Cellular immune responses of cattle to Cowdria ruminantium.
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Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBM) from cattle immunised against Cowdria ruminantium infection (Heartwater), proliferated in vitro in the presence of either infected autologous endothelial cells pre-treated with T cell growth factors to induce MHC class II expression, or infected autologous monocytes. Proliferation was not observed in PBM cultured with a soluble extract of the agent, but PBM responded to two recombinant antigens of C. ruminantium, namely a 32 kDa (MAP1) and a 21 kDa antigen (MAP2). We hypothesize that infected endothelial cells and monocytes present Cowdria antigens to specific lymphocytes during infection and thereby play a role in the pathogenesis/immune response to the pathogen