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Leukocytes Immunophenotype and Phagocytosis Activity in Pregnant and Nonpregnant Dromedary She Camels

Jamal Hussen*, Turke Shawaf1, Abdullah I. A. Al-Mubarak, Naser Abdallah Al Humam, Faisal Almathen2,3 and Hans-Joachim Schuberth4

Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, College of Veterinary Medicine, King Faisal University, Al Ahsaa, Saudi Arabia; 1Department of Clinical Studies, College of Veterinary Medicine, King Faisal University, Al Ahsaa, Saudi Arabia; 2Department of Veterinary Public Health and Animal Husbandry, College of Veterinary Medicine, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia; 3The Camel Research Center, King Faisal University, Saudi Arabia; 4Immunology Unit, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation, Hannover, Germany
*Corresponding author:


Pregnancy is associated with different local and systemic changes in immune cell phenotype and function. Here, we used flow cytometry and membrane immunofluorescence for the comparison between pregnant (n=18) and non-pregnant she camels (n=21) in terms of immunophenotype of blood leukocytes and phagocytosis activity of neutrophils. Camel blood leukocytes were labeled with monoclonal antibodies to camel antigens and analyzed by flow cytometry. Pregnant she camels displayed higher leukocyte counts than non-pregnant animals. Differential analysis of leukocyte populations revealed higher proportions of monocytes, lymphocytes and CD4-positive T cells but lower proportion of neutrophils in pregnant she camels in comparison to non-pregnant animals. Pregnancy was also associated with enhanced expression of the cell adhesion molecule CD11a on neutrophils but reduced CD11a expression on lymphocytes in pregnant animals. After incubation with FITC-labeled bacteria, flow cytometric ex-vivo analysis of bacterial phagocytosis by neutrophils showed higher phagocytosis capacity in neutrophils from pregnant than from non-pregnant animals. Together these results indicate significant modulating effects of pregnancy on the immune system of she camels.

To Cite This Article: Hussen J, Shawaf T, Al-Mubarak AIA, Al Humam NA, Almathen F and Schuberth HJ, 2020. Leukocytes immunophenotype and phagocytosis activity in pregnant and nonpregnant dromedary she camels. Pak Vet J, 40(2): 239-243.


ISSN 0253-8318 (Print)
ISSN 2074-7764 (Online)