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Association of MicroRNAs with Antibody Response to Mycoplasma bovis in Beef Cattle

Eduardo Casas, Guohong Cai, Larry A. Kuehn, Karen B. Register, Tara G. McDaneld, John D. Neill
Plos One 2016 v.11 no.8 pp. 1-11
Mycoplasma bovis, antibiotics, antibodies, autumn, bacteria, beef cattle, blood serum, calves, dairy cattle, disease control, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, genome, humans, immunoglobulin G, mice, microRNA, seroprevalence, spring, summer, weaning
The objective of this study was to identify microRNAs associated with a serum antibody response to Mycoplasma bovis in beef cattle. Serum from sixteen beef calves was collected at three points: in summer after calves were born, in fall at weaning, and in the following spring. All sera collected in the summer were ELISA-negative for anti-M. bovis. By the fall, eight animals were seropositive for IgG (positive group), while eight remained negative (negative group). By spring, all animals in both groups were seropositive. MicroRNAs were extracted from sera and sequenced on the Illumina HiSeq next-generation sequencer. A total of 1,374,697 sequences mapped to microRNAs in the bovine genome. Of these, 82% of the sequences corresponded to 27 microRNAs, each represented by a minimum of 10,000 sequences. There was a statistically significant interaction between ELISA response and season for bta-miR-24-3p (P= 0.0268). All sera collected at the initial summer had a similar number of copies of this microRNA (P=0.773). In the fall, the positive group had an increased number of copies when compared to the negative group (P= 0.021), and this grew more significant by the following spring (P= 0.0001). There were 21 microRNAs associated (P < 0.05) with season. These microRNAs could be evaluated further as candidates to potentially improve productivity in cattle. The microRNAs bta-let-7b, bta-miR- 24-3p, bta-miR- 92a, and bta-miR-423-5p, were significantly associated with ELISA status (P < 0.05). These microRNAs have been recognized as playing a role in the host defense against bacteria in humans, mice, and dairy cattle. Further studies are needed to establish if these microRNAs could be used as diagnostic marker or indicator of exposure, or whether intervention strategies could be developed as an alternative to antibiotics for controlling disease due to M. bovis.