Pathways and Genes Associated with Immune Dysfunction in Sheep Paratuberculosis

Anton Gossner (Lead Author), Craig Watkins, Francesca Chianini, John Hopkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Multibacillary and paucibacillary paratuberculosis are both caused by Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis. Multibacillary lesions are composed largely of infected epithelioid macrophages and paucibacillary lesions contain T cells but few bacteria. Multibacillary disease is similar to human lepromatous leprosy, with variable/high levels of antibody and a dysfunctional immune response. Animals with paucibacillary disease have high cell-mediated immunity and variable levels of antibody. This study aims to characterize the immunological dysfunction using TruSeq analysis of the ileocaecal lymph node that drains disease lesions. Immune dysfunction is highlighted by repression of TCR/CD3 genes, T cell co-receptors/co-stimulators, T cell activation and signal-transduction genes. Inflammation was an acute phase response and chronic inflammation, with little evidence of acute inflammation. The high levels of immunoglobulin and plasma cell transcripts is consistent with the anti-MAP antibody responses in paratuberculosis sheep. Also notable was the overwhelming reduction in mast cell transcripts, potentially affecting DC activation of the immune response. This study also shows that there were no fundamental differences in the gene expression patterns in multibacillary and paucibacillary disease, no shift in T cell genes from Th1 to Th2 pattern but rather an incremental decline into immune dysfunction leading to multibacillary pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46695
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 24 Apr 2017

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