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1.  Molecular evidence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in wild boar (Sus scrofa) in Belgium 
Anaplasma phagocytophilum is a tick-borne pathogen of veterinary and human importance. Both ticks as vectors and vertebrates as reservoir hosts are essential for the cycle maintenance of this bacterium. Currently, the whole range of animal species reservoirs for A. phagocytophilum in natural environment is still unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to estimate the prevalence of infection with A. phagocytophilum in the wild boar population in southern Belgium.
In the frame of a targeted surveillance program, 513 wild boars were sampled during the hunting season 2011. A nested 16S rRNA PCR was used to screen the presence of A. phagocytophilum DNA in spleen of boars. Within 513 samples, 5 (0,97%) were tested PCR positive and identification was confirmed by sequencing.
This study gives the first insight of presence of A. phagocytophilum in wild boars in southern Belgium.
PMCID: PMC3976503  PMID: 24694049
Wild boars; Ixodes; Anaplasma phagocytophilum; Belgium
2.  The CD11a partner in Sus scrofa lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1): mRNA cloning, structure analysis and comparison with mammalian homologues 
Lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1, CD11a/CD18, alphaLbeta2), the most abundant and widely expressed beta2-integrin, is required for many cellular adhesive interactions during the immune response. Many studies have shown that LFA-1 is centrally involved in the pathogenesis of several diseases caused by Repeats-in-toxin (RTX) -producing bacteria.
The porcine-LFA-1 CD11a (alpha) subunit coding sequence was cloned, sequenced and compared with the available mammalian homologues in this study. Despite some focal differences, it shares all the main characteristics of these latter. Interestingly, as in sheep and humans, an allelic variant with a triplet insertion resulting in an additional Gln-744 was consistently identified, which suggests an allelic polymorphism that might be biologically relevant.
Together with the pig CD18-encoding cDNA, which has been available for a long time, the sequence data provided here will allow the successful expression of porcine CD11a, thus giving the first opportunity to express the Sus scrofa beta2-integrin LFA-1 in vitro as a tool to examine the specificities of inflammation in the porcine species.
PMCID: PMC1276801  PMID: 16216120
3.  Flow cytometric probing of mitochondrial function in equine peripheral blood mononuclear cells 
The morphopathological picture of a subset of equine myopathies is compatible with a primary mitochondrial disease, but functional confirmation in vivo is still pending. The cationic dye JC-1 exhibits potential-dependent accumulation in mitochondria that is detectable by a fluorescence shift from green to orange. As a consequence, mitochondrial membrane potential can be optically measured by the orange/green fluorescence intensity ratio. A flow cytometric standardized analytic procedure of the mitochondrial function of equine peripheral blood mononuclear cells is proposed along with a critical appraisal of the crucial questions of technical aspects, reproducibility, effect of time elapsed between blood sampling and laboratory processing and reference values.
The JC-1-associated fluorescence orange and green values and their ratio were proved to be stable over time, independent of age and sex and hypersensitive to intoxication with a mitochondrial potential dissipator. Unless time elapsed between blood sampling and laboratory processing does not exceed 5 hours, the values retrieved remain stable. Reference values for clinically normal horses are given.
Whenever a quantitative measurement of mitochondrial function in a horse is desired, blood samples should be taken in sodium citrate tubes and kept at room temperature for a maximum of 5 hours before the laboratory procedure detailed here is started. The hope is that this new test may help in confirming, studying and preventing equine myopathies that are currently imputed to mitochondrial dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC2045081  PMID: 17903245
4.  Molecular characterisation of the caprine (Capra hircus) lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 alpha subunit-encoding cDNA 
Lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1, CD11a/CD18, alpha L beta 2) is required for many cellular adhesive interactions during the immune response.
The Capra hircus CD11a-encoding cDNA was sequenced and compared with its human, murine, rat, bovine and ovine counterparts. Despite some focal differences, it shares all the main characteristics of its known mammalian homologues.
Therefore, along with the caprine CD18-encoding cDNA, which has been available for a few months, the sequence data revealed here will allow the Capra hircus LFA-1 expression in vitro as a tool to explore the specificities of inflammation in the caprine species.
PMCID: PMC1266385  PMID: 16216116
5.  The wild boar (Sus scrofa) Lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (CD11a/CD18) receptor: cDNA sequencing, structure analysis and comparison with homologues 
The most predominant beta2-integrin lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1, CD11a/CD18, alphaLbeta2), expressed on all leukocytes, is essential for many adhesive functions of the immune system. Interestingly, RTX toxin-producing bacteria specifically target this leukocyte beta2-integrin which exacerbates lesions and disease development.
This study reports the sequencing of the wild boar beta2-integrin CD11a and CD18 cDNAs. Predicted CD11a and CD18 subunits share all the main structural characteristics of their mammalian homologues, with a larger interspecies conservation for the CD18 than the CD11a. Besides these strong overall similarities, wild boar and domestic pig LFA-1 differ by 2 (CD18) and 1 or 3 (CD11a) substitutions, of which one is located in the crucial I-domain (CD11a, E168D).
As most wild boars are seropositive to the RTX toxin-producing bacterium Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae and because they have sustained continuous natural selection, future studies addressing the functional impact of these polymorphisms could bring interesting new information on the physiopathology of Actinobacillus pleuropneumoniae-associated pneumonia in domestic pigs.
PMCID: PMC2151945  PMID: 17937788

Results 1-5 (5)