Submitted to: American Veterinary Medical Association Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 1, 2000
Publication Date: July 15, 2000
Citation: Gast, R.K., Holt, P.S. 2000. The relationship between specific antibody response and the deposition of salmonella enteritidis in eggs laid by experimentally infected hens. American Veterinary Medical Association Abstract. Technical Abstract: The relationship between the development of a specific antibody response in hens and the deposition of SE in eggs is important both for establishing the relevance of serological methods for detecting infection and for assessing the protective role played by humoral immunity. In two trials, laying hens were infected orally with SE (phage types 13a and 14b). Of 96 total hens, 39% produced eggs with SE in their contents (at an overall contamination incidence of 5%). As determined by ELISA using an SE flagellar antigen, 93% of infected hens produced specific serum antibodies. The mean antibody responses among hens that laid contaminated eggs were similar to those of hens that laid no contaminated eggs. Antibodies were found in the sera of 98% of hens that laid no contaminated eggs, 86% of hens that laid two or more contaminated eggs, and all hens that laid three or more contaminated eggs. Six of seven hens that never mounted a detectable antibody response laid at least one contaminated egg. Accordingly, although testing for specific antibodies is evidently useful for detecting flock infection with SE, the role of such antibodies in protecting individual hens against egg contamination is less clear. Although some hens laid several contaminated eggs despite having high antibody titers, the absence of any detectable antibody response was nearly always associated with egg contamination.