Submitted to: Poultry Science Association Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/1/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Turkey poults are extremely susceptible to Salmonella enteritidis (SE) during the first 7 days after hatch. Previous studies from our laboratory have shown heterophils isolated from turkeys 2 to 3 weeks of age efficiently phagocytize and kill SE. However, no studies have evaluated the functional activity of heterophils from young birds as a means of describing the association between innate immunity and susceptibility to early salmonellae infections. The objective of our study was to evaluate the proficiency of heterophils from turkey poults during the first 7 days of life to phagocytize and kill SE. Our results show heterophil phagocytosis increased with age (day 1, 37%; day 4, 51%; day 7, 84%). Heterophils from 1-day-old poults killed 28% SE; whereas, heterophils from 4- and 7-day-old poults killed 38 and 71% SE, respectively. These results strongly suggest phagocytosis and killing of SE by heterophils from turkey poults are age dependent events. Based on these results, we conclude poults 1 to 4 days old are more susceptible to SE infection due to immature functional activity of the heterophil.