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Transcriptomic Analysis of Persistent Infection with Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus in Cattle Suggests Impairment of Apoptosis and Cell-Mediated Immunity in the Nasopharynx

posted on 2024-06-11, 05:28 authored by USDA-ARS
In order to investigate the mechanisms of persistent foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) infection in cattle, transcriptome alterations associated with the FMDV carrier state were characterized using a bovine whole-transcriptome microarray. Eighteen cattle (8 vaccinated with a recombinant FMDV A vaccine, 10 non-vaccinated) were challenged with FMDV A24 Cruzeiro, and the gene expression profiles of nasopharyngeal tissues collected between 21 and 35 days after challenge were compared between 11 persistently infected carriers and 7 non-carriers. Carriers and non-carriers were further compared to 2 naïve animals that had been neither vaccinated nor challenged. At a controlled false-discovery rate of 10% and a minimum difference in expression of 50%, 648 genes were differentially expressed between FMDV carriers and non-carriers, and most (467) had higher expression in carriers. Among these, genes associated with cellular proliferation and the immune response – such as chemokines, cytokines and genes regulating T and B cells – were significantly overrepresented. Differential gene expression was significantly correlated between non-vaccinated and vaccinated animals (biological correlation +0.97), indicating a similar transcriptome profile across these groups. Genes related to prostaglandin E2 production and type 2 immune polarization, as well as to the induction of regulatory T cells and T-cell exhaustion were overexpressed in carriers. In contrast, tissues from non-carrier animals expressed higher levels of complement regulators and pro-apoptotic genes that could promote virus clearance. Based on these findings, we propose that FMDV persistence in nasopharyngeal tissues of cattle is maintained by an impairment of apoptosis and the local suppression of cell-mediated antiviral immunity by inducible regulatory T cells. Overall design: Samples of nasopharyngeal epithelium from 20 Holstein cattle (11 persistently FMDV-infected carriers, 7 non-carriers, 2 naïve animals) were labeled with Cy3 and Cy5 and hybridized to paired 4x45K arrays in a dye-swap arrangement. However, the numbers of FMDV carriers, non-carriers and controls were different, precluding a fully connected dye-swap design. A separate-channel approach using a common correlation model (Smyth and Altman, 2013, BMC Bioinformatics 14:165, doi: 10.1186/1471-2105-14-165) was used instead.


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National Center for Biotechnology Information

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  • Non-geospatial

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  • biota

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transcriptome; gene expression

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  • Public

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