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Title: The polyclonal antibody response to FMDV in cattle and African buffalo
Author: Philp, Rebecca L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6493 7548
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2017
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Protection against the highly contagious foot and mouth disease virus (FMDV) coincides with neutralising antibody titres. Infection in cattle is characterised by 100% morbidity of an acute vesicular disease whilst infection of their closest relative, the African buffalo, is sub-clinical despite having diverged only 5.7 – 9.3 million years ago (Glanzmann et al., 2016; 1). The germline and antibody repertoire in African buffalo has not previously been characterised and so the cause of their differential disease response may be the production of a more specific and / or avid antibody response to FMDV than cattle. The cattle and African buffalo antibody germline was sought to characterise the recombinatorial potential of the antibody loci and their subsequent primary antibody repertoire. Expression of the antibody heavy chain (IGH) and antibody lambda light chain (IGL) was investigated with qPCR and RNA-seq. The antibody repertoire in response to FMDV infection was interrogated in African buffalo infected with SAT1 FMDV and compared to the cattle IGH repertoire inoculated with highly purified SAT1 FMDV antigen. The recombinatorial potential of the cattle and African buffalo IGH and IGL is severely limited compared to other species such as mice and human. The characterisation of the cattle IGH and IGL is the most accurate to date and reveals internal duplications of the IGH, disrupting the expected IGHV-IGHD-IGHJ-IGHC ordering seen in mammalian immune loci and resulting in four IGHD regions, containing long and ultra-long IGHD. These IGHD provide a novel diversification mechanism that can compensate for limited germline diversity by forming long and ultra-long CDR3H loops that are highly diverse in their length and amino acid composition. The African buffalo antibody repertoire also forms highly diverse long and ultra-long CDR3H, despite lack of evidence for the existence of the duplications in their IGH. Limited variability is seen in the length and amino acid composition of the IGL in both species, suggesting they are playing a structural role to support these unusual long and ultra-long CDR3H. In response to FMDV infection in African buffalo, a dramatic increase in specific long and ultra-long CDR3H sequence abundance occurs but this change in frequency of specific transcripts is absent in cattle. The differential antibody response may account for the protection of African buffalo against FMD.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QR Microbiology