Interferon-gamma (IFNγ) has been demonstrated to have potent stimulatory effects on parameters of cell-mediated immunity in chickens (11). Protection of neonatal leghorn chickens against infection by invasive salmonellae has been associated with enhanced cell-mediated indices of immunity (5). The present investigation evaluated the effect of recombinant-turkey (rt) IFNγ on protection of neonatal leghorn chicks from Salmonella enteritidis (SE) organ invasion after experimental challenge in three experiments. In Expt. 1, intraperitoneal (i.p.) administration of 25 μg rtIFNγ per chick 30 min prior to per os SE challenge resulted in a 35% reduction (P < 0.01) in SE organ invasion when compared with control (vehicle injected) chicks 24 hr post-SE challenge. However, i.p. administration of 2.5 μg rtIFNγ per chick was not efficacious in reducing SE organ invasion. In Expt. 2 and Expt. 3, i.p. administration of 13.75 μg rtIFNγ per chick 30 min prior to per os SE challenge resulted in significant reductions of 38.4% (P < 0.025) and 31.58% (P < 0.01), respectively, in SE organ invasion as compared with control chicks 24 hr post-SE challenge. Administration of 2.5 or 25 μg rtIFNγ per chick i.p. had no effect on SE organ invasion in either Expt. 2 or Expt. 3 24 hr post-SE challenge. Additionally, i.p. administration of rtIFNγ 30 min prior to SE challenge in Expt. 2 and Expt. 3 was not associated with protection against SE organ invasion when organ culture was performed 72 hr postchallenge. Further, the oral administration of 25 μg rtIFNγ per chick was not efficacious in conferring protection against SE organ invasion at 24 or 72 hr postchallenge when this route of administration was evaluated in Expt. 2. Similarly, the subcutaneous administration of a potential repository injection of 13.75 or 25 μg rtIFNγ per chick did not protect chicks against SE organ invasion when evaluated 72 hr postchallenge. These data indicate a potential acute immunostimulatory activity of rtIFNγ in chickens experimentally challenged with SE. Further, these experiments, although preliminary, are suggestive of the potential involvement of IFNγ in cell-mediated or innate mechanisms of protective immunity against salmonellosis in chickens.
- Cell-mediated or innate immunity
- Salmonella enteritidis