A quantitative assessment of primary and secondary immune responses in cattle using B cell ELISPOT assay

The aim of the study was to build a comprehensive picture of the appearance in the blood stream of Ag-specific plasma cells and memory B cells in the bovine model. For this purpose, we have developed a method allowing the detection and quantification of both cell types within individual calves immunised with ovalbumin. During the primary response, we detected a burst of ovalbumin-specific plasma cells at days 6 and 7 post-immunisation, which was followed by the production of specific Ab, whereas a gradual increase of memory B cells was only detected from day 15. As expected, a boost immunisation performed 7 weeks later induced a quicker and stronger secondary response. Indeed, a burst of plasma cells was detected in the blood at days 3 and 4, which was followed by a strong increase in Ab titres. Furthermore, a burst of memory B cells, and not a gradual increase, was detected at days 5 and 6 post-boost immunisation. Importantly, we showed a strong correlation between the anti-ovalbumin-specific IgG titres detected 5 months after secondary immunisation and the plasma cell numbers detected in the blood at the peak response after secondary immunisation. The detection and quantification of plasma cells following an mmunisation/vaccination strategy could constitute a very effective means for predicting the magnitude and longevity of an Ab response.

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