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BoLA-1 antibodies and the induction of bovine neonatal pancytopenia: a twin calves study
  1. Rahel Kasonta1,
  2. Carola Sauter-Louis2,
  3. Mark Holsteg3,
  4. Klaus Cussler4 and
  5. Max Bastian1
  1. 1Division of Veterinary Medicine, Paul-Ehrlich-Institute, Langen, Germany
  2. 2Clinic for Ruminants, LMU München, Oberschleissheim, Germany
  3. 3Referat 34 Tiergesundheit, Landwirtschaftskammer Nordrhein-Westfalen, Bonn, Germany
  4. 4Pharmacovigilance of Veterinary Immunological Products and Animal Welfare, Paul-Ehrlich-Institute, Langen, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Rahel Kasonta, rahel.kasonta{at}


Bovine neonatal pancytopenia (BNP) is a vaccine-induced alloimmune disease. The syndrome affects young calves and is characterised by haemorrhages, pancytopenia and severe destruction of the haematopoietic tissue. Recent evidence indicates that vaccine-induced alloantibodies target bovine major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) antigens (bovine leucocyte antigen 1 (BoLA-1)). However, whether BoLA-1-specific antibodies suffice to induce BNP is still a matter of debate. In the current case study, we investigate samples from twin calves where only one calf succumbed to BNP. The fraternal twin also ingested high amounts of BoLA-1-specific alloantibodies but it did not develop BNP because the maternal antibodies did not recognise its BoLA-1 alleles. This association between lack of BoLA-1 binding and the absence of disease provides another important piece of evidence that BoLA-1-specific alloantibodies play a role in the induction of BNP.

  • Bovine Neonatal Pancytopenia (BNP)
  • Alloreactivity
  • Veterinary Vaccines
  • Bovine Leucocyte Antigen
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