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Cell subpopulations and cytokine expression in cow milk in response to chronic Staphylococcus aureus infection

Cell subpopulations and cytokine expression in cow milk in response to chronic Staphylococcus aureus infection

Journal of Dairy Science 84(5): 1077-1084

Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen in bovine intramammary infections of subclinical and chronic nature. Persistent infection with S. aureus has been postulated to be associated with an impaired immune response. This study was designed to define changes in peripheral blood and milk cell subpopulations during chronic S. aureus infection. The expression of specific antigens on the surface of lymphocytes and neutrophils was studied by flow cytometry. Cytokines and cytokine transcripts elaborated by the milk-derived cells were also investigated, using ELISA and reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction, respectively. The results indicated that cell subpopulations in blood from infected cows were not modified. In contrast, changes occurred in infected milk: neutrophils were the main cell population, but they were not in a highly activated state; the CD8+ T-lymphocytes were mainly recruited compared with the CD4+ T-lymphocytes, suggesting that CD8+ T-lymphocytes play an important role in chronic S. aureus infection. Also, the proportion of the B-lymphocytes among the total lymphocyte population was increased, suggesting that a humoral response developed, and no change was observed in the gammadelta subset. No cytokine mRNA was found in milk cells from uninfected mammary glands. In contrast, interleukin (IL)-1alpha, IL-1beta, IL-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha pro-inflammatory cytokine and IL-10 and IL-12 regulatory cytokine mRNA were synthesized in cells derived from infected mammary glands, whereas no IL-2 nor IL-4 mRNA were found. Therefore, cells present in milk during chronic S. aureus infection were activated, but did not reveal any polarization of the immune response.

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Accession: 003377045

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 11384034

DOI: 10.3168/jds.s0022-0302(01)74568-7

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