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Article

The Impact of the Animal Housing System on Immune Cell Composition and Function in the Blood of Dromedary Camels

Department of Microbiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, King Faisal University, Al-Ahsa 31982, Saudi Arabia
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Maria Giovanna Ciliberti and Mariangela Caroprese
Animals 2022, 12(3), 317; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030317
Received: 22 December 2021 / Revised: 23 January 2022 / Accepted: 24 January 2022 / Published: 28 January 2022
The present study investigated the impacts of a change in animal housing system on selected parameters of the camel immune system. Samples collected from camels during a free-ranging time were compared with samples collected from the same camels during movement-restricted housing. Movement-restricted camels showed elevated myeloperoxidase activity in their serum, a significant shape-change of their neutrophils, and higher reactive oxygen species content in their monocytes and neutrophils. The leukogram pattern of the camels under restricted housing was characterized by increased numbers of neutrophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes. Within the lymphocyte population, only the helper T cells and B cells were expanded in animals under restricted housing. In addition, restricted housing modulated the expression of several cell surface antigens, including monocyte-polarization markers and cell adhesion molecules. Functional analysis of bacterial phagocytosis indicated impaired antibacterial function of phagocytes in camels under restricted housing. In summary, the present study identified significant changes in blood immune cell composition, phenotype, and function in dromedary camels under restricted-housing conditions, and suggests the development of an excitement leukogram in those animals.
Background: The dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius) is an important livestock animal of desert and semi-desert ecosystems. In recent years, several elements of the camel immune system have been characterized. Stress and excitement induced by animal housing represent the most important environmental factors with potential modulatory effects on the immune system. The present study evaluated the impacts of a restricted-housing system on some phenotypic and functional properties of blood leukocytes in dromedary camels. Methods: Immunofluorescence and flow cytometry were used to comparatively analyze samples collected from camels during a free-ranging time and samples collected from the same camels during movement-restricted housing. Results: In comparison to blood samples collected from the camels during the free-ranging time, samples from movement-restricted camels showed elevated serum myeloperoxidase activity, a significant shape-change in their neutrophils, and higher reactive oxygen species content in their monocytes and neutrophils, indicating increased cellular oxidative stress under movement-restricted housing. The leukogram pattern of the camels under restricted housing was characterized by leukocytosis with increased numbers of neutrophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes, resembling an excitement leukogram pattern. Within the lymphocyte population, only the helper T cells and B cells were expanded in animals under restricted housing. The upregulation of CD163 together with the downregulation of MHC-II on monocytes from excited camels indicate a modulatory potential of animal excitement to polarize monocytes toward an anti-inflammatory phenotype. Functional analysis of bacterial phagocytosis indicates an impaired antibacterial function of phagocytes in excited camels. The downregulation of several cell adhesion molecules on leukocytes from excited camels suggests a role for impaired cell adhesion and tissue migration and leukocyte retention in blood in the observed leukocytosis in animals under excitement. Conclusions: The present study identified significant changes in blood immune cell composition, phenotype, and function in dromedary camels under restricted-housing conditions. The observed changes in leukocyte composition suggest the development of an excitement leukogram pattern in camels under movement-restricted housing. To evaluate the clinical relevance of the observed changes in immune cell phenotype and function for the immune competence of camels under restricted housing, further studies are required. View Full-Text
Keywords: housing; immunity; dromedary camel; excitement; flow cytometry; leukocytes ROS; phagocytosis housing; immunity; dromedary camel; excitement; flow cytometry; leukocytes ROS; phagocytosis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hussen, J.; Al-Sukruwah, M.A. The Impact of the Animal Housing System on Immune Cell Composition and Function in the Blood of Dromedary Camels. Animals 2022, 12, 317. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030317

AMA Style

Hussen J, Al-Sukruwah MA. The Impact of the Animal Housing System on Immune Cell Composition and Function in the Blood of Dromedary Camels. Animals. 2022; 12(3):317. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030317

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hussen, Jamal, and Mohammed Ali Al-Sukruwah. 2022. "The Impact of the Animal Housing System on Immune Cell Composition and Function in the Blood of Dromedary Camels" Animals 12, no. 3: 317. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani12030317

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