Bovine and human respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV/HRSV) are antigenetically related and are a major cause of severe lower respiratory tract disease in young children or calves. Infection of calves with BRSV results in considerable economic loss. Previous studies in calves have highlighted the importance of antibody and CD8+T-cell in recovery from and immunity to RSV infection. Dendritic cells are the most potent antigen presenting cells (APC) and may play an important role in presenting viral protein to T-cells in the respiratory tract following infection as well as systemically following vaccination.
The objective of the proposed project is to compare combinations of dendritic cells from blood and subsets from afferent lymph with monocytes and B cells as APC using whole RSV or viral proteins in vitro and in vivo. Cytokines produced by responding T cells will be analysed to determine whether the APC or viral polypeptides preferentially induce a TH1 or TH2 response. The proposed large animal model can be used to investigate aspects of the interaction of APC and T-cells that are not possible in humans. Finally, the results may help to establish new strategy in vaccination against BRSV targeting dendritic cells as the priming APC.