Immune and inflammatory responses to reproductive tract infection with Tritrichomonas foetus in immunized and control heifers

Mark L Anderson, Robert Bondurant, Robert R. Corbeil, Lynette B. Corbeil

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64 Scopus citations


Histopathologic changes and local antibody responses were studied in immunized and control heifers after intravaginal challenge with 106 Tritrichomonas foetus. Animals were given 3 intramuscular inoculations of immunoaffinity-purified superficial antigen, TF 1.17, in 2 different adjuvant combinations (incomplete Freund's adjuvant or dextran sulfate plus IFA-8 animals each) or adjuvant alone at 3-wk intervals and were challenged with T. foetus 2 wk later. Histologically, a nonsuppurative endometritis with nodular lymphoid aggregates in the stratum spongiosum was present in 9 of 24 heifers. Twice as many control heifers as immunized had moderate to severe endometritis at 10 wk and the rate of clearance of the organism was significantly faster in immunized than in control heifers. Furthermore, time of clearance was statistically correlated with severity of endometritis at 10 wk postinfection, when necropsies were done (P < 0.02). Because 9-10 wk postinfection is thought to be the critical period for determining fetal loss associated with endometritis, this correlation with early clearance is important to protection against disease. In heifers with moderate to severe infiltration of mononuclear cells in the endometrium, lymphoid nodules and some secondary follicles were detected. In the subgroup of 12 animals from which uterine secretions were collected, IgA antibody responses to antigen were detected by 6 wk in infected animals with increases in mean responses at 8 and 10 wk, but not in uninfected animals. A rationale is presented for consideration of the lymphoid nodules as a possible inductive site for this local antibody response to T. foetus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-600
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Parasitology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology


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