Salmonella fecal shedding and immune responses are dose- and serotype- dependent in pigs.


Despite the public health importance of Salmonella infection in pigs, little is known about the associated dynamics of fecal shedding and immunity. In this study, we investigated the transitions of pigs through the states of Salmonella fecal shedding and immune response post-Salmonella inoculation as affected by the challenge dose and serotype. Continuous-time multistate Markov models were developed using published experimental data. The model for shedding had four transient states, of which two were shedding (continuous and intermittent shedding) and two non-shedding (latency and intermittent non-shedding), and one absorbing state representing permanent cessation of shedding. The immune response model had two transient states representing responses below and above the seroconversion level. The effects of two doses [low (0.65×10(6) CFU/pig) and high (0.65×10(9) CFU/pig)] and four serotypes (Salmonella Yoruba, Salmonella Cubana, Salmonella Typhimurium, and Salmonella Derby) on the models' transition intensities were evaluated using a proportional intensities model. Results indicated statistically significant effects of the challenge dose and serotype on the dynamics of shedding and immune response. The time spent in the specific states was also estimated. Continuous shedding was on average 10-26 days longer, while intermittent non-shedding was 2-4 days shorter, in pigs challenged with the high compared to low dose. Interestingly, among pigs challenged with the high dose, the continuous and intermittent shedding states were on average up to 10-17 and 3-4 days longer, respectively, in pigs infected with S. Cubana compared to the other three serotypes. Pigs challenged with the high dose of S. Typhimurium or S. Derby seroconverted on average up to 8-11 days faster compared to the low dose. These findings highlight that Salmonella fecal shedding and immune response following Salmonella challenge are dose- and serotype-dependent and that the detection of specific Salmonella strains and immune responses in pigs are time-sensitive.

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