Immune signatures of pathogenesis in the peritoneal compartment during early infection of sheep with Fasciola hepatica

Maria Teresa Ruiz-Campillo, Veronica Molina Hernandez, Alejandro Escamilla, Michael Stevenson, Jose Perez, Alvaro Martinez-Moreno, Sheila Donnelly, John P Dalton, Krystyna Cwiklinski

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Immune signatures of sheep acutely-infected with
Fasciola hepatica
, an important pathogen of
livestock and humans were analysed within the peritoneal compartment to investigate early infection.
Within the peritoneum,
F. hepatica
antibodies coincided with an intense innate and adaptive cellular
immune response, with infiltrating leukocytes and a marked eosinophilia (49%). However, while
cytokine qPCR analysis revealed IL-10, IL-12, IL-13, IL-23 and TGF
were elevated, these were not
statistically different at 18 days post-infection compared to uninfected animals indicating that the
immune response is muted and not yet skewed to a Th2 type response that is associated with chronic
disease. Proteomic analysis of the peritoneal fluid identified infection-related proteins, including
several structural proteins derived from the liver extracellular matrix, connective tissue and epithelium,
and proteins related to the immune system. Periostin and vascular cell adhesion protein 1 (VCAM-
1), molecules that mediate leukocyte infiltration and are associated with inflammatory disorders
involving marked eosinophilia (e.g. asthma), were particularly elevated in the peritoneum. Immuno-
histochemical studies indicated that the source of periostin and VCAM-1 was the inflamed sheep liver
tissue. This study has revealed previously unknown aspects of the immunology and pathogenesis
associated with acute fascioliasis in the peritoneum and liver
Original languageEnglish
JournalScientific Reports
Publication statusPublished - 05 Jun 2017


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