The cell-mediated immune response to Lawsonia intracellularis, the agent of equine proliferative enteropathy (EPE), was investigated in vaccinated and naturally infected foals. Interferon (IFN)-γ gene expression was determined in peripheral blood mononuclear cells collected from vaccinated (n= 6) and control foals (n= 6) every 30. days for 180. days following first vaccine administration, and from clinically affected foals (n= 16) within 7-10. days of diagnosing EPE. Seroconversion (immunoperoxidase monolayer assay titer ≥60) occurred in 5/6 vaccinated foals between 60 and 90. days following the first vaccine administration and these foals remained seropositive for the remaining study period. IFN-γ gene expression in all vaccinated foals was significantly higher (P< 0.05) on days 60-180 following first vaccine administration compared to IFN-γ gene expression in control foals. When IFN-γ gene transcription was compared between naturally infected and vaccinated foals, a significant difference (P< 0.05) was observed only for day 0.
- Cell-mediated immunity
- Equine proliferative enteropathy
- Lawsonia intracellularis