Newcastle disease (ND) is a highly contagious disease of chickens causing significant economic losses worldwide. Due to limitations in the efficacy against currently circulating ND viruses, existing vaccination strategies require improvements, and incorporating immunomodulatory cytokines with existing vaccines might be a novel approach. Here, we investigated the systemic and mucosal immunomodulatory properties of oral co-administration of chicken interleukin-18 (chIL-18) and chicken interferon-α (chIFN-α) using attenuated Salmonella enterica
serovar Typhimurium on an inactivated ND vaccine. Our results demonstrate that oral administration of S. enterica
serovar Typhimurium expressing chIL-18 or chIFN-α provided enhanced systemic and mucosal immune responses, as determined by serum hemagglutination inhibition antibody and NDV Ag-specific IgG as well as NDV Ag-specific IgA in lung and duodenal lavages of chickens immunized with inactivated ND vaccine via the intramuscular or intranasal route. Notably, combined oral administration of S. enterica
serovar Typhimurium expressing chIL-18 and chIFN-α significantly enhanced systemic and mucosal immunity in ND-vaccinated chickens, compared to single administration of S. enterica
serovar Typhimurium expressing chIL-18 or chIFN-α. In addition, oral co-administration of S. enterica
serovar Typhimurium expressing chIL-18 and chIFN-α provided enhanced NDV Ag-specific proliferation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells and Th1-biased cell-mediated immunity, compared to single administration of either construct. Therefore, our results provide valuable insight into the modulation of systemic and mucosal immunity by incorporation of immunomodulatory chIL-18 and chIFN-α using Salmonella
vaccines into existing ND vaccines.