Observations on the abomasal proteome during Teladorsagia circumcincta infection in sheep
Goldfinch, Gillian Margaret
Teladorsagia circumcincta is a major financial burden on the UK sheep farming industry. Disease control is becoming increasingly difficult due to the rapid emergence of anthelmintic resistance. This has prompted the search for alternative, sustainable control measures, including vaccination. Vaccine design would be aided by a thorough knowledge of the mechanisms involved in immunity to T.circumcincta. Most research has focussed on humoral and cellular responses to infection with this nematode. This thesis focuses on the impact of infection with regards to the proteins found locally within the abomasum. Using a well established infection model, proteomic analysis of lymph draining the abomasum was carried out by means of 2-dimensional electrophoresis (2-DE). The identity of many of the proteins in gastric lymph was revealed by means of MALDI-TOF analysis. The relative quantities of the lymph proteins were monitored over time using gel analysis software in both primary infection and immune challenged infection models. This study revealed a number of proteins of interest, including the acute phase proteins serum amyloid A, alpha-1 acid glycoprotein and haptoglobin, as well as the actin depolymerising protein, gelsolin. The effect of infection and immunity to T.circumcincta on these proteins was investigated further by means of biochemical assays, western blotting and real-time PCR. The impact of infection on the permeability of the abomasal mucosa will affect the resultant gastric lymph proteome. This “leak lesion” phenomenon is well documented in T.circumcincta infection but the underlying cause is unknown. Tight junction proteins in the abomasum were studied, using immunofluorescence techniques, in an attempt to define the role of these proteins in this important immunological/pathological event. The aim of this thesis is to contribute to the knowledge of innate immune responses and local pathology occurring within the abomasum during T.circumcincta infection.
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