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Protective killed Ehrlichia ruminantium vaccine elicits IFN-[gamma] responses by CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocytes in goats

Esteves I., Walravens K., Vachiery N., Martinez D., Letesson J.J., Totté P.. 2004. Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology, 98 : p. 49-57.

DOI: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2003.10.008

Interferon gamma (IFN-[gamma]) is considered as a key mediator of protective cell-mediated immunity against intracellular pathogens in general, and against Ehrlichia ruminantium, the causative agent of tick-borne heartwater disease of ruminants, in particular. However, the source of this important cytokine in animals immunized against E. ruminantium remains largely unknown. We have analyzed in goats protected by vaccination with a killed E. ruminantium vaccine, the potential of individual, genuine (i.e., non-cloned), T cell subsets to produce IFN-[gamma] after antigenic recall in vitro. In all vaccinated but none control animals, E. ruminantium-induced IFN-[gamma] secretion was observed in 24 h stimulated blood. Flow cytometric analysis of stimulated peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) collected after each vaccine inoculation indicated that immune CD4+ and CD8+ T cells contribute to the same extent to the production of IFN-[gamma], while WC1+ T cells are less important. This was confirmed by blocking the secretion of IFN-[gamma] with anti-classes I and II major histocompatibility complex antibodies. Blocking experiments also suggest that CD8+ need the help of CD4+ T cells in order to produce IFN-y. Thus, this work underlines the key role of CD4+ T cells in the production of IFN-[gamma] by immune goat PBMC. It also describes, for the first time in ruminants, E. ruminantium-specific CD8+ effector T cells. Since CD4+ and CD8+ T cells collectively contribute to the production of IFN-[gamma] in most vaccinated animals, and since these responses are associated with protection, it may be that a recombinant vaccine will need to incorporate E. ruminantium antigens capable of driving both responses.

Mots-clés : ehrlichia; interféron; maladie des animaux; vaccin; chèvre

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