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Res Vet Sci. 2010 Oct;89(2):223-9. doi: 10.1016/j.rvsc.2010.03.014. Epub 2010 Mar 29.

Expression of Mycoplasma bovis variable surface membrane proteins in the respiratory tract of calves after experimental infection with a clonal variant of Mycoplasma bovis type strain PG45.

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Department of Pathology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, B├╝nteweg 17, D-30559 Hannover, Germany.


The pathomorphological findings and the expression and distribution of variable surface protein antigens (Vsp) of Mycoplasma (M.) bovis were characterised immunohistochemically in lungs of eight calves following inoculation with a Vsp A-expressing clonal variant of M. bovis type strain PG45. Within 48 h post inoculation (p.i.) an innate immune response dominated by macrophages and neutrophils develops. The monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) 1A1 and 1E5 detected M. bovis Vsp antigens in paraffin tissue sections of seven calves. Vsp antigens were widely distributed and were already present at day two p.i. within macrophages and other lung compartments. Taken together, the results demonstrate that the bovine is unable to eliminate M. bovis during the time period examined. Based on the different immunohistochemical labelling patterns obtained with the mAbs, the results also support the speculation that the in vivo variability of Vsps together with immunological factors may contribute to the chronicity of pulmonary disease.

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