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Cytokine responses in birds challenged with the human food-borne pathogen Campylobacter jejuni implies a Th17 response

Lookup NU author(s): Dr William Reid, Dr Andrew Close, Professor Stephen Rushton



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Development of process orientated understanding of cytokine interactions within the gastrointestinal tract during an immune response to pathogens requires experimentation and statistical modelling. The immune response against pathogen challenge depends on the specific threat to the host. Here we show that broiler chickens mount a breed dependent immune response to Campylobacter jejuni infection in the caeca by analysing experimental data using frequentist and Bayesian structural equation models (SEM). SEM provides a framework by which cytokine interdependencies, based on prior knowledge, can be tested. In both breeds important cytokines including pro-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-4, IL-17A, interferon (IFN)-γ and anti-inflammatory IL-10 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β4 were are expressed post-challenge. The SEM revealed a putative regulatory pathway illustrating a T helper (Th)17 response and regulation of IL-10, which is breed dependent. The prominence of the Th17 pathway indicates the cytokine response aims to limit the invasion or colonisation of an extracellular bacterial pathogen but the time-dependent nature of the response differs between breeds.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Reid WDK, Close AJ, Humphrey S, Chaloner G, Lacharme-Lora L, Rothwell L, Kaiser P, Williams NJ, Humphrey TJ, Wigley P, Rushton SP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Royal Society Open Science

Year: 2016

Volume: 3

Online publication date: 16/03/2016

Acceptance date: 16/02/2016

Date deposited: 18/03/2016

ISSN (electronic): 2054-5703

Publisher: The Royal Society Publishing


DOI: 10.1098/rsos.150541


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Funder referenceFunder name
BB/J017159/1Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
BB/I024674/1Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council