Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) is a major foodborne pathogen in the United States and one of the most frequently reported Salmonella serotypes globally. Eggs are the most common food product associated with SE infections in humans. The pathogen colonizes the intestinal tract in layers, and migrates to reproductive organs systemically. Since adhesion to and invasion of chicken oviduct epithelial cells (COEC) is critical for SE colonization in reproductive tract, reducing these virulence factors could potentially decrease egg yolk contamination. This study investigated the efficacy of sub-inhibitory concentrations of three plant-derived antimicrobials (PDAs), namely carvacrol, thymol and eugenol in reducing SE adhesion to and invasion of COEC, and survival in chicken macrophages. In addition, the effect of PDAs on SE genes critical for oviduct colonization and macrophage survival was determined using real-time quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR). All PDAs significantly reduced SE adhesion to and invasion of COEC (p < 0.001). The PDAs, except thymol consistently decreased SE survival in macrophages (p < 0.001). RT-qPCR results revealed down-regulation in the expression of genes involved in SE colonization and macrophage survival (p < 0.001). The results indicate that PDAs could potentially be used to control SE colonization in chicken reproductive tract; however, in vivo studies validating these results are warranted.
- Gene expression
- Plant-derived antimicrobials