Campylobacter jejuni is the most common cause of bacterial foodborne gastroenteritis and holds significant public health importance. The continuing increase of antibiotic-resistant Campylobacter necessitates the development of antibiotic-alternative approaches to control infections in poultry and in humans. Here, we assessed the ability of E. coli Nissle 1917 (EcN; free and chitosan-alginate microencapsulated) to reduce C. jejuni colonization in chickens and measured the effect of EcN on the immune responses, intestinal morphology, and gut microbes of chickens. Our results showed that the supplementation of 3-week-old chickens daily with free EcN in drinking water resulted in a 2.0 log reduction of C. jejuni colonization in the cecum, whereas supplementing EcN orally three times a week, either free or microencapsulated, resulted in 2.0 and 2.5 log reductions of C. jejuni colonization, respectively. Gavaged free and microencapsulated EcN did not have an impact on the evenness or the richness of the cecal microbiota, but it did increase the villous height (VH), crypt depth (CD), and VH:CD ratio in the jejunum and ileum of chickens. Further, the supplementation of EcN (all types) increased C. jejuni-specific and total IgA and IgY antibodies in chicken's serum. Microencapsulated EcN induced the expression of several cytokines and chemokines (1.6 to 4.3-fold), which activate the Th1, Th2, and Th17 pathways. Overall, microencapsulated EcN displayed promising effects as a potential nonantibiotic strategy to control C. jejuni colonization in chickens. Future studies on testing microencapsulated EcN in the feed and water of chickens raised on built-up floor litter would facilitate the development of EcN for industrial applications to control Campylobacter infections in poultry.
|Journal||Infection and Immunity|
|State||Published - Oct 20 2022|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We thank Wilbur Ouma for the assistance with the bioinformatic analysis. We thank Juliette Hanson, Megan Strother, and Sara Tallmadge for animal care assistance. The research in the Rajashekara laboratory is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA) (grant numbers 2015-68004-23131 and 2020-6701-31401) and The Ohio State University’s SEEDS program. We declare no conflict of interest.
© 2022 Helmy et al.
- C. jejuni
- gut microbes
- immune response
- inflammatory response
- intestinal morphology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases