Relationship between susceptibility of Blackface sheep to Teladorsagia circumcincta infection and an inflammatory mucosal T cell response

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Abstract

Teladorsagia circumcincta is the most economically important gastrointestinal (abomasal) nematode parasite of sheep in cool temperate regions, to which sheep show genetically-varying resistance to infection. Lambs, from parents with genetic variation for resistance, were trickle infected with L3 larvae over 12 weeks. 45 lambs were identified with a range of susceptibilities as assessed by: adult worm count at post mortem, faecal egg count (FEC) and IgA antibody levels. This project investigated the correlation of T cell cytokine expression and resistance to infection at the mature stage of response, when the resistant lambs had excluded all parasites. Histopathology showed only minor changes in resistant animals with a low level lymphocyte infiltration; but in susceptible lambs, major pathological changes were associated with extensive infiltration of lymphocytes, eosinophils and neutrophils.

Absolute quantitative RT-qPCR assays on the abomasal lymph node (ALN) revealed a significant positive correlation between IL6, IL21 and IL23A transcript levels with adult worm count and FEC. IL23A was also negatively correlated with IgA antibody levels. Significantly positive correlation of TGFB1 levels with adult worm count and FEC were also seen in the abomasal mucosa. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the inability to control L3 larval colonization, adult worm infection and egg production is due to the activation of the inflammatory Th17 T cell subset.

Original languageEnglish
Article number26
Pages (from-to)-
Number of pages11
JournalVeterinary Research
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 28 Mar 2012

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