality of the S. Gallinarum T3SS-1 apparatus as this apparatus was able to secrete and translocate effector proteins into host cells. In contrast, genome comparison of four S. Gallinarum and two S. Enteritidis strains revealed that all S. Gallinarum genomes displayed the same point mutations in each of the main T3SS-1 effector genes sipA, sopE, sopE2, sopD and sopA.
Avian influenza viruses are circulating continuously in ducks, inducing a mostly asymptomatic infection, while chickens are accidental hosts highly susceptible to respiratory disease. This discrepancy might be due to a different host response to the virus between these two bird species and in particular to a different susceptibility to reinfection. In an attempt to address this question, we analyzed, in ducks and in chickens, the viral load in infected tissues and the humoral immune response after experimental primary and secondary challenge infections with either homologous or heterologous low pathogenicity avian influenza viruses (LPAIV). Following homologous reinfection, ducks were only partially protected against viral shedding in the lower intestine in conjunction with a moderate antibody response, whereas chickens were totally protected against viral shedding in the upper respiratory airways and developed a stronger antibody response. On the contrary, heterologous reinfection was not followed by a reduced viral excretion in the upper airways of chickens, while ducks were still partially protected from intestinal excretion of the virus, with no correlation to the antibody response. Our comparative study provides a comprehensive demonstration of the variation of viral tropism and control of the host humoral response to LPAIV between two different bird species with different degrees of susceptibility to avian influenza.
The existence of conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) has not yet been demonstrated outside mammals. In this article, we identified bona fide cDCs in chicken spleen. Comparative profiling of global and of immune response gene expression, morphology, and T cell activation properties show that cDCs and macrophages (MPs) exist as distinct mononuclear phagocytes in the chicken, resembling their human and mouse cell counterparts. With computational analysis, core gene expression signatures for cDCs, MPs, and T and B cells across the chicken, human, and mouse were established, which will facilitate the identification of these subsets in other vertebrates. Overall, this study, by extending the newly uncovered cDC and MP paradigm to the chicken, suggests that these two phagocyte lineages were already in place in the common ancestor of reptiles (including birds) and mammals in evolution. It opens avenues for the design of new vaccines and nutraceuticals that are mandatory for the sustained supply of poultry products in the expanding human population.
Currently circulating H5N1 influenza viruses have undergone a complex evolution since the appearance of their progenitor A/Goose/Guangdong/1/96 in 1996. After the eradication of the H5N1 viruses that emerged in Hong Kong in 1997 (HK/97 viruses), new genotypes of H5N1 viruses emerged in the same region in 2000 that were more pathogenic for both chickens and mice than HK/97 viruses. These, as well as virtually all highly pathogenic H5N1 viruses since 2000, harbour a deletion of aa 80-84 in the unstructured region of the non-structural (NS) protein NS1 linking its RNA-binding domain to its effector domain. NS segments harbouring this mutation have since been found in non-H5N1 viruses and we asked whether this 5 aa deletion could have a general effect not limited to the NS1 of H5N1 viruses. We genetically engineered this deletion in the NS segment of a duck-origin avian H1N1 virus, and compared the in vivo and in vitro properties of the WT and NSdel8084 viruses. In experimentally infected chickens, the NSdel8084 virus showed both an increased replication potential and an increased pathogenicity. This in vivo phenotype was correlated with a higher replicative efficiency in vitro, both in embryonated eggs and in a chicken lung epithelial cell line. Our data demonstrated that the increased replicative potential conferred by this small deletion was a general feature not restricted to NS1 from H5N1 viruses and suggested that viruses acquiring this mutation may be selected positively in the future.
Binding of influenza viruses to target cells is mediated by the viral surface protein hemagglutinin. To determine the presence of binding sites for influenza A viruses on cells and tissues, soluble hemagglutinins of the H7 and H9 subtype were generated by connecting the hemagglutinin ectodomain to the Fc portion of human immunoglobulin G (H7Fc and H9Fc). Both chimeric proteins bound to different cells and tissues in a sialic acid-dependent manner. Pronounced differences were observed between H7Fc and H9Fc, in the binding both to different mammalian and avian cultured cells and to cryosections of the respiratory epithelium of different virus host species (turkey, chicken and pig). Binding of the soluble hemagglutinins was similar to the binding of virus particles, but showed differences in the binding pattern when compared to two sialic acid-specific plant lectins. These findings were substantiated by a comparative glycan array analysis revealing a very narrow recognition of sialoglycoconjugates by the plant lectins that does not reflect the glycan structures preferentially recognized by H7Fc and H9Fc. Thus, soluble hemagglutinins may serve as sialic acid-specific lectins and are a more reliable indicator of the presence of binding sites for influenza virus HA than the commonly used plant lectins.
Toxoplasmosis is a worldwide epizootic disease of mammals. Chickens, albeit being less susceptible, can be contaminated in free-range flocks and may have an important role in parasite transmission. Plastic adherence selection of chicken spleen cells enriched 8F2+ (putative chicken CD11c) MHC II+ cells of the myeloid type; however, we did not succeed to separate dendritic cells from macrophages using their feature to become loosely adherent after culture as in mammals. Still we clearly identified dendritic-like cells being morphologically distinguishable from macrophages in the KUL01 (macrophage marker) negative fraction, exhibiting responsiveness to LPS and parasite extracts by developing characteristic cellular protrusions as well as a minor phagocytic incorporation of dead parasites. Live T. gondii tachyzoites were able to invade the two different types of myeloid adherent cells, to replicate, and to induce an overall decrease in the expression of MHC II and co-stimulatory molecules, CD80 and CD40. Our data indicate that dendritic cells in addition to macrophages may have a role in hiding viable replicating T. gondii tachyzoites from the immune system and in shuttling them to different organs in the chicken as previously described for different Apicomplexa infecting mammals.
Avian influenza virus (AIV) infections of the chicken occur via the respiratory route. Unlike ducks which are considered as a natural AIV reservoir, chickens are highly susceptible to AIV infections and do not possess the RIG-I pattern recognition receptor involved in triggering the antiviral interferon response. To study the chicken innate immune response to AIV in the respiratory tract, we established an epithelial cell line (CLEC213) from lung explants of white leghorn chickens. CLEC213 cells exhibited a polyhedral morphology and formed cohesive clusters bound through tight junctions as assessed by electron microscopy. Expression of E-cadherin but not vimentin could be detected as expected for cells of epithelial origin. In addition, CLEC213 cells showed characteristics similar to those of mammalian type II pneumocytes, including the presence of intracytoplasmic vacuoles filled with a mucopolysaccharide material, alkaline phosphatase activity, transcription of chicken lung collectins genes (cLL and SPA), and some intracytoplasmic lamellar-like bodies. CLEC213 cells showed a constitutive expression level of TLR3 and TLR4 and were responsive to stimulation with the respective agonists, poly (I:C) and LPS: between 4h and 24h after treatment, a strong increase in the expression of IFN-?, IFN-? and IL-8 genes could be detected. Furthermore, CLEC213 cells supported efficient growth of the low pathogenicity avian influenza virus H6N2 (A/duck/France/05057a/2005) in the presence or the absence of trypsin in the culture media. At 4h post-infection, the H6N2 virus induced highly elevated levels of expression of IFN-? and IL-8, moderately elevated levels of LITAF, TGF-?4 and CCL5. However, an increase of IFN-? gene expression could not be detected in response to AIV infection. In conclusion, like mammalian type II pneumocytes, CLEC213 are able to mount a robust cytokine and chemokine immune response to microbial patterns and viral infection. We hypothesize that they could derive from lung atrial granular cells. The involvement of such type of lung epithelial cells in the respiratory tract defence of the chicken can thus be further studied.
beta-Defensins are important components of innate immunity in mucosal tissue, a major entry site for several pathogens. These small cationic peptides possess antimicrobial activity against various microorganisms including Salmonella. Two chicken inbred lines, 6 and 15I, diverge phenotypically with respect to levels of Salmonella Enteritidis intestinal carriage and to level of gene expression of two beta-defensins, AvBD1 and AvBD2. The cellular source of these two defensins in the intestinal tissue has not previously been explored. Therefore embryonic intestinal cells were isolated from both chicken lines. Primary intestinal cell cultures expressed epithelial specific markers (villin and E-cadherin) and differentially expressed two beta-defensin genes AvBD1 and AvBD2 according to chicken line. Furthermore, S. Enteritidis interfered with AvBD2 expression only in the cells from the susceptible line 15I. Our embryonic cell culture model demonstrated that intestinal epithelium express beta-defensin antimicrobial peptides that may play a role in immunoprotection against Salmonella Enteritidis.
Chemokines are key molecules that drive migration of lymphoid and myeloid cells toward organs in basal as well as inflammatory conditions. By recruiting immature dendritic cells to the mucosal surfaces, CCL20 acts in the very early events leading to the development of a specific immune response. In order to characterize dendritic cells in birds and better understand their role in the initiation of immune responses against pathogens of economic as well as human health relevance, we have cloned and expressed chicken CCL20 (chCCL20) and its specific receptor chCCR6. chCCL20 has 51% identity (60% similarity) with human CCL20, while the chicken receptor and its human counterpart display nearly 55% identity (and up to 70% similarity). chCCL20 and its specific receptor chCCR6 mRNAs are mainly expressed in bone marrow, secondary lymphoid organs and in the mucosal surfaces, in particular lungs and intestine. Both receptor and chemokine are functionally active when expressed as genuine or tagged proteins in mammalian expression systems, that is chCCR6 is mainly located at the cell surface within lipid rafts like its human counterpart. And secondly, both human and chicken chemokines were able to drive the migration of either chicken or human CCR6-transfected cells.
Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H7N1 viruses caused a series of epizootics in Italy between 1999 and 2001. The emergence of these HPAI viruses coincided with the deletion of the six amino acids R(225)VESEV(230) at the C terminus of NS1. In order to assess how the truncation of NS1 affected virus replication, we used reverse genetics to generate a wild-type low-pathogenic avian influenza (LPAI) H7N1 virus with a 230aa NS1 (H7N1(230)) and a mutant virus with a truncated NS1 (H7N1(224)). The 6aa truncation had no impact on virus replication in duck or chicken cells in vitro. The H7N1(230) and H7N1(224) viruses also replicated to similar levels and induced similar immune responses in ducks or chickens. No significant histological lesions were detected in infected ducks, regardless of the virus inoculated. However, in chickens, the H7N1(230) virus induced a more severe interstitial pneumonia than did the H7N1(224) virus. These findings indicate that the C-terminal extremity of NS1, including the PDZ-binding motif ESEV, is dispensable for efficient replication of an LPAI virus in ducks and chickens, even though it may increase virulence in chickens, as revealed by the intensity of the histological lesions.
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