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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #211984

Title: A Comparative Analysis of the Porcine, Murine, and Human Immune Systems

item Dawson, Harry
item Reece, Joshua
item Urban, Joseph

Submitted to: Veterinary Immunology International Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/8/2007
Publication Date: 8/15/2007
Citation: Dawson, H.D., Reece, J.J., Urban Jr, J.F. 2007. A comparative analysis of the porcine, murine, and human immune systems. Veterinary Immunology International Symposium. p.120.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: A literature and laboratory-based analysis compared selected features of genotype, phenotype, and functional expression of the porcine, murine, and human immune systems. A total of 147 parameters were examined. Post-genomic analysis found about 300 unique mRNA coding sequences between mice and humans with approximately 100 related to immunity. To date, we or others have identified 43 porcine immune-related genes not found in rodents. Further analysis identified a limited number of genes present in rodents and pigs, but not in humans, and genes absent in pigs, but found in rodents and humans. The phenotype of many immune cells, including alternatively activated macrophages and T regulatory cells, are more similar between pigs and humans compared to rodents. Pigs are naturally susceptible to infection with species of helminths that are closely related or identical to those infecting humans (Ascaris, Taenia, Trichuris, Trichinella, Shistosoma, Strongyloides) indicating functionally similar host characteristics. Additionally, pigs are excellent models for bacterial (Campylobacter, E. coli, Helicobacter, Neisseria, Mycoplasma, Salmonella), protozoan (Toxoplasma) and viral infections (Coronavirus, Hepatitis E, Influenza, Nipah, Reovirus, Rotavirus) infections. Overall, approximately 80% of the 147 parameters examined were more similar between pigs and humans, suggesting that evaluating immune function in pigs provides data that is more physiologically relevant to humans.