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  • Author or Editor: Roger D. Ayling x
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Authors: Katarzyna Dudek, Dariusz Bednarek, Roger D. Ayling, Maria Szczotka, Ewelina IWAN and Janusz Kocki

Mycoplasma bovis is a primary infectious agent of many disorders in cattle including bovine respiratory disease. No commercial vaccines against M. bovis are available in Europe. The immune response of calves to three saponin-based adjuvants combined with a field Polish M. bovis strain was evaluated. Four groups of six calves each were injected subcutaneously with the M. bovis strain combined with either saponin, saponin + Emulsigen®, saponin + Emulsigen® + alphatocopherol acetate, or with phosphate-buffered saline as control group. Blood and nasal swab samples were collected up to day 84 post injection. All formulations effectively stimulated the humoral and the cellular immune response of the calves, but the course of the response depended on the adjuvant formulation. These immunological data provide additional information supporting the findings of previous M. bovis saponin and Emulsigen® vaccine challenge studies to facilitate the development of successful M. bovis vaccines.

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Changes in peripheral blood leukocyte subpopulations were investigated in calves challenged intratracheally with three different Mycoplasma bovis isolates in Groups E1, E2, and E3. The controls received a placebo. Blood samples were collected before challenge and then at days 1 to 7, 14, 21 and 28. White blood cells (WBC), polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNLs), lymphocytes (LYMs), monocytes, eosinophils and basophils (mid-size cells, MID), as well as CD2+, CD4+, CD8+, WC4+ lymphocyte subsets with CD4:CD8 ratio were also analysed. A transient increase of WBC and PMNLs in all challenged calves was observed on day 1. Increased LYM counts were observed in E1 throughout the study, whereas in E2 the LYM counts were higher only between days 14 and 28, and consistently lower in E3. The MID count had broadly comparable values for all groups. Stimulation of the CD2+ response was observed in E2 and E3 in contrast with E1 which had a lower CD2+ throughout. The CD4+ response was dominant in E1 and E2, whereas in E3 a parallel CD4+ and CD8+ stimulation was observed. The B-cell response (WC4+) and an increased CD4:CD8 ratio was most apparent in E1. The main host responses to M. bovis infections are a stimulation of CD4+ cells and an enhancement of the WC4+ response.

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