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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2003 Mar 20;92(1-2):61-73.

Induction of lymphopenia and inhibition of T cell function during acute infection of swine with foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV).

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Plum Island Animal Diseases Center, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, P.O. Box 848, Greenport, NY 11944, USA.


Foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) is a picornavirus that causes an acute vesicular disease of cloven-hoofed animals. This virus continues to be a threat to livestock worldwide with outbreaks causing severe economic losses. The present study shows an analysis of immune system phenotype and function during the acute phase of FMDV infection in swine. In the first days of infection, a significant lymphopenia is observed that involves all T cell subsets, CD4(+), CD8(+), and CD4(+)/CD8(+). This marked lymphopenia is not a result of active infection of PBMC with the virus. Further, the response of residual peripheral blood T cells to the mitogen, Concanavalin A (ConA) is significantly reduced and occasionally eliminated. Animals usually resolve clinical signs of disease and develop antigen specific T cell responses to the virus and recover ConA reactivity. These characteristics of acute phase infection likely play an important role in viral pathogenesis, propagation and shedding of viral particles and may be targeted as a way of improving vaccine formulations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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