, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 107-119
Date: 06 Jul 2007

Lymphoproliferative response and its relationship with histological lesions in experimental ovine paratuberculosis and its diagnostic implications

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Abstract

Lymphoproliferative response (LPR) was studied in 19 lambs orally infected (Group I) with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) with in vitro lymphocyte stimulation test using MTT dye reduction assay. The non-specific LPR against Con A and specific LPR against sonicated antigen and johnin PPD (purified protein derivatives) were estimated on preinfection (0 day) and various days postinfection period (15 to 330 dpi) in the animals, which were classified according to histological and bacteriological evidence of paratuberculosis infection. Of the two antigens used, johnin PPD was found to be superior in terms of consistency and uniformity of response over an observation period of about a year. Significantly (P < 0.05) higher LPR were observed in the infected sheep during postinfection period, as compared with preinfection values and values from uninfected control sheep. It was evident from the present study that the LPR in histologically infected animals fluctuated during the long course of infection and had a definite relationship with the gut pathology and the mycobacterial load. The LPR were stronger but variable in sheep with grades 1, 2 and 3 lesions (paucibacillary) and increased progressively from 30 dpi onwards. The sheep with the advanced lesions (grade 4, multibacillary) showed progressive decline in LPR till 120 dpi after initial stronger response at 30 dpi. Most of the animals were detected by LPR before initiation of faecal shedding of MAP. The results suggested that repeated testing was required while screening an infected flock for detecting most of the positive animals.