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Vet Microbiol. 2013 May 3;163(3-4):325-34. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2012.12.042. Epub 2013 Jan 29.

Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis isolates from sheep and goats show reduced persistence in bovine macrophages than cattle, bison, deer and wild boar strains regardless of genotype.

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  • 1Department of Animal Health, Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, NEIKER-Tecnalia, Technological Park of Bizkaia, Berreaga 1, Derio, E-48160 Bizkaia, Spain.


Assessment of the virulence of isolates of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (Map) exhibiting distinct genotypes and isolated from different hosts may help to clarify the degree to which clinical manifestations of the disease in cattle can be attributed to bacterial or to host factors. The objective of this study was to test the ability of 10 isolates of Map representing distinct genotypes and isolated from domestic (cattle, sheep, and goat), and wildlife animal species (fallow deer, deer, wild boar, and bison) to enter and grow in bovine macrophages. The isolates were previously typed using IS1311 PCR followed by restriction endonuclease analysis into types C, S or B. Intracellular growth of the isolates in a bovine macrophage-like cell line (BoMac) and in primary bovine monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) was evaluated by quantification of CFU numbers in the initial inoculum and inside of the host cells at 2h and 7 d p.i. using an automatic liquid culture system (Bactec MGIT 960). Individual data illustrated that growth was less variable in BoMac than in MDM cells. All the isolates from goat and sheep hosts persisted within BoMac cells in lower CFU numbers than the other tested isolates after 7 days of infection regardless of genotype. In addition, BoMac cells exhibited differential inflammatory, apoptotic and destructive responses when infected with a bovine or an ovine isolate; which correlated with the differential survival of these strains within BoMac cells. Our results indicated that the survival of the tested Map isolates within bovine macrophages is associated with the specific host from which the isolates were initially isolated.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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