At present, the immune response of pigs in relation to Staphylococcus aureus carriage is poorly understood. This study was aimed at investigating the dynamics of the anti-staphylococcal humoral immune response in methicillin-susceptible S. aureus (MSSA)-positive piglets and at assessing the effect of the experimental introduction of a methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) Sequence Type (ST) 398 strain. Therefore, serum samples were collected at different times from 31 weaned piglets originating from four different sows. Twenty-four out of the 31 piglets were challenged with MRSA ST398. The serum samples were analyzed for IgG antibodies to 39 S. aureus antigens, using a multiplex bead-based assay (xMAP technology, Luminex Corporation). Though antibody responses showed broad inter-individual variability, serological results appeared to be clustered by litter of origin. For most antigens, an age-related response was observed with an apparent increase in antibody titers directed against staphylococcal microbial surface components recognizing adhesive matrix molecules (MSCRAMM), which have been shown to play a role in S. aureus colonization. In most animals, antibody titers directed against staphylococcal toxins or immune-modulating proteins decreased with age, possibly reflecting the absence of bacterial invasion. The introduction of MRSA ST398 did not elicit a significant humoral immune reaction.
This study describes, for the first time, the humoral immune response in weaned pigs colonized with S. aureus.
While many factors contribute to resistance and susceptibility to infectious disease, a major component is the genotype of the host and the way in which it is expressed. Johne’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease affecting ruminants and is caused by infection with Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP). We have previously identified red deer breeds (Cervus elaphus) that are resistant; have a low rate of MAP infection and do not progress to develop Johne’s disease. In contrast, susceptible breeds have a high rate of MAP infection as seen by seroconversion and progress to develop clinical Johne’s disease. The aim of this study was to determine if immunological differences exist between animals of resistant or susceptible breeds. Macrophage cultures were derived from the monocytes of deer genotypically defined as resistant or susceptible to the development of Johne’s disease. Following in vitro infection of the cells with MAP, the expression of candidate genes was assessed by quantitative PCR as well as infection rate and cell death rate. The results indicate that macrophages from susceptible animals show a significantly higher upregulation of inflammatory genes (iNOS, IL-1α, TNF-α and IL-23p19) than the macrophages from resistant animals. Cells from resistant animals had a higher rate of apoptosis at 24 hours post infection (hpi) compared to macrophages from susceptible animals. The excessive expression of inflammatory mRNA transcripts in susceptible animals could cause inefficient clearing of the mycobacterial organism and the establishment of disease. Controlled upregulation of inflammatory pathways coupled with programmed cell death in the macrophages of resistant animals may predispose the host to a protective immune response against this mycobacterial pathogen.
A better understanding of the variation in infectivity and its relation with clinical signs may help to improve measures to control and prevent (clinical) outbreaks of diseases. Here we investigated the role of disease severity on infectivity and transmission of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae, a bacterium causing respiratory problems in pig farms. We carried out transmission experiments with 10 pairs of caesarean-derived, colostrum-deprived pigs. In each pair, one pig was inoculated intranasally with 5 × 106 CFUs of A. pleuropneumoniae strain 1536 and housed together with a contact pig. Clinical signs were scored and the course of infection was observed by bacterial examination and qPCR analysis of tonsillar brush and nasal swab samples. In 6 out of 10 pairs transmission to contact pigs was observed, but disease scores in contact infected pigs were low compared to the score in inoculated pigs. Whereas disease score was positively associated with bacterial load in inoculated pigs and bacterial load with the transmission rate, the disease score had a negative association with transmission. These findings indicate that in pigs with equal bacterial load, those with higher clinical scores transmit A. pleuropneumoniae less efficiently. Finally, the correlation between disease score in inoculated pigs and in positive contact pigs was low. Although translation of experimental work towards farm level has limitations, our results suggest that clinical outbreaks of A. pleuropneumoniae are unlikely to be caused only by spread of the pathogen by clinically diseased pigs, but may rather be the result of development of clinical signs in already infected pigs.
Hemotrophic mycoplasmas (HM) are highly specialized red blood cell parasites that cause infectious anemia in a variety of mammals, including humans. To date, no in vitro cultivation systems for HM have been available, resulting in relatively little information about the pathogenesis of HM infection. In pigs, Mycoplasma suis-induced infectious anemia is associated with hemorrhagic diathesis, and coagulation dysfunction. However, intravasal coagulation and subsequent consumption coagulopathy can only partly explain the sequence of events leading to hemorrhagic diathesis manifesting as cyanosis, petechial bleeding, and ecchymosis, and to disseminated coagulation. The involvement of endothelial activation and damage in M. suis-associated pathogenesis was investigated using light and electron microscopy, immunohistochemistry, and cell sorting. M. suis interacted directly with endothelial cells in vitro and in vivo. Endothelial activation, widespread endothelial damage, and adherence of red blood cells to the endothelium were evident in M. suis-infected pigs. These alterations of the endothelium were accompanied by hemorrhage, intravascular coagulation, vascular occlusion, and massive morphological changes within the parenchyma. M. suis biofilm-like microcolonies formed on the surface of endothelial cells, and may represent a putative persistence mechanism of M. suis. In vitro analysis demonstrated that M. suis interacted with the endothelial cytoskeletal protein actin, and induced actin condensation and activation of endothelial cells, as determined by the up-regulation of ICAM, PECAM, E-selectin, and P-selectin. These findings demonstrate an additional cell tropism of HM for endothelial cells and suggest that M. suis interferes with the protective function of the endothelium, resulting in hemorrhagic diathesis.
Malaria is a serious infectious disease caused by parasites of the Plasmodium genus that affect different vertebrate hosts. Severe malaria leads to host death and involves different pathophysiological phenomena such as anemia, thrombocytopenia and inflammation. Nitric oxide (NO) is an important effector molecule in this disease, but little is known about its role in avian malaria models. Plasmodium gallinaceum- infected chickens were treated with aminoguanidine (AG), an inhibitor of inducible nitric oxide synthase, to observe the role of NO in the pathogenesis of this avian model. AG increased the survival of chickens, but also induced higher parasitemia. Treated chickens demonstrated reduced anemia and thrombocytopenia. Moreover, erythrocytes at different stages of maturation, heterophils, monocytes and thrombocytes were infected by Plasmodium gallinaceum and animals presented a generalized leucopenia. Activated leukocytes and thrombocytes with elongated double nuclei were observed in chickens with higher parasitemia; however, eosinophils were not involved in the infection. AG reduced levels of hemozoin in the spleen and liver, indicating lower inflammation. Taken together, the results suggest that AG reduced anemia, thrombocytopenia and inflammation, explaining the greater survival rate of the treated chickens.
Pigeon protozoal encephalitis (PPE) is an emerging central-nervous disease of domestic pigeons (Columba livia f. domestica) reported in Germany and the United States. It is caused by the apicomplexan parasite Sarcocystis calchasi which is transmitted by Accipter hawks. In contrast to other members of the Apicomplexa such as Toxoplasma and Plasmodium, the knowledge about the pathophysiology and host manipulation of Sarcocystis is scarce and almost nothing is known about PPE. Here we show by mRNA expression profiling a significant down-modulation of the interleukin (IL)-12/IL-18/interferon (IFN)-γ axis in the brains of experimentally infected pigeons during the schizogonic phase of disease. Concomitantly, no cellular immune response was observed in histopathology while immunohistochemistry and nested PCR detected S. calchasi. In contrast, in the late central-nervous phase, IFN-γ and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) α-related cytokines were significantly up-modulated, which correlated with a prominent MHC-II protein expression in areas of mononuclear cell infiltration and necrosis. The mononuclear cell fraction was mainly composed of T-lymphocytes, fewer macrophages and B-lymphocytes. Surprisingly, the severity and composition of the immune cell response appears unrelated to the infectious dose, although the severity and onset of the central nervous signs clearly was dose-dependent. We identified no or only very few tissue cysts by immunohistochemistry in pigeons with severe encephalitis of which one pigeon repeatedly remained negative by PCR despite severe lesions. Taken together, these observations may suggest an immune evasion strategy of S. calchasi during the early phase and a delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction as cause of the extensive cerebral lesions during the late neurological phase of disease.
The present study was aimed at investigating the effect of experimental infection by Trypanosoma vivax in different stages of pregnancy, determining the pathogenesis of reproductive failure, and confirming transplacental transmission. We used 12 pregnant ewes distributed into four experimental groups: G1, was formed by three ewes infected with T. vivax in the first third of pregnancy (30 days); G2 comprised three infected ewes in the final third of pregnancy (100 days); G3 and G4 were composed of three non-infected ewes with the same gestational period, respectively. Each ewe of G1 and G2 was inoculated with 1.25 × 105 tripomastigotes. Clinical examination, determination of parasitemia, serum biochemistry (albumin, total protein, glucose, cholesterol, and urea), packed cell volume (PCV), serum progesterone, and pathological examination were performed. Placenta, amniotic fluid, blood and tissues from the fetuses and stillbirths were submitted to PCR. Two ewes of G1 (Ewe 1 and 3) presented severe infection and died in the 34th and 35th days post-infection (dpi), respectively; but both fetuses were recovered during necropsy. In G2, Ewe 5 aborted two fetuses on the 130th day (30 dpi) of pregnancy; and Ewe 6 aborted one fetus in the 140th day (40 dpi) of gestation. Ewes 2 and 4 delivered two weak lambs that died five days after birth. Factors possibly involved with the reproductive failure included high parasitemia, fever, low PCV, body score, serum glucose, total protein, cholesterol, and progesterone. Hepatitis, pericarditis, and encephalitis were observed in the aborted fetuses. The presence of T. vivax DNA in the placenta, amniotic fluid, blood, and tissues from the fetuses confirms the transplacental transmission of the parasite. Histological lesion in the fetuses and placenta also suggest the involvement of the parasite in the etiopathogenesis of reproductive failure in ewes.
The heartworm Dirofilaria immitis is the causative agent of cardiopulmonary dirofilariosis in dogs and cats, which also infects a wide range of wild mammals and humans. The complex life cycle of D. immitis with several developmental stages in its invertebrate mosquito vectors and its vertebrate hosts indicates the importance of miRNA in growth and development, and their ability to regulate infection of mammalian hosts. This study identified the miRNA profiles of D. immitis of zoonotic significance by deep sequencing. A total of 1063 conserved miRNA candidates, including 68 anti-sense miRNA (miRNA*) sequences, were predicted by computational methods and could be grouped into 808 miRNA families. A significant bias towards family members, family abundance and sequence nucleotides was observed. Thirteen novel miRNA candidates were predicted by alignment with the Brugia malayi genome. Eleven out of 13 predicted miRNA candidates were verified by using a PCR-based method. Target genes of the novel miRNA candidates were predicted by using the heartworm transcriptome dataset. To our knowledge, this is the first report of miRNA profiles in D. immitis, which will contribute to a better understanding of the complex biology of this zoonotic filarial nematode and the molecular regulation roles of miRNA involved. Our findings may also become a useful resource for small RNA studies in other filarial parasitic nematodes.
The conventional C-strain vaccine induces early protection against classical swine fever (CSF), but infected animals cannot be distinguished from vaccinated animals. The CP7_E2alf marker vaccine, a pestivirus chimera, could be a suitable substitute for C-strain vaccine to control CSF outbreaks. In this study, single oral applications of CP7_E2alf and C-strain vaccines were compared for their efficacy to induce protection against a CSF virus (CSFV) challenge with the moderately virulent Bas-Rhin isolate, in pigs as early as two days post-immunization. This work emphasizes the powerful potential of CP7_E2alf vaccine administered orally by a rapid onset of partial protection similar to that induced by the C-strain vaccine. Furthermore, our results revealed that both vaccinations attenuated the effects induced by CSFV on production of the pig major acute phase protein (PigMAP), IFN-α, IL-12, IL-10, and TGF-β1 cytokines. By this interference, several cytokines that may play a role in the pathogeny induced by moderately virulent CSFV strains were revealed. New hypotheses concerning the role of each of these cytokines in CSFV pathogeny are discussed. Our results also show that oral vaccination with either vaccine (CP7_E2alf or C-strain) enhanced CSFV–specific IgG2 production, compared to infection alone. Interestingly, despite the similar antibody profiles displayed by both vaccines post-challenge, the production of CSFV-specific IgG1 and neutralizing antibodies without challenge was lower with CP7_E2alf vaccination than with C-strain vaccination, suggesting a slight difference in the balance of adaptive immune responses between these vaccines.
Sheep scab is an intensively pruritic, exudative and allergic dermatitis of sheep caused by the ectoparasitic mite Psoroptes ovis. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of P. ovis infestation on different components of the ovine epidermal barrier within the first 24 hours post-infestation (hpi). To achieve this, the expression of epidermal differentiation complex (EDC) genes and epidermal barrier proteins, the nature and severity of epidermal pathology and transepidermal water loss (TEWL) were evaluated.
By 1 hpi a significant dermal polymorphonuclear infiltrate and a significant increase in TEWL with maximal mean TEWL (598.67 g/m2h) were observed. Epidermal pathology involving intra-epidermal pustulation, loss of epidermal architecture and damage to the basement membrane was seen by 3 hpi. Filaggrin and loricrin protein levels in the stratum corneum declined significantly in the first 24 hpi and qPCR validation confirmed the decrease in expression of the key EDC genes involucrin, filaggrin and loricrin observed by microarray analysis, with 5.8-fold, 4.5-fold and 80-fold decreases, respectively by 24 hpi.
The present study has demonstrated that early P. ovis infestation disrupts the ovine epidermal barrier causing significant alterations in the expression of critical barrier components, epidermal pathology, and TEWL. Many of these features have also been documented in human and canine atopic dermatitis suggesting that sheep scab may provide a model for the elucidation of events occurring in the early phases of atopic sensitisation.
Natural Killer (NK) cells play a crucial role in the early phase of immune responses against various pathogens. In swine so far only little information about this lymphocyte population exists. Phenotypical analyses with newly developed monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) against porcine NKp46 recently revealed that in blood NKp46- and NKp46+ cells with NK phenotype exist with comparable cytotoxic properties. In spleen a third NKp46-defined population with NK phenotype was observed that was characterised by a low to negative CD8α and increased NKp46 expression. In the current study it is shown that this NKp46high phenotype was correlated with an increased expression of CD16 and CD27 compared to the CD8α+NKp46- and NKp46+ NK-cell subsets in spleen and blood. Additionally NKp46high NK cells expressed elevated levels of the chemokine receptor CXCR3 on mRNA level. Functional analyses revealed that splenic NKp46high NK cells produced much higher levels of Interferon-γ and Tumor Necrosis Factor-α upon stimulation with cytokines or phorbol-12-myristate-13-acetate/Ionomycin compared to the other two subsets. Furthermore, cross-linking of NKp46 by NKp46-specific mAbs led to a superior CD107a expression in the NKp46high NK cells, thus indicating a higher cytolytic capacity of this subset. Therefore porcine splenic NKp46high NK cells represent a highly activated subset of NK cells and may play a profound role in the immune surveillance of this organ.
Chagas disease has a high incidence in Mexico and other Latin American countries. Because one of the most important known methods of prevention is vector control, which has been effective only in certain areas of South America, the development of a vaccine to protect people at risk has been proposed. In this study, we assessed the cellular and humoral immune response generated following immunization with pBCSP and pBCSSP4 plasmids containing the genes encoding a trans-sialidase protein (present in all three forms of T. cruzi) and an amastigote specific glycoprotein, respectively, in a canine model. Thirty-five beagle dogs were divided randomly into 5 groups (n = 7) and were immunized twice intramuscularly with 500 μg of pBCSSP4, pBCSP, pBk-CMV (empty plasmid) or saline solution. Fifteen days after the last immunization the 4 groups were infected intraperitoneally with 500 000 metacyclic trypomastigotes. The fifth group was unimmunized/infected. The parasitaemia in the immunized/infected dogs was for a shorter period (14 vs. 29 days) and the parasite load was lower. The concentration of IgG1 (0.612 ± 0.019 O.D.) and IgG2 (1.167 ± 0.097 O.D.) subclasses was measured (absorbance) 15 days after the last immunization with both recombinant plasmids, the majority of which were IgG2. The treatment of parasites using the serum from dogs immunized with pBCSP and pBCSSP4 plasmids produced 54% (± 11.8) and 68% (± 21.4) complement-mediated lysis, respectively. At 12 h post immunization, an increase in cytokines was not observed; however, vaccination with pBCSSP4 significantly increased the levels of IFN-γ and IL-10 at 9 months post-infection. The recombinant plasmid immunization stimulated the spleen cell proliferation showing a positive stimulatory index above 2.0. In conclusion, immunization using both genes effectively induces a humoral and cellular immune response.
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is responsible for significant economic losses in the porcine industry. Currently available commercial vaccines do not allow optimal and safe protection. In this study, replicating but nondisseminating adenovectors (rAdV) were used for the first time in pigs for vaccinal purposes. They were expressing the PRRSV matrix M protein in fusion with either the envelope GP5 wild-type protein (M-GP5) which carries the major neutralizing antibody (NAb)-inducing epitope or a mutant form of GP5 (M-GP5m) developed to theoretically increase the NAb immune response. Three groups of fourteen piglets were immunized both intramuscularly and intranasally at 3-week intervals with rAdV expressing the green fluorescent protein (GFP, used as a negative control), M-GP5 or M-GP5m. Two additional groups of pigs were primed with M-GP5m-expressing rAdV followed by a boost with bacterially-expressed recombinant wild-type GP5 or were immunized twice with a PRRSV inactivated commercial vaccine. The results show that the rAdV expressing the fusion proteins of interest induced systemic and mucosal PRRSV GP5-specific antibody response as determined in an ELISA. Moreover the prime with M-GP5m-expressing rAdV and boost with recombinant GP5 showed the highest antibody response against GP5. Following PRRSV experimental challenge, pigs immunized twice with rAdV expressing either M-GP5 or M-GP5m developed partial protection as shown by a decrease in viremia overtime. The lowest viremia levels and/or percentages of macroscopic lung lesions were obtained in pigs immunized twice with either the rAdV expressing M-GP5m or the PRRSV inactivated commercial vaccine.
The molecular pathogenic mechanisms of prion diseases are far from clear. Genomic analyses have revealed genetic biomarkers potentially involved in prion neuropathology in naturally scrapie-infected sheep, a good animal model of infectious prionopathies. However, these biomarkers must be validated in independent studies at different stages of the disease. The gene and protein expression profiles and protein distribution of six potential genetic biomarkers (i.e., CAPN6, COL1A2, COL3A1, GALA1, MT2A and MTNR1B) are presented here for both the early and terminal stages of scrapie in five different brain regions. Gene transcription changes were confirmed in the medulla oblongata, and the expression profiles were generally similar in other central nervous system regions. The changes were more substantial in clinical animals compared to preclinical animals. The expression of the CAPN6 protein increased in the spinal cord and cerebellum of the clinical and preclinical brains. The distribution of the GALA1 was identified in glial cells from the cerebellum of scrapie-infected animals, GALA1 protein expression was increased in clinical animals in the majority of regions, and the increase of MT2A was in agreement with previous reports. The downregulation of MTNR1B was especially marked in the Purkinje cells. Finally, although collagen genes were downregulated the protein immunostaining did not reveal significant changes between the scrapie-infected and control animals. In conclusion, this study of gene transcription and protein expression and distribution confirm CAPN6, GALA1, MTNR1B and MT2A as potential targets for further prion disease research.
Differentiation of porcine T helper cells is still poorly investigated, partly due to a lack of monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) specific for molecules involved in this process. Recently, we identified a mAb specific for porcine CD27 and showed that CD27 is expressed by all naïve CD8α- T helper cells but divides CD8α+ T helper cells into a CD27+ and a CD27- subset. In the present study, detailed phenotypical and functional analyses of these T-helper cell subpopulations were performed. Naïve CD8α-CD27+ T helper cells predominantly resided in various lymph nodes, whereas higher proportions of CD8α+CD27+ and CD8α+CD27- T helper cells were found in blood, spleen and liver. Both CD8α+CD27+ and CD8α+CD27- T helper cells were capable of producing IFN-γ upon in vitro polyclonal stimulation and antigen-specific restimulation. Experiments with sorted CD8α-CD27+, CD8α+CD27+ and CD8α+CD27- T-helper cell subsets following polyclonal stimulation revealed the lowest proliferative response but the highest ability for IFN-γ and TNF-α production in the CD8α+CD27- subset. Therefore, these cells resembled terminally differentiated effector memory cells as described in human. This was supported by analyses of CCR7 and CD62L expression. CD8α+CD27- T helper cells were mostly CCR7- and had considerably reduced CD62L mRNA levels. In contrast, expression of both homing-receptors was increased on CD8α+CD27+ T helper cells, which also had a proliferation rate similar to naïve CD8α-CD27+ T helper cells and showed intermediate levels of cytokine production. Therefore, similar to human, CD8α+CD27+ T helper cells displayed a phenotype and functional properties of central memory cells.
The alphaherpesvirus, equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1), is a highly prevalent cause of equine infectious abortion and encephalomyelopathy. These syndromes have been attributed to ischemic necrosis from thrombosis in placental and neural vessels, although the mechanisms underlying thrombosis are unknown. After inhalation, EHV-1 establishes a peripheral blood mononuclear cell-associated viremia, with monocytes being a target of infection. Monocytes are also the main source of tissue factor (TF) in diseased states. Since TF is the primary activator of coagulation, increased monocyte TF expression could be involved in EHV-1-associated thrombosis. We hypothesized that EHV-1 infection would induce TF-dependent procoagulant activity in equine monocytes. Monocyte-enriched fractions of blood were infected with abortigenic (RacL11, NY03) and neuropathogenic (Ab4) EHV-1 strains. All strains induced procoagulant activity, to variable degrees, within 1 to 4 h, with maximal activity at 24 h, after infection. Virus-induced procoagulant activity was similar to that seen with lipopolysaccharide, a known stimulant of TF-mediated procoagulant responses. Virus-induced procoagulant activity was factor VIIa-dependent and temporally associated with TF gene transcription, implicating TF as the main driver of the activity. Procoagulant activity was mildly decreased (30-40%) when virus was inactivated by ultraviolet light or when infected cells were treated with aphidicolin, a virus DNA polymerase inhibitor, suggesting early events of virus infection (attachment, entry or intracellular trafficking) are the primary stimulus of procoagulant activity. Our results indicate that EHV-1 rapidly stimulates procoagulant activity in equine monocytes in vitro. The EHV-1-induced procoagulant activity in monocytes may contribute to clinical thrombosis in horses with EHV-1 infection.
It is widely accepted that the majority of cancers result from multiple cellular events leading to malignancy after a prolonged period of clinical latency, and that the immune system plays a critical role in the control of cancer progression. Bovine leukemia virus (BLV) is an oncogenic member of the Retroviridae family. Complete genomic sequences of BLV strains isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from cattle have been previously reported. However, a detailed characterization of the complete genome of BLV strains directly isolated from bovine tumors is much needed in order to contribute to the understanding of the mechanisms of leukemogenesis induced by BLV in cattle. In this study, we performed a molecular characterization of BLV complete genomes from bovine B-cell lymphosarcoma isolates. A nucleotide substitution was found in the glucocorticoid response element (GRE) site of the 5' long terminal repeat (5'LTR) of the BLV isolates. All amino acid substitutions in Tax previously found to be related to stimulate high transcriptional activity of 5'LTR were not found in these studies. Amino acid substitutions were found in the nucleocapsid, gp51 and G4 proteins. Premature stop-codons in R3 were observed. Few mutations or amino acid substitutions may be needed to allow BLV provirus to achieve silencing. Substitutions that favor suppression of viral expression in malignant B cells might be a strategy to circumvent effective immune attack.
Resistance to respiratory disease in cattle requires host defense mechanisms that protect against pathogens which have evolved sophisticated strategies to evade them, including an altered function of pulmonary macrophages (MΦs) or the induction of inflammatory responses that cause lung injury and sepsis. The aim of this study was to clarify the mechanisms responsible for vascular changes occurring in the lungs of calves infected with bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) and challenged later with bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1), evaluating the role of MΦs in the development of pathological lesions in this organ. For this purpose, pulmonary lesions were compared between co-infected calves and healthy animals inoculated only with BHV-1 through immunohistochemical (MAC387, TNFα, IL-1α, iNOS, COX-2 and Factor-VIII) and ultrastructural studies. Both groups of calves presented important vascular alterations produced by fibrin microthrombi and platelet aggregations within the blood vessels. These findings were earlier and more severe in the co-infected group, indicating that the concomitance of BVDV and BHV-1 in the lungs disrupts the pulmonary homeostasis by facilitating the establishment of an inflammatory and procoagulant environment modulated by inflammatory mediators released by pulmonary MΦs. In this regard, the co-infected calves, in spite of presenting a greater number of IMΦs than single-infected group, show a significant decrease in iNOS expression coinciding with the presence of more coagulation lesions. Moreover, animals pre-inoculated with BVDV displayed an alteration in the response of pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNFα and IL-1), which play a key role in activating the immune response, as well as in the local cell-mediated response.
RNA virus populations within samples are highly heterogeneous, containing a large number of minority sequence variants which can potentially be transmitted to other susceptible hosts. Consequently, consensus genome sequences provide an incomplete picture of the within- and between-host viral evolutionary dynamics during transmission. Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) is an RNA virus that can spread from primary sites of replication, via the systemic circulation, to found distinct sites of local infection at epithelial surfaces. Viral evolution in these different tissues occurs independently, each of them potentially providing a source of virus to seed subsequent transmission events. This study employed the Illumina Genome Analyzer platform to sequence 18 FMDV samples collected from a chain of sequentially infected cattle. These data generated snap-shots of the evolving viral population structures within different animals and tissues. Analyses of the mutation spectra revealed polymorphisms at frequencies >0.5% at between 21 and 146 sites across the genome for these samples, while 13 sites acquired mutations in excess of consensus frequency (50%). Analysis of polymorphism frequency revealed that a number of minority variants were transmitted during host-to-host infection events, while the size of the intra-host founder populations appeared to be smaller. These data indicate that viral population complexity is influenced by small intra-host bottlenecks and relatively large inter-host bottlenecks. The dynamics of minority variants are consistent with the actions of genetic drift rather than strong selection. These results provide novel insights into the evolution of FMDV that can be applied to reconstruct both intra- and inter-host transmission routes.
The bovine immunodeficiency virus (BIV) transactivator (BTat) recruits the bovine cyclin T1 (B-cyclin T1) to the LTR to facilitate the transcription of BIV. Here, we demonstrate that bovine hexamethylene bisacetamide (HMBA)-induced protein 1 (BHEXIM1) inhibits BTat-mediated BIV LTR transcription. The results of in vivo and in vitro assays show direct binding of BHEXIM1 to the B-cyclin T1. These results suggest that the repression arises from BHEXIM1-BTat competition for B-cyclin T1, which allows BHEXIM1 to displace BTat from B-cyclin T1. Furthermore, we found that the C-terminal region and the centrally located region of BHEXIM1 are required for BHEXIM1 to associate with B-cyclin T1. Knockdown of BHEXIM1 enhances BIV replication. Taken together, our study provides the first clear evidence that BHEXIM1 is involved in BIV replication through regulating BTat-mediated transactivation.
Strategies to control bovine respiratory disease depend on accurate classification of disease risk. An objective method to refine the risk classification of beef calves could be economically beneficial, improve welfare by preventing unexpected disease occurrences, refine and reduce the use of antibiotics in beef production, and facilitate alternative methods of disease control. The objective of this study was to identify proteins in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of stressed healthy calves that predict later disease outcome, serve as biomarkers of susceptibility to pneumonia, and play a role in pathogenesis. BALF was collected from 162 healthy beef calves 1–2 days after weaning and transportation. Difference in gel electrophoresis (DIGE) and mass spectrometry were used to compare proteins in samples from 7 calves that later developed respiratory disease compared to 7 calves that remained healthy. Calves that later developed pneumonia had significantly lower levels of annexin A1, annexin A2, peroxiredoxin I, calcyphosin, superoxide dismutase, macrophage capping protein and dihydrodiol dehydrogenase 3. Differences in annexin levels were partially confirmed by western blot analysis. Thus, lower levels of annexins A1 and A2 are potential biomarkers of increased susceptibility to pneumonia in recently weaned and transported feedlot cattle. Since annexins are regulated by glucocorticoids, this finding may reflect individual differences in the stress response that predispose to pneumonia. These findings also have implications in pathogenesis. Annexins A1 and A2 are known to prevent neutrophil influx and fibrin deposition respectively, and may thus act to minimize the harmful effects of the inflammatory response during development of pneumonia.
In mammalian cells, GAPDH (glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) has recently been shown to be implicated in numerous apoptotic paradigms, especially in neuronal apoptosis, and has been demonstrated to play a vital role in some neurodegenerative disorders. However, this phenomenon has not been reported in protists. In the present study, we report for the first time that such a mechanism is involved in diclazuril-induced apoptosis in Eimeria tenella (E. tenella). We found that upon treatment of parasites with diclazuril, the expression levels of GAPDH transcript and protein were significantly increased in second-generation merozoites. Then, we examined the subcellular localization of GAPDH by fluorescence microscopy and Western blot analysis. The results show that a considerable amount of GAPDH protein appeared in the nucleus within diclazuril-treated second-generation merozoites; in contrast, the control group had very low levels of GAPDH in the nucleus. The glycolytic activity of GAPDH was kinetically analyzed in different subcellular fractions. A substantial decrease (48.5%) in glycolytic activity of GAPDH in the nucleus was displayed. Moreover, the activities of caspases-3, -9, and −8 were measured in cell extracts using specific caspase substrates. The data show significant increases in caspase-3 and caspase-9 activities in the diclazuril-treated group.
The role of flagella in the pathogenesis of F4ac+ Enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) mediated neonatal and post-weaning diarrhea (PWD) is not currently understood. We targeted the reference C83902 ETEC strain (O8:H19:F4ac+ LT+ STa+ STb+), to construct isogenic mutants in the fliC (encoding the major flagellin protein), motA (encoding the flagella motor), and faeG (encoding the major subunit of F4 fimbriae) genes. Both the ΔfliC and ΔfaeG mutants had a reduced ability to adhere to porcine intestinal epithelial IPEC-J2 cells. F4 fimbriae expression was significantly down-regulated after deleting fliC, which revealed that co-regulation exists between flagella and F4 fimbriae. However, there was no difference in adhesion between the ΔmotA mutant and its parent strain. These data demonstrate that both flagella and F4 fimbriae are required for efficient F4ac+ ETEC adhesion in vitro.
The bacterium Flavobacterium psychrophilum is a serious problem for salmonid farming worldwide. This study investigates by multilocus sequence typing (MLST) the population structure of this pathogen in Japan where it is also a major concern for ayu, a popular game fish related to salmoniforms. A total of 34 isolates collected across the country and 80 isolates sampled in a single model river by electrofishing were genotyped. The data accounting for 15 fish species allowed identifying 35 distinct sequence types (ST) in Japan. These ST are distinct from those reported elsewhere, except for some ST found in rainbow trout and coho salmon, two fish that have been the subject of intensive international trade. The pattern of polymorphism is, however, strikingly similar across geographical scales (model river, Japan, world) in terms of the fraction of molecular variance linked to the fish host (~50%) and of pairwise nucleotide diversity between ST (~5 Kbp-1). These observations go against the hypothesis of a recent introduction of F. psychrophilum in Japan. Two findings were made that are important for disease control: 1) at least two independent F. psychrophilum lineages infect ayu and 2) co-infections of the same individual fish by different strains occur.
Bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV) is an economically important pathogen of cattle worldwide. Infection of a pregnant animal may lead to persistent infection of the foetus and birth of a persistently infected (PI) calf that sheds the virus throughout its life. However, BVD viruses are not strictly species specific. BVDV has been isolated from many domesticated and wild ruminants. This is of practical importance as virus reservoirs in non-bovine hosts may hamper BVDV control in cattle. A goat given as a social companion to a BVDV PI calf gave birth to a PI goat kid. In order to test if goat to goat infections were possible, seronegative pregnant goats were exposed to the PI goat. In parallel, seronegative pregnant goats were kept together with the PI calf. Only the goat to goat transmission resulted in the birth of a next generation of BVDV PI kids whereas all goats kept together with the PI calf aborted. To our knowledge, this is the first report which shows that a PI goat cannot only transmit BVD virus to other goats but that such transmission may indeed lead to the birth of a second generation of PI goats. Genetic analyses indicated that establishment in the new host species may be associated with step-wise adaptations in the viral genome. Thus, goats have the potential to be a reservoir for BVDV. However, the PI goats showed growth retardation and anaemia and their survival under natural conditions remains questionable.