Interferon-gamma responses in sheep exposed to virulent and attenuated Brucella melitensis strains

Marta Pérez-Sancho, Manuel Durán-Ferrer, Teresa García-Seco, Paula Macías, Nerea García, Irene Martínez, Elena Ruiz, Emilio Legaz, Alberto Diez-Guerrier, Sergio González, Lucas Domínguez, Julio Álvarez

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9 Scopus citations


Antibody detection is the basis of large-scale sheep brucellosis diagnosis because of its sensitivity and specificity. In contrast, information on the cellular mediated immune (CMI) response triggered after Brucella melitensis infection, a cornerstone in the protection against this pathogen, is more limited, particularly regarding the effect of the virulence of the infecting strain in the induced CMI reaction. Here, the interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) profiles evoked after exposure by different routes to virulent (H38) and attenuated (Rev.1) B. melitensis strains in 14 pregnant sheep and 87 ewe lambs, respectively, were characterized accounting for different host-related factors, and compared with their serological response and with the basal IFN-γ responses observed in 155 animals non exposed to Brucella. No significant differences in the IFN-γ response of Rev.1 vaccinated animals depending on the inoculation route was observed, in contrast with their serological results. Response in H38-challenged followed a similar trend although peaked later, and an effect of the abortion on the IFN-γ response was detected. This information could help to understand the interaction bacteria-host that leads to its intracellular survival and could be useful for the design of new diagnostic approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-128
Number of pages6
JournalVeterinary immunology and immunopathology
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 15 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion (grant number AGL200912674 ). During the study, Marta Pérez-Sancho was a recipient of a predoctoral grant from Comunidad de Madrid (IV Plan Regional de Investigación Científica e Innovación Tecnológica, 2005–2008) y Fondo Social Europeo.


  • Brucella melitensis
  • Cell mediated immune response
  • IFN-γ
  • Immunology
  • Rev.1
  • Sheep


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