In the last 2 decades, the prevalence of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis (Salmonella Enteritidis) has dramatically increased worldwide, becoming the leading cause of food-borne illnesses and an important public health issue. Many studies have suggested the role of the SEF14 fimbrial protein in the adhesion of Salmonella Enteritidis to the host. In the present study, the sefA gene, which encodes the main subunit of the SEF14 fimbrial protein, was cloned into a temperature-sensitive expression vector and transformed into a nonpathogenic, avirulent strain of Escherichia coli. The recombinant strain was used as a vaccine to elicit specific immune response against the SefA protein of Salmonella Enteritidis in 1-day-old chickens. The recombinant strain was reisolated from the intestines of treated birds for up to 21 days posttreatment, demonstrating its ability to colonize the intestinal tracts of 1-day-old chickens. In addition, immunoglobulin A (IgA) against the SefA protein was detected in intestinal secretions from treated birds at 7 days posttreatment and in bile samples from 14 to 21 days posttreatment by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Nontreated birds did not show any evidence of intestinal colonization by the recombinant strain or anti-SefA IgA response in their bile or intestinal secretions. Preliminary evaluation of the recombinant strain showed a potential use of this strain to elicit protection against Salmonella Enteritidis infection in chickens. Further experiments are needed to study the ability of the recombinant strain to protect birds against Salmonella Enteritidis colonization.
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Vol. 50 • No. 2