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B lymphocytes play a limited role in clearance of Campylobacter jejuni from the chicken intestinal tract

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



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


Campylobacter jejuni is the leading cause of foodborne bacterial gastroenteritis with contaminated poultry meat its main source. Control of C. jejuni is a priority for the poultry industry but no vaccines are available and their development hampered by poor understanding of the immunobiology of C. jejuni infection. Here we show the functional role of B lymphocytes in response to C. jejuni in the chicken through depletion of the B lymphocyte population (bursectomy) followed by challenge. B lymphocyte depletion has little effect on bacterial numbers in the ceca, the main site of colonisation, where C. jejuni persist to beyond commercial slaughter age, but reduces clearance from the small intestine. In longerterm experiments we show antibody leads to reduction in C. jeuni numbers in the ceca by nine weeks post infection. Whilst we did not examine any protective role to re-challenge, it illustrates the difficulty in producing a vaccine in a young, immunologically naïve host. We believe this is first study of functional immunity to C. jejuni in chicken and shows antibody is ineffective in clearing C. jejuni from the cecawithin the production lifetime of chickens, although is involved in clearance from the small intestine andlonger-term clearance from the ceca.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lacharme-Lora L, Chaloner G, Gilroy R, Humphrey S, Gibbs K, Jopson S, Wright E, Reid W, Ketley J, Humphrey T, Williams N, Rushton S, Wigley P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Scientific Reports

Year: 2017

Volume: 7

Online publication date: 23/03/2017

Acceptance date: 16/02/2017

Date deposited: 24/03/2017

ISSN (electronic): 2045-2322

Publisher: Nature Publishing Group


DOI: 10.1038/srep45090


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