Mycobacterium avium subspecies paratuberculosis (MAP) is a significant concern to the American and European dairy industries and possibly to human health. MAP possesses the rare ability to survive and replicate in infected macrophages, cells that are typically able to destroy pathogens. Little is known about what changes occur in MAP-infected macrophages that prevent phagosome maturation and lead to intracellular survival of the bacteria. In this study, a bovine immunologically specific cDNA microarray was used to study genes whose expression was altered in monocyte-derived macrophages (MDM) when these cells were infected with 10 different strains of MAP bacteria. Although we used MAP strains isolated from four different host species, cluster analysis of each strains influence in infected MDMs showed no species of origin specific MAP alterations in the host transcriptome. However, MAP strain K10 was observed as a clear outlier in the cluster analysis. Additionally, we observed two SuperShedder MAP strains clustering very closely together compared to the other strains in this study. Overall, microarray analysis yielded 78 annotated genes whose expression was altered by MAP infection, regardless of strain. Few of these genes have been previously studied in the context of Johne's disease or other mycobacterium-caused diseases. Large groups of apoptosis genes, transcription factors and cytokines were found to be differentially expressed in infected monocyte-derived macrophages as well as several genes not previously linked to MAP-host interactions. Identifying novel host genes affected by MAP infection of macrophages may lead to a more complete picture of this complex host-pathogen interaction.
- Innate immunity
- Johne's disease