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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


item Waters, W
item Harp, James
item Nonnecke, Brian

Submitted to: Research in Veterinary Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/7/1995
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Cryptosporidium parvum is a microbe that causes diarrheal disease in both animals and human beings. The recent outbreak in Milwaukee, WI, brought attention to the threat of contamination of water supplies with this parasite. We are, therefore, studying ways in which calves fight Cryptosporidium infections. Calves are one of the animals most commonly affected with Cryptosporidium. Immune cells in the intestine are one of the means by which an animal may fight infections acquired by eating or drinking food or water contaminated with Cryptosporidium. In this study, we showed that immune cells from the intestines of calves were able to grow and produce immune factors when cultured with stimulatory agents, including portions of the Cryptosporidium parasite. These results tell us that it will be useful to explore ways to improve the ability of these intestinal immune cells to fight infection in order to prevent disease caused by Cryptosporidium.

Technical Abstract: Intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes are a large and heterogenous population of lymphocytes strategically located at the entry site of enteric pathogens into the body. We examined the ability of intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes from 4-week-old calves to proliferate and produce interferon-gamma in vitro in response to mitogens or interleukin-2. We found that intraepithelial lymphocytes of 4-week-old calves demonstrated similar in vitro mitogen-induced blastogenic responses and interferon-gamma production as peripheral blood lymphocytes of 4-week-old calves. Preliminary studies indicate that intraepithelial lymphocytes also respond to Cryptosporidium parvum antigen in vitro. Thus, considering the location of these cells and their ability to proliferate and produce interferon-gamma in vitro, intraepithelial lymphocytes may be important in the host response to enteric infections of calves such as cryptosporidiosis.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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