The objective of the study was to analyze changes in peripheral blood leukocyte subsets in cases of naturally occurring exudative epidermitis (EE) in pigs. Five of ten piglets developed the chronic clinical form of EE 2-5 days after weaning (PW). Blood samples were obtained at 7, 14 and 21 days from both normal and clinically affected piglets for routine haematology and for the determination of CD45, CD21, CD4, CD8 and γδTCR cell markers by flow cytometry. When compared with clinically normal piglets EE affected pigs showed significantly decreased values of monocytes at 14 and 21 days PW, and increased numbers of neutrophils and leukocytes at 21 days PW. The EE affected pigs also had an early significant CD4+ and CD8high+ T lymphocyte proliferative response at 7 days PW. However affected pigs had a significantly reduced number of B (CD21+) and γδTCR+ T lymphocytes in blood at 21 days PW. Although all values remained within the normal range, the significant differences in some peripheral blood leukocyte subsets between the two groups of piglets suggest that the generalised cutaneous infection with Staphylococcus hyicus is severe enough to induce a systemic inflammatory and immune responses. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- Exudative epidermitis
- Lymphocyte subsets
- Peripheral blood mononuclear cells
- Staphylococcus hyicus