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  • Author or Editor: Robert A. Gunther x
  • Respiratory System x
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Objective—To evaluate the effect of infection with bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) on clearance of inhaled antigens from the lungs of calves.

Animals—Eleven 6- to 8-week-old Holstein bull calves.

Procedures—Aerosolized 99mtechnetium (99mTc)-labeled diethylene triamine pentacetate (DTPA; 3 calves), commonly used to measure integrity of the pulmonary epithelium, and 99mTc-labeled ovalbumin (OA; 8 calves), commonly used as a prototype allergen, were used to evaluate pulmonary clearance before, during, and after experimentally induced infection with BRSV or sham inoculation with BRSV. Uptake in plasma (6 calves) and lung-efferent lymph (1 calf) was examined.

Results—Clearance of 99mTc-DTPA was significantly increased during BRSV infection; clearance of 99mTc-OA was decreased on day 7 after inoculation. Clearance time was correlated with severity of clinical disease, and amounts of 99mTc-OA in plasma and lymph were inversely correlated with clearance time. Minimum amounts of 99mTc-OA were detected at time points when pulmonary clearance of 99mTc-OA was most delayed.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—BRSV caused infection of the respiratory tract with peak signs of clinical disease at 7 or 8 days after inoculation. Concurrently, there was a diminished ability to move inhaled protein antigen out of the lungs. Prolonged exposure to inhaled antigens during BRSV infection may enhance antigen presentation with consequent allergic sensitization and development of chronic inflammatory lung disease.

Impact for Human Medicine—Infection of humans with respiratory syncytial virus early after birth is associated with subsequent development of allergic asthma. Results for BRSV infection in these calves suggested a supportive mechanism for this scenario.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research


Objective—To assess IgE response and cytokine gene expressions in pulmonary lymph collected from bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV)-infected calves after ovalbumin inhalation.

Animals—Thirteen 7- to 8-week-old calves.

Procedures—The efferent lymphatic duct of the caudal mediastinal lymph node of each calf was cannulated 3 or 4 days before experiment commencement. Calves were inoculated (day 0) with BRSV (n = 7) or BRSV-free tissue culture medium (mock exposure; 6) via aerosolization and exposed to aerosolized ovalbumin on days 1 through 6 and day 15. An efferent lymph sample was collected daily from each calf on days −1 through 16; CD4+ and CD8+ T lymphocyte subsets in lymph samples were enumerated with a fluorescence-activated cell scanner. Expressions of several cytokines by efferent lymphocytes and lymph ovalbumin-specific IgE concentration were measured. Each calf was euthanized on day 16 and then necropsied for evaluation of lungs.

Results—Mean fold increase in ovalbumin-specific IgE concentration was greater in BRSV-infected calves than in mock-infected calves. At various time points from days 4 through 10, percentages of T lymphocyte subsets and CD4+:CD8+ T lymphocyte ratios differed between BRSV-infected calves and day −1 values or from values in mock-infected calves. On days 3 through 5, IL-4 and IL-13 gene expressions in BRSV-infected calves were increased, compared with expressions in mock-infected calves. Lung lesions were consistent with antigen exposure.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—In response to the inhalation of aerosolized ovalbumin, BRSV infection in calves appeared to facilitate induction of a T helper 2 cell response and ovalbumin-specific IgE production.

Full access
in American Journal of Veterinary Research