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TB infection and interleukin-2 by stimulation of badger lymphocytes



Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology - Vol 87, Iss 1-2 , August 2002, pp 73-78


A. Southey, E. Costello and E. Gormley from the Department of Large Animal Clinical Studies, University College Dublin, and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory, Dublin


Detection of tb infection and production of interleukin-2 by in vitro stimulation of badger lymphocytes

The badger is considered to be an important wildlife reservoir for btb infection of cattle in Ireland and in GB. However, rapid diagnosis of tb in live badgers has been constrained through a lack of suitable immuno-diagnostic reagents for detection of tb-infected animals. To date, there have been no reports of cytokine activity in badgers that might be associated with specific immune responses to tb infection. In this study, nine badgers were removed from an area with a persistent tb problem in cattle herds and tb was confirmed in four of the animals by ‘post-mortem’ examination and M. bovis culture. In preliminary investigations of interleukin-2 (IL-2) activity, we were able to demonstrate that lymphoblasts prepared from badger peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) proliferated when cultured in the presence of human recombinant IL-2 (HrIL-2). Supernatants derived from purified protein derivative of tuberculin (PPD-bovine) stimulated PBMC cultures also induced blastogenesis of badger-derived lymphoblasts. The results demonstrate that badger lymphocytes are responsive to HrIL-2 and that PPD-bovine stimulation of badger PBMC results in production of bio-active IL-2.


Badger; Tuberculosis; Interleukin-2; Lymphocyte

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