Effects of Sarcocystis neurona infection on cell-mediated immune responses in horses Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/bz60d174z

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  • Sarcocystis neurona is the 1responsible for the disease Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM). Exposure rates to S. neurona across the United States is about 50%, yet only about 2% of exposed horses develop EPM. The cell-mediated immune (CMI) response is hypothesized to be important for protective immunity against this disease. The effects of S. neurona infection on CMI responses, particularly interferon-y (IFN-1) and interleukin- 12 (IL-12), in horses were investigated in this study. Seven seronegative horses were inoculated with 107 S. neurona sporocysts (n = 5) or water, as a control (n = 2), via a nasogastric tube. Blood was collected weekly for Western immunoblot analysis, blastogenesis, flow cytometry, and quantification of cytokine gene expression using Real-time RT-PCR. Cerebrospinal fluid was collected every other week for Western immunoblot analysis. Horses were euthanized and necropsied after a nineweek study period. All infected horses seroconverted during the study period. None of the horses displayed any neurological symptoms and no lesions typical of EPM were detected during the necropsy. A cell-mediated immune response was observed in the horses infected with the S. neurona parasite. The response was characterized by an increased antigen-specific lymphocyte response, larger CD8+ T cell percentages, and an increased IFN-y and IL-12 expression. Most of these differences were observed early in the study, between weeks 2 and 4. The control horses remained seronegative for the duration of the study period.
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