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Keywords:

  • Babesia bovis;
  • type-1 immunity;
  • innate immunity;
  • NK cells

SUMMARY

The innate immune response to Babesia bovis infection in cattle is age-related, spleen-dependent and, in stabilate inoculated calves, has type-1 characteristics, including the early induction of IL-12 and IFN-γ. In this study with three calves, parameters of innate immunity were followed for 2 weeks after tick transmission of B. bovis. Each calf survived the acute disease episode without drug intervention, and responded with increased levels of plasma interferon-γ and type-1 cytokine expression, monocyte/macrophage activation, and CD8+cellular proliferation in the spleen. The proliferating CD8+population consisted primarily of NK-like cells, and the expansion occurred in parallel with an increase in IL-15 mRNA expression in the spleen.