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Early-Life Immune System Maturation in Chickens Using a Synthetic Community of Cultured Gut Bacteria

Abstract : ABSTRACT The gut microbiome is crucial for both maturation of the immune system and colonization resistance against enteric pathogens. Although chicken are important domesticated animals, the impact of their gut microbiome on the immune system is understudied. Therefore, we investigated the effect of microbiome-based interventions on host mucosal immune responses. Increased levels of IgA and IgY were observed in chickens exposed to maternal feces after hatching compared with strict hygienic conditions. This was accompanied by increased gut bacterial diversity as assessed by 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Cultivation work allowed the establishment of a collection of 43 bacterial species spanning 4 phyla and 19 families, including the first cultured members of 3 novel genera and 4 novel species that were taxonomically described. This resource is available at . A synthetic community consisting of nine phylogenetically diverse and dominant species from this collection was designed and found to be moderately efficient in boosting immunoglobulin levels when provided to chickens early in life. IMPORTANCE The immune system plays a crucial role in sustaining animal health. Its development is markedly influenced by early microbial colonization of the gastrointestinal tract. As chicken are fully dependent on environmental microbes after hatching, extensive hygienic measures in production facilities are detrimental to the microbiota, resulting in low colonization resistance against pathogens. To combat enteric infections, antibiotics are frequently used, which aggravates the issue by altering gut microbiota colonization. Intervention strategies based on cultured gut bacteria are proposed to influence immune responses in chicken.
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Contributor : Nathalie Katy Chanteloup <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, May 25, 2021 - 12:28:45 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 3:42:23 AM


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Christian Zenner, Thomas Hitch, Thomas Riedel, Esther Wortmann, Stefan Tiede, et al.. Early-Life Immune System Maturation in Chickens Using a Synthetic Community of Cultured Gut Bacteria. mSystems, 2021, 6 (3), 21 p. ⟨10.1128/mSystems.01300-20⟩. ⟨hal-03234418⟩



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