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Resistance genes to Salmonella carrier-state in fowls

Contract nr: FAIR-CT98-4311
Project nr: 4311
Project type: SC
Starting date: 01/01/1999
Duration: 42 months
Total cost: 1,888,233 EUR
EC Contribution: 1,307,813 EUR
Scientific Officer: Isabel MINGUEZ-TUDELA
Research topic: Animal health

Salmonellosis is one of the major causes of human disease related to food consumption. Poultry products are the main source of human toxi-infections, mostly because of an asymptomatic carrier-state (i.e. persistence of Salmonella in apparently healthy fowls several weeks after contamination or experimental inoculation). Most often the serotype responsible for human food poisoning is Salmonella enteritidis. The caecal and ovarian Salmonella carrier-states will be considered. The former results in horizontal transmission of the bacteria and leads to human disease through contamination of the egg shell at the oviposition and of the carcass during evisceration. The latter results in vertical transmission of Salmonella and in yolk contamination. It has been shown that resistance to Salmonella infection and carrier-state was partly genetically controlled. Major genes of resistance to infection have been identified whereas genes controlling resistance to carrier-state are still unknown.

Our objectives are therefore:

1) to discover which genes control the caecal carrier-state after inoculation with Salmonella enteritidis;
2) to find out to what extent these genes also control resistance to the ovarian carrier-state after inoculation with Salmonella enteritidis;
3) to study the mode of action of these genes to help in their identification and their use for selection.

In the longer term (beyond the limits of this project) these results will be transferred (by comparative genetics) to other animal species also susceptible to Salmonella, but which lend themselves less favourably to genetic studies. We shall first measure in a commercial poultry line the effects of the resistance genes already identified in mice (TASK 1) or mapped in fowls when studying resistance to mortality (TASK 2). As the genes controlling resistance to carrier-state and resistance to mortality partly differ, carrier state QTL mapping will be achieved in TASK 3, to discover other genome regions (or Quantitative Trait loci) involved. In TASK 4 we shall identify the differences in host response to Salmonella enteritidis between genetically resistant and susceptible animals: this will lead us to understand the mode of action of these genes and will contribute to their identification. In TASK 5 we shall determine to what extent genetic resistance will be efficient against other Salmonella strains or serotypes. At the end of this project we will know how to perform marker-assisted selection for increased resistance to carrier-state, and what advantages to expect from such a genetic improvement.

Current situation/results :

The work that had been planned has been achieved and analyses are in progress.


Catherine BEAUMONT
Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique-EPST
Rue de l'Université 147
F-75338 Paris
Tel.: +33 2 47 42 78 29
Fax: +33 2 47 42 77 78


  • Danielle MALO
    The Montreal General Hospital Research Institute
    (Mc Gill University Affiliated Hospital)
    Avenue Cedar 1650
    Room L11-144
    Montreal QC
    CDN-H3G 1A4
    Tel.: +51 49 37 60 11
    Fax: +51 49 34 82 61

  • Paul Andrew BARROW
    Institute for Animal Health
    UK-RG2O 7NN Newbury
    Tel.: +44 1635 57 84 11
    Fax: +44 1635 57 72 37

  • Jacob Anthony WAGENAAR
    Institute for Animal Science and Health
    Edelhertweg 15
    PO Box 65
    NL-8200 AB Lelystad
    Tel.: +31 320 23 81 57
    Fax: +31 320 23 81 53

  • Philippe BARET
    Université Catholique de Louvain
    Place de l'Université 1
    B-1348 Louvain-La-Neuve
    Tel.: +32 10 47 37 23
    Fax: +32 10 47 37 28

  • Pierre COLIN
    Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments
    Avenue du Général De Gaulle 23
    F-94701 Maisons Alfort
    Tel.: +33 1 49 77 27 93
    Fax: +33 1 49 77 90 05

  • Michel Protais
    Hubbard ISA SA
    Avenue Maréchal de Saxe 119
    F-69427 Lyon
    Tel.: +33 2 96 79 63 80
    Fax: +33 2 96 74 04 71

  • Martin WOODWARD
    Veterinary Laboratories Agency
    New Ham
    UK-KT15 3NB Addlestone
    Tel: +44 1932 35 70 00
    Fax: +44 1932 34 70 46

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