Coxiella (C.) burnetii, the aetiological agent of Q fever, is able to modulate the macrophage/T-lymphocyte axis in an infected organism and impair synthesis of monokines and lymphokines.
Material and Methods
The purpose of this research was to determine the levels of the cytokines that play a key role in the response to C. burnetii antigens (IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, IL-10, IFN-γ and TNF-α) in the serum of animals originating from an infected herd prior to vaccination (day 0) and at 1, 7, and 21 days afterwards.
The vaccination of animals did not affect the production of IL-6, IL-1β, or IL-2. The serum levels of these cytokines were too low to measure in most of the samples. The initial levels of TNFα, IFNγ, and IL-10 were higher in seropositive than in seronegative animals, although significant differences between seropositive shedders and seropositive nonshedders appeared only in the levels of IFNγ and IL-10. Additionally, the course of the post-vaccination response concerning these two cytokines was different among seronegative nonshedders, seropositive nonshedders, and seropositive shedders.
It seems that analysis of the IFNγ and IL-10 concentrations in animal blood serum may have some practical value in an assessment of the health status of seropositive animals and post-vaccination response.