Trypanosoma congolense: B-lymphocyte responses differ between trypanotolerant and trypanosusceptible cattle. Academic Article uri icon


  • Trypanosomiasis is a serious constraint to livestock production in sub-Saharan Africa. Some breeds of cattle are genetically more resistant to the pathogenic effects of trypanosome infection. We measured B-cell activation and the quantity and isotype of antibody produced at the cellular level in six trypanotolerant N'Dama and five trypanosusceptible Boran cattle. The frequencies of spleen cells secreting total and parasite-specific IgM and IgG were measured prior to and 16, 28, and 35 days after a primary challenge with Trypanosoma congolense. Boran cattle had higher frequencies of splenic cells secreting IgM specific for trypanosome-derived variable surface glycoprotein (VSG), cysteine protease (congopain, CP), and heat shock protein (hsp 70/BiP) and the nonparasite antigen, ovalbumin, than did N'Dama cattle. In contrast, the number of VSG-specific IgG-secreting cells was significantly greater in N'Dama than in Boran cattle. During infection, low titers of anti-VSG IgM were detected transiently in the serum of all animals. However, N'Dama had significantly more VSG-specific IgG in blood than Boran during infection. The peripheral blood mononuclear cell population of N'Dama cattle contained a higher percentage of surface IgM-positive B-cells prior to and throughout infection than were found in the blood of Boran. In addition, during infection N'Dama cattle had more circulating lymphocytes that could be activated in vitro to undergo differentiation into IgM- and IgG-secreting cells. These findings demonstrate differences in the frequency of trypanosome-specific antibody-secreting cells in the spleen and in the activation state of B-cells in the blood between N'Dama and Boran cattle during a primary infection with T. congolense.

published proceedings

  • Exp Parasitol

author list (cited authors)

  • Taylor, K. A., Lutje, V., Kennedy, D., Authi, E., Boulang, A., Logan-Henfrey, L., Gichuki, B., & Gettinby, G.

citation count

  • 32

complete list of authors

  • Taylor, KA||Lutje, V||Kennedy, D||Authi√©, E||Boulang√©, A||Logan-Henfrey, L||Gichuki, B||Gettinby, G

publication date

  • January 1996