Listeria monocytogenesinfection of HD11, chicken macrophage-like cells

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Listeria monocytogenes can be carried by and infect poultry, although the clinical disease in birds is rare. Escape from macrophage phagocytosis is a key step in pathogenesis for L. monocytogenes. Therefore, we investigated the infection of the chicken macrophage-like cell line HD11 with 2 strains of L. monocytogenes EGD-e and Scott A. After infection, L. monocytogenes was quantified by spread plating and HD11 was quantified with trypan blue exclusion stain before enumeration. The standard macrophage killing protocols require washing the cell monolayers 3 times with PBS, which was found to negatively influence HD11 monolayers. Maximum bacterial densities within macrophages were not different between the 2 Listeria strains. HD11 required more than 11 h to effectively reduce intracellular L. monocytogenes Scott A, and Scott A was more susceptible to HD11 killing than EGD-e. It appears that Listeria infection initially causes attenuation of HD11 growth, and infected HD11 cells do not begin to lyse until at least 11 h post infection. These results suggest that there are subtle strain to strain differences in response to HD11 macrophage phagocytosis. The long lead-time required for HD11 to kill L. monocytogenes cells means that there is sufficient time available for chicken macrophages to circulate in the blood and transfer the intracellular Listeria to multiple tissues.

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