Vaccine-induced antibodies linked to bovine neonatal pancytopenia (BNP) recognize cattle major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I)


A mysterious disease affecting calves, named bovine neonatal pancytopenia (BNP), emerged in 2007 in several European countries. Epidemiological studies revealed a connection between BNP and vaccination with an inactivated vaccine against bovine virus diarrhea (BVD). Alloantibodies reacting with blood leukocytes of calves were detected in serum and colostrum of dams, which have given birth to calves affected by BNP. To understand the linkage between vaccination and the development of alloantibodies, we determined the antigens reacting with these alloantibodies. Immunoprecipitation of surface proteins from bovine leukocytes and kidney cells using sera from dams with a confirmed case of BNP in their gestation history reacted with two dominant protein species of 44 and 12 kDa. These proteins were not detected by sera from dams, free of BVDV and not vaccinated against BVD, and from sera of animals vaccinated with a different inactivated BVD vaccine. The 44 kDa protein was identified by mass spectrometry analysis as MHC I, the other as β-2-microglobulin. The presence of major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I) in the vaccine was confirmed by Western blot using a MHC I specific monoclonal antibody. A model of BNP pathogenesis is proposed.




Erstpublikation in

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Erstpublikation in

Veterinary Research, 42:97