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Vet Immunol Immunopathol. 2009 May 15;129(1-2):119-25. doi: 10.1016/j.vetimm.2008.12.012. Epub 2008 Dec 11.

Gene expression profiles of European wild boar naturally infected with Mycobacterium bovis.

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Instituto de Investigación en Recursos Cinegéticos IREC (CSIC-UCLM-JCCM), Ciudad Real, Spain.


Global gene expression profiles were analyzed in European wild boar naturally infected with Mycobacterium bovis. Spleen RNA was extracted from 23 M. bovis-infected and 17 uninfected animals and analyzed using a Pigoligoarray representing 20,400 genes. Differentially expressed sequences (N=161) were identified affecting cellular processes such as apoptosis, cell communication and signal transduction, cell growth and/or maintenance, cytoskeleton organization and biogenesis, DNA repair, immune response, metabolism and energy pathways, protein metabolism, regulation of cell proliferation, regulation of gene expression, regulation of nucleic acid metabolism, regulation of physiological processes, and transport. Real-time RT-PCR analysis of mRNA levels was used to corroborate microarray results of selected genes. Immune response genes were among the most represented differentially expressed sequences and were selected for further discussion. Beta-defensin 129, T-cell surface glycoprotein CD8 and B-cell receptor-associated protein 29 were overexpressed in infected animals. Lower expression levels of the immune response genes galectin-1, complement component C1qB and certain HLA class I and class II histocompatibility antigens and immunoglobulin chains were found in infected animals. This study identified new mechanisms by which naturally infected European wild boar respond to M. bovis infection and how the pathogen circumvents host immune responses to establish infection. Gene expression studies in naturally infected wildlife reservoirs of bovine tuberculosis are important for functional genomics and vaccine studies to aid in disease control in wildlife.

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