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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2008 Oct;54(1):114-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-695X.2008.00458.x. Epub 2008 Jul 18.

Campylobacter colonization of the chicken induces a proinflammatory response in mucosal tissues.

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Institute for Animal Health, Compton, Berkshire, UK.


Campylobacter jejuni is a major cause of human inflammatory enteritis, but colonizes the gastrointestinal tract of poultry to a high level in a commensal manner. In vitro, C. jejuni induces the production of cytokines from both human and avian-model epithelial cell and macrophage infections. This suggests that, in vivo, Campylobacter could induce proinflammatory signals in both hosts. We investigated whether a proinflammatory cytokine response can be measured in both day-of-hatch and 2-week-old Light Sussex chickens during infection with C. jejuni. A significant induction of proinflammatory chemokine transcript was observed in birds of both ages, compared with levels in mock-infected controls. This correlated with an influx of heterophils but was not associated with any pathology. These results suggest that in poultry there may be a controlled inflammatory process during colonization.

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