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Vet Res. 2006 May-Jun;37(3):257-80. Epub 2006 Feb 23.

MALT structure and function in farm animals.

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Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute, Federal Research Institute for Animal Health, Naumburger Str. 96 a, 07743 Jena, Germany.


Mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) is defined as an organized lymphoid tissue in the mucosa that samples antigens. The morphological characteristics that distinguish MALT from lymphoid infiltrates are discussed. MALT has been extensively investigated in laboratory animals, while knowledge in cattle, sheep, goats, pigs and horses that are summarized under the term farm animals in this review is fragmentary. Literature data about the distribution, morphology, function and involvement in infectious diseases of MALT in farm animals are described. The understanding of specific features of MALT in other species than laboratory animals is important for comparative research, in order to understand pathological and immunological processes in the respective species and as a potential route of vaccination of mucosal surfaces.

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