Four lambs and 3 calves, seronegative to bluetongue virus (BTV), were inoculated intravenously with a highly plaque-purified strain of BTV Serotype 10. A single calf and lamb served as controls and were inoculated with uninfected cell culture lysate. All BTV-inoculated lambs exhibited mild clinical manifestations of bluetongue, whereas infected calves were asymptomatic. Viremia persisted in BTV-infected lambs for 35-42 days, and for 42-56 days in BTV-infected calves. Neutralizing antibodies were first detected in sera collected at Day 14 post-inoculation (PI) from 2 BTV-infected calves and all 4 infected lambs, and at Day 28 PI in the remaining calf. The appearance of neutralizing antibody in serum did not coincide with clearance of virus from blood; BTV and specific neutralizing antibody-coexisted in peripheral blood of infected lambs and calves for as long as 28 days. The sequential development, specificity and intensity of virus protein-specific humoral immune responses of lambs and calves were evaluated by immunoprecipitation of [35S]-labelled proteins in BTV-infected cell lysates by sera collected from inoculated animals at bi-weekly intervals PI. Sera from infected lambs and calves reacted most consistently with BTV structural proteins VP2 and VP7, and nonstructural protein NS2, and less consistently with structural protein VP5, and nonstructural protein NS1. Lambs developed humoral immune responses to individual BTV proteins more rapidly than calves, and one calf had especially weak virus protein-specific humural immune responses; viremia persisted longer in this calf than any other animal in the study. The clearance of virus from the peripheral blood of BTV-infected lambs and calves is not caused simply by the production of virus-specific neutralizing antibody, however the intensity of humoral immune responses to individual BTV proteins might influence the duration of viremia in different animals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology