Cytokine Gene Expression in Holstein-Friesian and Jersey Calves Infected with Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis

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Mallikarjunappa, Sanjay

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University of Guelph


Breed susceptibility to bovine Johne’s disease has been implied suggesting that Jersey cattle are more susceptible to disease as compared to Holstein-Friesian. A sixty-day experimental in vivo infection study was carried out by surgically infecting Holstein-Friesian and Jersey calves with the etiological agent of Johne’s disease, Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map). Breed-specific comparison of expression of key cytokine transcripts in the ileocecal lymph nodes of Map-infected and uninfected calves by real-time PCR did not indicate any significant differences. The expression of IFN-γ transcript was found to be significantly different for the treatment groups in both breeds with a higher expression level in infected than in control animals but there was no indication this differed between breeds. These data indicate that there are no breed-specific differences in the expression of key cytokine transcripts at sixty days post Map-infection and warrants long-term infection studies to analyze breed-specific immune response and in defining breed susceptibility.



Johne's disease, Cytokine gene expression, Breed susceptibility