Open Access

Heritability of susceptibility to Salmonella enteritidis infection in fowls and test of the role of the chromosome carrying the NRAMP1 gene

  • Odile Girard-Santosuosso1,
  • Frédéric Lantier1Email author,
  • Isabelle Lantier1,
  • Nat Bumstead2,
  • Jean-Michel Elsen3 and
  • Catherine Beaumont4
Genetics Selection Evolution200234:211

Received: 15 March 2001

Accepted: 5 November 2001

Published: 15 March 2002


373 thirteen-week-old chicks issued from a commercial cross and 312 chickens from the L2 line were intravenously inoculated with 106Salmonella enteritidis and the numbers of Salmonella in the spleen, liver and genital organs were assessed 3 days later. Heritabilities of the number of Salmonella were estimated at 0.02 ± 0.04 and 0.05 ± 0.05 in the liver; at 0.29 ± 0.07 and 0.10 ± 0.06 in the spleen; and at 0.16 ± 0.05 and 0.11 ± 0.08 in the genital organs, in the first and second experiments, respectively. The difference between the two experiments could result from sampling variations and from differences in the genetic structure of the two populations possibly including both heterosis and additive effects as well as their interaction in the first experiment. Genetic correlations between the number of bacteria in the genital organs and liver (0.56 ± 0.58 and 0.76 ± 0.32 in the first and second experiments, respectively) and spleen (0.37 ± 0.24 and 0.79 ± 0.23) were positive. Moreover a significant within-sire effect of VIL1, a marker gene for NRAMP1, was observed in 117 progeny resulting from 25 informative matings. These results indicate that there are genetic differences in the resistance to visceral infection by S. enteritidis in these commercial egg-laying flocks, and suggest that these differences are at least partly due to genetic polymorphism in the NRAMP1 region.


genetics Salmonella resistanceNRAMP1poultry

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Authors’ Affiliations

Département de santé animale, Station de pathologie infectieuse et immunologie, Institut national de la recherche agronomique
Compton laboratory, Institute for Animal Health, Compton, Newbury
Département de génétique animale, Station d'amélioration génétique des animaux, Institut national de la recherche agronomique
Département de génétique animale, Station de recherches avicoles, Institut national de la recherche agronomique


© INRA, EDP Sciences 2002