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Dev Comp Immunol. 2008;32(2):85-91. Epub 2007 Jun 14.

Differential expression of inflammatory and immune response genes in mesenteric lymph nodes of Iberian red deer (Cervus elaphus hispanicus) naturally infected with Mycobacterium bovis.

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  • 1Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13071 Ciudad Real, Spain.


Little information is available about gene expression in natural mycobacterial infection of wildlife species. Iberian red deer can serve as reservoir of Mycobacterium bovis in Spain, thus increasing the risk of bovine tuberculosis (bTB) in humans and cattle. Herein, we characterized the differential expression of inflammatory and immune response genes in mesenteric lymph nodes of deer naturally infected with M. bovis using microarray hybridization. Results were validated by determination of serum protein concentrations and/or real-time RT-PCR. Of the 600 genes that were analyzed in the microarray, 17 genes displayed an expression fold change greater than 1.7 in infected or uninfected deer (P0.05). These genes included tight junction proteins, IL-11R, bactenecin, CD62L, CD74, desmoglein, IgA and IgM that constitute new findings and suggest new mechanisms by which M. bovis may modulate host inflammatory and immune responses. These results contribute to our basic understanding of the mechanisms of pathogenesis and immunity to natural mycobacterial infections and may have important implications for the control of bTB.

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