SUMMARY. Lymphocyte proliferation and interleukin (IL)-2 and IL-6 levels in serum were measured as indicators of cell-mediated immunity after immunization of chickens with a commercial killed Salmonella enteritidis (SE) vaccine or experimental subunit vaccines of crude protein (CP) extract or the outer membrane protein (OMP). Significantly increased proliferative responses to SE flagella, but not lipopolysaccharide, porin, CP, or OMP, were observed at 1 wk postimmunization in the three vaccination groups. The responses to flagella were specific because flagella-induced proliferation was not seen in chickens immunized with adjuvant alone. Of the three immunization protocols, use of the killed SE vaccine appeared most effective because it induced higher flagella-stimulated lymphocyte proliferation at 1 and 2 wk postvaccination compared with the CP- and OMP-vaccinated groups. Significantly increased IL-2 and IL-6 levels in serum were seen at 1 wk postimmunization in the three vaccination groups compared with adjuvant alone, but there were no differences between the killed vaccine and the subunit vaccines at this time, and the levels of both lymphokines returned to baseline at 2 wk postimmunization. We conclude that cell-mediated immunity to SE after vaccination with the killed bacterial vaccine or subunit vaccines is transient and mainly limited to flagella.
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Vol. 47 • No. 4