Cellular and humoral responses of Brucella abortus-infected bovine fetuses.

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Fifty-nine bovine fetuses naturally and experimentally infected with Brucella abortus were studied. Lymphoid hyperplasia in multiple lymph nodes, lymphoid depletion in the thymic cortex, adrenal cortical hyperplasia, and disseminated inflammatory foci composed mainly of large mononuclear leukocytes were present in infected fetuses. Histopathologic changes in naturally infected fetuses were indistinguishable from those infected fetuses inoculated in utero. Fetuses inoculated with 1.0 X 10(3) to 1.0 X 10(5) colony-forming units of strain 2308 B abortus were aborted on postinoculation day (PID) 7 to 19. Fetuses obtained by PID 9 and 10 had increased immunoglobulin concentrations and antibody. Increased cortisol values were present in fetuses obtained as early as PID 6. The initial fetal inflammatory response was composed of large mononuclear leukocytes. In fetuses obtained by PID 9 to 10, moderate numbers of neutrophils mixed with mononuclear leukocytes were present in the inflammatory foci. This shift in the initial inflammatory reaction coincided with the appearance of agglutinating antibody.

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American Journal of Veterinary Research

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