Author(s): Huntley JF, Stabel JR, Bannantine JP
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Abstract BACKGROUND: The Mycobacterium tuberculosis 19-kDa lipoprotein has been reported to stimulate both T and B cell responses as well as induce a number of Th1 cytokines. In order to evaluate the Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis) 19-kDa lipoprotein as an immunomodulator in cattle with Johne's disease, the gene encoding the 19-kDa protein (MAP0261c) was analyzed. RESULTS: MAP0261c is conserved in mycobacteria, showing a 95\% amino acid identity in M. avium subspecies avium, 84\% in M. intracellulare and 76\% in M. bovis and M. tuberculosis. MAP0261c was cloned, expressed, and purified as a fusion protein with the maltose-binding protein (MBP-19 kDa) in Escherichia coli. IFN-gamma production was measured from 21 naturally infected and 9 control cattle after peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were stimulated with a whole cell lysate (WCL) of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis or the recombinant MBP-19 kDa. Overall, the mean response to MBP-19 kDa was not as strong as the mean response to the WCL. By comparison, cells from control, non-infected cattle did not produce IFN-gamma after stimulation with either WCL or MBP-19 kDa. To assess the humoral immune response to the 19-kDa protein, sera from cattle with clinical Johne's disease were used in immunoblot analysis. Reactivity to MBP-19 kDa protein, but not MBP alone, was observed in 9 of 14 infected cattle. Antibodies to the 19-kDa protein were not observed in 8 of 9 control cows. CONCLUSIONS: Collectively, these results demonstrate that while the 19-kDa protein from M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis stimulates a humoral immune response and weak IFN-gamma production in infected cattle, the elicited responses are not strong enough to be used in a sensitive diagnostic assay.
This article was published in BMC Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology