1Department of Bacterial Genetics, Faculty of Biology, Institute of Microbiology, University of Warsaw, Miecznikowa 1, 02-096, Warsaw, Poland.
Campylobacter spp. are regarded as the most common bacterial cause of gastroenteritis worldwide, and consumption of chicken meat contaminated by Campylobacter is considered to be one of the most frequent sources of human infection in developed countries. Here we evaluated the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of Salmonella Typhimurium χ9718 producing the Campylobacter jejuni CjaA protein as a chicken anti-Campylobacter vaccine. In this study chickens were orally immunized with a new generation S. Typhimurium strain χ9718 with regulated delayed attenuation in vivo and displaying delayed antigen expression. The immunization with the S. Typhimurium χ9718 strain producing C. jejuni CjaA antigen induced strong immune responses against CjaA in both serum IgY and intestinal IgA, however, it did not result in the significant reduction of intestinal colonization by Campylobacter strain. The low level of protection might arise due to a lack of T cell response. Our results demonstrated that a Salmonella strain with regulated delayed attenuation and displaying regulated delayed antigen expression might be an efficient vector to induce immune response against Campylobacter. It seems that an efficient anti-Campylobacter subunit vaccine should be multicomponent. Since S. Typhimurium χ9718 contains two compatible balanced-lethal plasmids, it can provide the opportunity of cloning several Campylobacter genes encoding immunodominant proteins. It may also be used as a delivery vector of eukaryotic genes encoding immunostimulatory molecules to enhance or modulate functioning of chicken immune system.