Protection against avian pathogenic Escherichia coli and Salmonella Kentucky exhibited in chickens given both probiotics and live Salmonella vaccine.


Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA; Interdepartmental Microbiology Graduate Program, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


Commercial poultry farms are increasingly threatened by bacterial infections from avian pathogenic Escherichia coli (APEC) and broad-host Salmonella serovars. Recombinant attenuated Salmonella vaccines (RASV) elicit cross-reactive immune responses against APEC in chickens; however, assessment of broad protection is lacking. Probiotics boost chicken immunity and improve vaccination responses. The objective of this study was to determine whether the RASV, the probiotics, or their combination had protection against APEC and Salmonella. White Leghorn chicks were randomly placed into 4 groups: no treatment (CON), probiotics (PRO), RASV (VAX), or both prophylactics (P + V). Chicks in the PRO and P + V groups were fed probiotics daily, beginning at the age of 1-day-old. Chicks in the P + V and VAX groups were orally inoculated with RASV at the age of 4 D and boosted 2 wks later. Total and antigen-specific IgY responses to Salmonella (lipolysaccharide [LPS]) and E. coli (IroN and IutA) were measured in serum samples via ELISA. Bactericidal potential of both serum and blood against 42 APEC isolates comprising 25 serotypes was assessed in vitro. In vivo protection against APEC was evaluated by air sac challenge with APEC χ7122 (O78:K80), gross pathological lesions were scored, and bacterial loads were enumerated. In a second similar study, birds were orally challenged with S. Kentucky (CVM29188), and feces were enumerated for Salmonella at multiple time points. Vaccination elicited significant LPS-specific antibodies regardless of probiotics (P < 0.0001). Chicks in the P + V group demonstrated increased blood and serum bactericidal abilities against multiple APEC strains in vitro compared with the CON group. Following χ7122 challenge, P+V birds had less APEC in their blood (P < 0.001) and lower signs of airsacculitis (P < 0.01) and pericarditis/perihepatitis (P < 0.05) than CON birds. Finally, only P + V birds were negative for fecal Salmonella at all time points. This study shows this combination treatment may be a feasible method to reduce infection by APEC and Salmonella in chickens.


IgY,Salmonella vaccine,avian pathogenic Escherichia coli,poultry,probiotic,

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