Eight 1-day-old gnotobiotic calves were exposed to one of 2 noncytopathic isolates of bovine viral diarrhea virus (ncp-BVDV 7937 and ncp-BVDV 126) and 2 similar calves were not infected and served as controls. Phenotypic analyses of peripheral blood mononuclear leukocytes at 3, 7, and 10 days postinfection (PI), and cell preparations of thymus, Peyer's patch, mesenteric lymph node, spleen, and bone marrow collected at necropsy, 10 days PI, were conducted using flow cytometric techniques on cells stained by an indirect fluorescent antibody assay using monoclonal antibodies specific for mononuclear leukocyte subsets. Significant fluctuations in specific subsets of peripheral blood mononuclear leukocytes were observed in calves exposed to ncp-BVDV 7937 on day 3 PI (cells expressing MHC class II), day 7 PI (B-cells), and day 10 PI (B cells and cells expressing MHCII). Significant phenotypic differences between groups were also detected in cell preparations from Peyer's patch and thymus. Calves exposed to ncp-BVDV 7937 had a significantly higher percentage of B cells than calves exposed to ncp-BVDV 126 and calves not exposed to BVDV. Calves exposed to ncp-BVDV 126 had a significantly higher percentage of CD2 (BoCD2) positive T cells than calves not exposed to BVDV. Fragility of thymic cell preparations was attributed to infection with virus. These results highlight the importance of the tropism of BVDV for cells of the bovine immune system and its role as a significant immunosuppressive agent capable of predisposing affected animals to infection with other agents.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine