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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Biosciences & Biotechnology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #323300

Title: Interleukin-17A critically contributes to susceptibility to Riemerella anatipestifer infection

item FERNANDEZ, CHERRY - Gyeongsang National University
item KIM, WOO - Gyeongsang National University
item DIAZ, JOYCE - Gyeongsang National University
item JEONG, JIPSEOL - Environmental Research Complex
item AFRIN, FAHMIDA - Gyeongsang National University
item KIM, SUK - Gyeongsang National University
item JANG, HYUNG KWAN - Chonbuk National University
item LEE, BYUNG-HYUNG - Daesung Microbiological Laboratory
item Lillehoj, Hyun
item MIN, WONG - Gyeongsang National University

Submitted to: PLoS Pathogens
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/17/2016
Publication Date: 10/1/2016
Publication URL:
Citation: Fernandez, C.P., Kim, W.H., Diaz, J.A., Jeong, J., Afrin, F., Kim, S., Jang, H., Lee, B., Lillehoj, H.S., Min, W. 2016. Interleukin-17A critically contributes to susceptibility to Riemerella anatipestifer infection. PLoS Pathogens. 63:36-46. doi: 10.1016/j.dci.2016.05.009.

Interpretive Summary: Understanding the role of various immune factors which are secreted by specific immune cells (T lymphocytes) in the host are critical to develop prevention strategies against many infectious agents. In this study, ARS scientists collaborated with scientists in a Korean university to study the role of one specific immune factor called IL-17 which is secreted by T lymphocytes in a bacterial infection using the duck as a model. The results showed that the IL-17 protein enhances the innate immune reponse in ducks but not in chickens by inducing other bioactive proteins in immune cells that cause inflammation. This study showed an underlying immune mechanism which is important in host’s response to a bacterial infection in duck species. This paper also points out animal species-differences in host immune response to pathogens.

Technical Abstract: Although IL-17 cytokines play critical roles in host defensive immunity, dysregulated expression of these cytokines is involved with inflammation and autoimmune diseases. Riemerella anatipestifer is the most economically important infectious bacterium in duck industry and causes up to 75% mortality rate in ducks according to virulence. Interestingly, not all avian species are equally susceptible to R. anatipestifer infection. In this stuty, ducks showed more susceptibility than chickens to R. anatipestifer infection when compared to mortality rate and bacterial burden. Comparative expression analyses of immune-related genes of R. anatipestifer-infected tissues and -stimulated splenic lymphocytes obtained from both birds demonstrated that IL-17A in ducks, unlike chickens, is critically associated with R. anatipestifer infection. Moreover, expression levels of IL-6, not TGF-ß, transcript related to Th17 cell differentiation dramatically increased in duck tissues, but not in chicken tissues, with R. anatipestifer infection. Further investigation revealed that 3,3’-diindolylmethane (DIM) and berberine (BBR) treatments ameliorated detrimental effects of R. anatipestifer infection, as determined by decrease of mortality rate and bacterial burden, and downregulation of IL-17A and IL-6 mRNA expressions. Our results suggest that upregulation of of IL-17A expression involve susceptibility to R. anatipestifer infection and thus anti-IL-17A agents can be used to alleviate R. anatipestifer infection.