The serological responses to Salmonella enteritidis flagella (H: g,m) and its fimbrial antigen SEF14 were evaluated as indicators of infection in chickens and to confirm serological results obtained by an ELISA using S enteritidis lipopolysaccharide (LPS) (0: 9, 12) as the detecting antigen. The SEF14 antigen and flagella were extracted from S enteritidis and transferred to nitrocellulose paper for use in Western and dot blot tests. Antisera to 19 salmonella serotypes including S enteritidis were raised in rabbits and their cross reactivity to the flagellar and SEF14 antigens was evaluated. Cross reactivity with the SEF14 antigen was found in one antiserum, raised against S blegdam, and to flagella in eight of 19 antisera raised against various salmonella serotypes, most of which shared the flagellar factors g or m with S enteritidis. The intensity of cross reaction to flagella was strongest in S derby and S blegdam antisera. Antisera raised in chickens against S typhimurium and S panama did not cross react in either test, and neither did pooled sera from eight-week-old salmonella-free, broiler breeder parent chickens. Field sera from two commercial flocks with no history of salmonella infection were negative when tested by the LPS ELISA. These sera were also negative when tested by the flagellar and SEF14 blots. S enteritidis infection in a commercial laying flock was detected initially when the sera were tested by the LPS ELISA and confirmed in individual and pooled sera by the SEF14 and flagellar tests. S enteritidis PT4 was isolated from this flock post mortem.
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