Whole blood transcriptomic analysis of beef cattle at arrival identifies potential predictive molecules and mechanisms that indicate animals that naturally resist bovine respiratory disease

Matthew A. Scott, Amelia R. Woolums, Cyprianna E. Swiderski, Andy D. Perkins, Bindu Nanduri, David R. Smith, Brandi B. Karisch, William B. Epperson, John R. Blanton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is a multifactorial disease complex and the leading infectious disease in post-weaned beef cattle. Clinical manifestations of BRD are recognized in beef calves within a high-risk setting, commonly associated with weaning, shipping, and novel feeding and housing environments. However, the understanding of complex host immune interactions and genomic mechanisms involved in BRD susceptibility remain elusive. Utilizing high-throughput RNA-sequencing, we contrasted the at-arrival blood transcriptomes of 6 beef cattle that ultimately developed BRD against 5 beef cattle that remained healthy within the same herd, differentiating BRD diagnosis from production metadata and treatment records. We identified 135 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) using the differential gene expression tools edgeR and DESeq2. Thirty-six of the DEGs shared between these two analysis platforms were prioritized for investigation of their relevance to infectious disease resistance using WebGestalt, STRING, and Reactome. Biological processes related to inflammatory response, immunological defense, lipoxin metabolism, and macrophage function were identified. Production of specialized pro-resolvin mediators (SPMs) and endogenous metabolism of angiotensinogen were increased in animals that resisted BRD. Protein-protein interaction modeling of gene products with significantly higher expression in cattle that naturally acquire BRD identified molecular processes involving microbial killing. Accordingly, identification of DEGs in whole blood at arrival revealed a clear distinction between calves that went on to develop BRD and those that resisted BRD. These results provide novel insight into host immune factors that are present at the time of arrival that confer protection from BRD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0227507
JournalPloS one
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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