Submitted to: Poultry Science Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/3/2002
Publication Date: 1/15/2003
Citation: HOLT, P.S., SEO, K., GAST, R.K., VAUGHN, L.E., STONE, H. DETECTION OF SALMONELLA ENTERITIDIS (SE)-SPECIFIC IGA ANTIBODIES IN CROP SAMPLES FROM SE-INFECTED CHICKENS. POULTRY SCIENCE ASSOCIATION. 2003. 82:67-70.
Interpretive Summary: The crop (ingluvies) in chickens is an outpouching of the esophagus located just above the stomach. Its primary function is as a site of food storage when the stomach is full. Earlier studies had shown that the crop was an important site for Salmonella colonization and therefore a potential source of food safety problems. However, little information has been obtained regarding immunity in this organ. We found that, in chickens infected wit S. enteritidis, a strong immune response could be detected in the crop against the challenge organism, something never shown before. These results indicate that immunity occurs in the crop and may provide immune protection against infection by intestinal pathogens such as S. enteritidis before the organism actually reaches the intestine, potentially reducing the capacity of Salmonella to infect the bird. To capitalize on this discovery, vaccination regimens could be developed which targeted the crop as well as the intestinal tract, thereby increasing their protective capacity.
Technical Abstract: The crop (ingluvies), an organ for food storage in most avian species when the stomach is full, is located at the base of the esophagus. Little is known about any immunological capacity in the crop and the current study was conducted to determine whether any antibodies to Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) could be found in crop flushes taken from white leghorn hens following ginfection with this organism. Surprisingly, an exceptionally strong IgA anti-SE response could be detected in the crops of hens 17 days post challenge and a comparison at day 22 of crop vs intestinal IgA anti-SE responses showed a good correlation between anti-SE antibody levels in the two regions. These results indicate that the crop may serve a role in immune protection in addition to its capacity as a food storage organ.