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Microb Pathog. 1992 Sep;13(3):191-202.

Effect of Haemophilus somnus on phagocytosis and hydrogen peroxide production by bovine polymorphonuclear leukocytes.

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Canadian Bacterial Disease Network, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.


The interactions between bovine polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) and the bacterium Haemophilus somnus are known to be complex. In this paper, we evaluated the effect of H. somnus on PMN function using a flow cytometric (FC) technique that simultaneously determined the extent of phagocytosis and hydrogen peroxide production by PMNs, as well as using conventional techniques, such as the nitroblue tetrazolium (NBT) and chemiluminescence assays, to analyse the PMN respiratory burst. Results from the FC and chemiluminescence assays demonstrated that in vitro exposure of PMNs to logarithmically growing H. somnus reduced the respiratory burst of PMNs obtained from healthy calves. However, this reduction was not detected by the NBT assay. A decrease in phagocytosis by PMNs could also be shown using the FC assay. In addition, PMNs from calves with acute Hemophilosis (i.e. exposed to H. somnus in vivo) showed reduced activity when compared to PMNs from healthy calves. These in vitro and in vivo observations indicate that the modulation of bovine PMN function by H. somnus may contribute significantly towards the pathogenesis of the disease.

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