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Clinical and Developmental Immunology
Volume 2011, Article ID 768542, 11 pages
Review Article

Tuberculosis Immunity: Opportunities from Studies with Cattle

1National Animal Disease Center, Agricultural Research Service, US Department of Agriculture, Ames, IA 50010, USA
2Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164, USA
3Departments of Veterinary Population Medicine and Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN 55108, USA
4Molecular Biology and Molecular Virology, Department of Animal Science, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
5Animal Bioscience Centre, Teagasc, Grange, BT55&GE Co. Meath, Ireland
6Livestock Diseases Programme, Institute for Animal Health, Compton, Near Newbury RG20 7NN, UK
7Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555-1070, USA

Received 2 September 2010; Revised 28 September 2010; Accepted 11 October 2010

Academic Editor: Carl Feng

Copyright © 2011 W. Ray Waters et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis and M. bovis share >99% genetic identity and induce similar host responses and disease profiles upon infection. There is a rich history of codiscovery in the development of control measures applicable to both human and bovine tuberculosis (TB) including skin-testing procedures, M. bovis BCG vaccination, and interferon-γ release assays. The calf TB infection model offers several opportunities to further our understanding of TB immunopathogenesis. Recent observations include correlation of central memory immune responses with TB vaccine efficacy, association of SIRPα+ cells in ESAT-6:CFP10-elicited multinucleate giant cell formation, early γδ T cell responses to TB, antimycobacterial activity of memory CD4+ T cells via granulysin production, association of specific antibody with antigen burden, and suppression of innate immune gene expression in infected animals. Partnerships teaming researchers with veterinary and medical perspectives will continue to provide mutual benefit to TB research in man and animals.