Development of a cytokine gene expression assay for the relative quantification of the African elephant (Loxodonta africana) cell-mediated immune responses

Candice R. de Waal, Léanie Kleynhans, Sven D.C. Parsons, Wynand J. Goosen, Guy Hausler, Peter E. Buss, Robin M. Warren, Paul D. van Helden, Jennifer A. Landolfi, Michele A. Miller, Tanya J. Kerr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Immunological assays are the basis for many diagnostic tests for infectious diseases in animals and humans. Application in wildlife species, including the African elephant (Loxodonta africana), is limited however due to lack of information on immune responses. Since many immunoassays require both identified biomarkers of immune activation as well as species-specific reagents, it is crucial to have knowledge of basic immunological responses in the species of interest. Cytokine gene expression assays (GEAs) used to measure specific immune responses in wildlife have frequently shown that targeted biomarkers are often species-specific. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify elephant-specific cytokine biomarkers to detect immune activation and to develop a GEA, using pokeweed mitogen stimulated whole blood from African elephants. This assay will provide the foundation for the development of future cytokine GEAs that can be used to detect antigen specific immune responses and potentially lead to various diagnostic tests for this species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number155453
JournalCytokine
Volume141
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • African elephants
  • Gene expression assay
  • IL10
  • TGFβ
  • TNF

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Hematology

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