Weaned pigs experimentally infected with Salmonella display sexually dimorphic innate immune responses without affecting pathogen colonization patterns. Academic Article uri icon


  • Sexually dimorphic innate immune responses have been observed in several species, but have not been studied in response to a live pathogen challenge in pigs. This study aimed to elucidate sexually dimorphic innate immune responses along with Salmonella translocation patterns in newly weaned pigs orally inoculated with Salmonella. Newly weaned pigs (n = 8 gilts and 12 barrows; 6.2 0.2 kg BW) were obtained from a commercial swine facility and were maintained in an environmentally-controlled facility in individual pens equipped with feeders and nipple waterers. Pigs were allowed ad libitum access to a commercial non-medicated starter ration and water throughout the study. On d 12 post-weaning, pigs were anesthetized to allow placement of a temperature measuring device in the abdominal cavity for measurement of intraperitoneal temperature (TEMP). On d 17, pigs were anesthetized and fitted with indwelling jugular vein catheters. On the following day (d 18), pigs were orally inoculated with 4.7109 Salmonella typhimurium. Blood samples were collected at 0.5-h intervals from -2 to 8 h, and at 8-h intervals from 8 to 72 h post-challenge. Whole blood was analyzed for complete blood cell counts. Serum was isolated for measurement of cortisol. Following collection of the 72 h sample, pigs were humanely euthanized and tissues were collected for Salmonella isolation. There was a sex time interaction (P < 0.001) for TEMP such that gilts had a greater TEMP response to the Salmonella challenge compared to barrows. There was also a sex time interaction (P = 0.03) for serum cortisol with gilts having decreased cortisol at 16 h yet greater cortisol at 32 h than barrows. Barrows had greater total white blood cells (17.8 vs. 16.2 0.4 103 cells/L; P < 0.01; respectively) and neutrophils (7.8 vs. 6.1 0.4 103 cells/L; P < 0.01; respectively) than gilts. However, gilts had greater lymphocytes (9.6 vs. 9.0 0.2 103 cells/L; P = 0.05; respectively) than barrows. While immune parameters were influenced by sex, there was no effect of sex (P > 0.05) on Salmonella concentrations from fecal shedding 3 d post-inoculation in the cecum, mesenteric and subiliac lymph nodes, liver, spleen, gallbladder, or kidney tissues. These data demonstrate that weaned gilts appear to produce a stronger acute phase response to a Salmonella challenge compared to barrows, without affecting the tissue translocation or shedding of Salmonella.

published proceedings

  • Transl Anim Sci

author list (cited authors)

  • Burdick Sanchez, N. C., Broadway, P. R., Carroll, J. A., Gart, E. V., Bryan, L. K., & Lawhon, S. D.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Burdick Sanchez, Nicole C||Broadway, Paul R||Carroll, Jeffery A||Gart, Elena V||Bryan, Laura K||Lawhon, Sara D

publication date

  • February 2017