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Increased annexin A1 and A2 levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid are associated with resistance to respiratory disease in beef calves

Chandrika Senthilkumaran1, Mary Ellen Clark1, Khaled Abdelaziz12, Ken G Bateman3, Allison MacKay4, Joanne Hewson5 and Jeff L Caswell1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Pathobiology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada

2 Pathology Department, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Beni-Suef, 62511, Egypt

3 Department of Population Medicine, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada

4 Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada

5 Department of Clinical Studies, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, N1G 2W1, Canada

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Veterinary Research 2013, 44:24  doi:10.1186/1297-9716-44-24

Published: 8 April 2013


Strategies to control bovine respiratory disease depend on accurate classification of disease risk. An objective method to refine the risk classification of beef calves could be economically beneficial, improve welfare by preventing unexpected disease occurrences, refine and reduce the use of antibiotics in beef production, and facilitate alternative methods of disease control. The objective of this study was to identify proteins in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) of stressed healthy calves that predict later disease outcome, serve as biomarkers of susceptibility to pneumonia, and play a role in pathogenesis. BALF was collected from 162 healthy beef calves 1–2 days after weaning and transportation. Difference in gel electrophoresis (DIGE) and mass spectrometry were used to compare proteins in samples from 7 calves that later developed respiratory disease compared to 7 calves that remained healthy. Calves that later developed pneumonia had significantly lower levels of annexin A1, annexin A2, peroxiredoxin I, calcyphosin, superoxide dismutase, macrophage capping protein and dihydrodiol dehydrogenase 3. Differences in annexin levels were partially confirmed by western blot analysis. Thus, lower levels of annexins A1 and A2 are potential biomarkers of increased susceptibility to pneumonia in recently weaned and transported feedlot cattle. Since annexins are regulated by glucocorticoids, this finding may reflect individual differences in the stress response that predispose to pneumonia. These findings also have implications in pathogenesis. Annexins A1 and A2 are known to prevent neutrophil influx and fibrin deposition respectively, and may thus act to minimize the harmful effects of the inflammatory response during development of pneumonia.