Natural Killer cell responses following BCG vaccination or M. bovis infection of neonatal calves

Carly Hamilton, Gary Entrican, Jim McNair, Jayne Hope

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Vaccination of cattle is an optimal strategy to control bovine TB, however currently there are no licensed vaccines available for use within the UK. Experimental vaccination of neonatal calves with attenuated M. bovis BCG provides significant protection against M. bovis challenge which has been shown to last for at least 12 months. This enhanced efficacy of BCG in neonates may be attributed to the increased number and activity of Natural Killer (NK) cells in young animals. Thus the aim of the present study was to define the response of NK cells using flow cytometry following vaccination of neonatal calves with BCG, or infection with virulent M. bovis. Neonatal calves were infected with 5 x 102 CFU M. bovis AF2122/97 delivered by aerosol from a Madison chamber and the frequency, phenotype and function of NK cells were compared to age-matched, uninfected controls. In a separate study, neonatal calves were inoculated subcutaneously with 0.5ml BCG Danish SSI. The M. bovis infected, BCG vaccinated and age-matched naïve animals were assessed for variations in the response of NK cells in vivo. Subsequent to BCG vaccination or M. bovis infection, significant changes in the frequency of NK cells were evident at both early and late time points which coincided with increased activation, migratory potential and effector function of NK cells. These observations indicate a role for NK cells during anti-mycobacterial immunity.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2014
EventVI International M.bovis Conference - ity Hall, Cathays Park, Cardiff, Wales, CF10 3ND, Great Britain, Cardiff, United Kingdom
Duration: 16 Jun 201419 Jun 2014


ConferenceVI International M.bovis Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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