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Vet Microbiol. 1999 Sep 29;69(4):265-75.

Colonisation of the chicken caecum by afimbriate and aflagellate derivatives of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis.

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  • 1Department of Bacteriology, Veterinary Laboratories Agency, Weybridge, Addlestone, Surrey, UK.


A semi-quantitative cloacal-swab method was used as an indirect measure of caecal colonisation of one-day old and five-day old chicks after oral dosing with wild-type Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis PT4 and genetically defined isogenic derivatives lacking the ability to elaborate flagella or fimbriae. Birds of both ages were readily and persistently colonised by all strains although there was a decline in shedding by the older birds after about 21 days. There were no significant differences in shedding of wild-type or mutants in single-dose experiments. In competition experiments, in which five-day old birds were dosed orally with wild-type and mutants together, shedding of non-motile derivatives was significantly lower than wild-type. At 35 days post infection, birds were sacrificed and direct counts of mutants and wild-type from each caecum were determined. Whilst there appeared to be poor correlation between direct counts and the indirect swab method, the overall trends shown by these methods of assessment indicated that flagella and not fimbriae were important in caecal colonisation in these models.

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