Immune evasion by pathogens of bovine respiratory disease complex

Subramaniam Srikumaran, Clayton L. Kelling, Aruna Ambagala

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Bovine respiratory tract disease is a multi-factorial disease complex involving several viruses and bacteria. Viruses that play prominent roles in causing the bovine respiratory disease complex include bovine herpesvirus-1, bovine respiratory syncytial virus, bovine viral diarrhea virus and parinfluenza-3 virus. Bacteria that play prominent roles in this disease complex are Mannheimia haemolytica and Mycoplasma bovis. Other bacteria that infect the bovine respiratory tract of cattle are Histophilus (Haemophilus) somni and Pasteurella multocida. Frequently, severe respiratory tract disease in cattle is associated with concurrent infections of these pathogens. Like other pathogens, the viral and bacterial pathogens of this disease complex have co-evolved with their hosts over millions of years. As much as the hosts have diversified and fine-tuned the components of their immune system, the pathogens have also evolved diverse and sophisticated strategies to evade the host immune responses. These pathogens have developed intricate mechanisms to thwart both the innate and adaptive arms of the immune responses of their hosts. This review presents an overview of the strategies by which the pathogens suppress host immune responses, as well as the strategies by which the pathogens modify themselves or their locations in the host to evade host immune responses. These immune evasion strategies likely contribute to the failure of currently-available vaccines to provide complete protection to cattle against these pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)215-229
Number of pages15
JournalAnimal health research reviews
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1996


  • bovine respiratory disease complex
  • immune evasion
  • pathogens

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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