Co-incubation with IL-18 potentiates antigen-specific IFN-γ response in a whole-blood stimulation assay for measurement of cell-mediated immune responses in pigs experimentally infected with Lawsonia intracellularis

Ulla Riber, Henriette Toft Boesen, Jeanne Toft Jakobsen, Lien Thi Minh Nguyen, Gregers Jungersen

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    The whole-blood interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) assay is a quantitative in-vitro assay for a direct read out of Ag-specific cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses to infectious diseases. The IFN-γ assay is robust in severe intracellular infections like Brucella or mycobacteria, but more difficult to evaluate for less severe or immunocompromising infections. Here we investigated the performance of the assay when recombinant co-stimulatory cytokines IL-12 and/or IL-18 were added along with Ag or PBS to cultures of whole-blood from pigs infected with Lawsonia intracellularis. In pigs recovering from a natural infection, addition of rIL-12 or rIL-18 alone increased the Ag-specific IFN-γ release while addition of both cytokines resulted in increased IFN-γ release also in PBS cultures. In analyses after experimental infections with L. intracellularis, significant increased levels of Ag-specific IFN-γ production were measured in Ag + rIL-18 cultures from infected pigs compared to the background response in PBS + rIL-18 control samples (p
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalVeterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
    Issue number2-4
    Pages (from-to)257-263
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • IL-18
    • IFN-γ
    • Lawsonia intracellularis
    • flow cytometry
    • IL-12

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