Submitted to: American Society for Microbiology Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/7/2005
Publication Date: 6/5/2005
Citation: Huff, G.R., Huff, W.E., Rath, N.C., Johnson, M.G., Nannapaneni, R. 2005. Chronic sequelae of listeria monocytogenes respiratory infection of turkey poults and implication of biofilm involvement [abstract]. American Society for Microbiology Annual Meeting, June 5-9, 2005, Atlanta, Georgia. 2005 CDROM. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: The chronic effects of respiratory infection of young turkeys with the Scott A strain of Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) were studied. In experiment 1, 42 healthy birds that had survived respiratory challenge with Lm at day of age were treated with dexamethasone (DEX) at 4 ½ weeks of age. Body weights were decreased (P = 0.0001) and airsacculitis (P = 0.0005) and lameness (P = 0.0004) scores were increased by Lm. There were significant changes in the weights of liver, bursa, and spleen of challenged birds. Lm was not isolated from liver, air sac, or knee synovial tissues using direct plating, cold enrichment, or pre-enrichment in Fraser broth followed by plating on UVM Modified Listeria agar. In a second experiment with a 2 X 2 factorial design, 5 week-old turkeys were treated with DEX, challenged by air sac inoculation of 10**6 cfu of Lm, or treated with the combination of DEX and Lm. Lm decreased body weight (P = 0.04) and the relative weight of the bursa of Fabricius (P = 0.02) and increased relative liver weight (P = 0.04). An arthritic condition characterized by enlarged, thickened, and distended joint capsules was significantly higher in challenged birds; however, Lm was not isolated from these tissues. Culture negative samples from infected birds formed biofilms in tube cultures and bacteria within these biofilms were invasive to avian macrophage cell lines and stained positive using a shell vial fluorescent assay and Lm-specific polyclonal antibody. Knee synovial tissue Lm isolates from acute infection at day of age were compared with five laboratory Lm isolates for biofilm formation at various times and temperatures of incubation in brain heart infusion broth in a 96-well-plate format using crystal violet staining. Biofilm formation by knee isolates was numerically higher than lab isolates under all conditions tested, and was significantly higher when grown at 30C with shaking (P = 0.02). These studies suggest that early infection with Lm may have chronic affects on turkeys that may not be diagnosed using traditional cultural methods due to the apparent propensity of Lm to form biofilms in vivo.