How Genes Affect Salmonella Resistance in Chickens

FRANCE - The genes controlling resistance to Salmonella depend on the chicken line studied, the bird's age and the trait being assessed, according to a recently published review.
calendar icon 4 May 2010
clock icon 3 minute read

F. Calenge from INRA Nouzilly and co-authors have published a review in Genetics Selection Evolution on the genetic control of salmonella resistance in chickens.

Salmonellosis is a frequent disease in poultry stocks, caused by several serotypes of the bacterial species Salmonella enterica and sometimes transmitted to humans through the consumption of contaminated meat or eggs, they explain. Symptom-free carriers of the bacteria contribute greatly to the propagation of the disease in poultry stocks.

So far, several candidate genes and quantitative trait loci (QTL) for resistance to carrier state or to acute disease have been identified using artificial infection of S. enterica serovar Enteritidis or S. enterica serovar Typhimurium strains in diverse genetic backgrounds, with several different infection procedures and phenotypic assessment protocols. This diversity in experimental conditions has led to a complex sum of results, but allows a more complete description of the disease.

Comparisons between studies show that genes controlling resistance to Salmonella differ according to the chicken line studied, the trait assessed and the chicken's age. The loci identified are located on 25 of the 38 chicken autosomal chromosomes.

Some of these loci are clustered in several genomic regions, indicating the possibility of a common genetic control for different models. In particular, the genomic regions carrying the candidate genes TLR4 and SLC11A1, the Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) and the QTL SAL1 are interesting for more in-depth studies.

This article reviews the main Salmonella infection models and chicken lines studied under a historical perspective and then the candidate genes and QTL identified so far.


Calenge F., P. Kaiser, A. Vignal and C. Beaumont. 2010. Genetic control of resistance to salmonellosis and to Salmonella carrier-state in fowl: a review. Genetics Selection Evolution, 42:11. doi:10.1186/1297-9686-42-11.

Further Reading

- You can view the full report (as a provisional PDF) by clicking here.
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