Date of this Version
Journal of Virology 87(5) March 2013 p. 2489–2495; doi:10.1128/JVI.02879-12
Foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is a highly contagious viral disease which affects both domestic and wild biungulate species. This acute disease, caused by the FMD virus (FMDV), usually includes an active replication phase in the respiratory tract for up to 72 h postinfection, followed by hematogenous dissemination and vesicular lesions at oral and foot epithelia. The role of the early local adaptive immunity of the host in the outcome of the infection is not well understood. Here we report the kinetics of appearance of FMDV-specific antibody-secreting cells (ASC) in lymphoid organs along the respiratory tract and the spleen in cattle infected by aerosol exposure. While no responses were observed for up to 3 days postinfection (dpi), all animals developed FMDV-ASC in all the lymphoid organs studied at 4 dpi. Tracheobronchial lymph nodes were the most reactive organs at this time, and IgM was the predominant isotype, followed by IgG1. Numbers of FMDV-ASC were further augmented at 5 and 6 dpi, with an increasing prevalence in upper respiratory organs. Systemic antibody responses were slightly delayed compared with the local reaction. Also, IgM was the dominant isotype in serum at 5 dpi, coinciding with a sharp decrease of viral RNA detection in peripheral blood. These results indicate that following aerogenous administration, cattle develop a rapid and vigorous genuine local antibody response throughout the respiratory tract. Time course and isotype profiles indicate the presence of an efficient T cell-independent antibody response which drives the IgM-mediated virus clearance in cattle infected by FMDV aerosol exposure.