Comparison of the oxidative respiratory burst and mitogen-induced leukocyte responses of camels, goats, sheep, and cows

Abeer Al-Hamrashdi*, Khalid Al-Habsi, Elshafie I. Elshafie, Eugene H. Johnson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Aim: The reports from the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries suggest that camels suffer less compared to goats, sheep, and cows from a number of common infectious diseases in Oman. However, there is no immunological evidence to substantiate this claim. This present study is, therefore, an attempt to study the immunological responses of camels, goats, sheep, and cows by comparing their oxidative respiratory burst of peripheral blood leukocytes (PBLs) as a marker of innate immunity occurring during phagocytosis and the mitogenic responses of their peripheral blood mononuclear leukocytes (PBMLs) as a marker of their adaptive immune response. Materials and Methods: Ten female adult animals (n = 10) were selected from each species (goats, sheep, and cows). The goats, sheep, and cows were maintained at the Agricultural Experiment Station, while camels were kept at the Royal Camel Corps (RCC). Blood samples were collected from the jugular vein in 7 mL of heparin and ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid vacutainer tubes. The oxidative respiratory burst of PBLs was measured using a chemiluminescence (CL) assay. Reactants consisted of 75 μL of whole blood diluted (1:50), 75 μL of luminol/isoluminol, and 75 μL of zymosan opsonized with nonheat inactivated serum/heat-inactivated serum or non-opsonized zymosan. CL responses were measured as relative light units and expressed as the mean count per minute and peak CL values. The mitogenic response of PBMLs to concanavalin A (Con-A), phytohemagglutinin (PHA), and pokeweed mitogen (PWM) was tested using a WST-8 assay and read spectrophotometrically at 450 nm. Results: The present findings showed that camel PBLs generate significantly higher CL responses, both intracellularly as well as extracellularly, with zymosan opsonized with autologous serum. Camel PBLs demonstrated a significantly higher (p = 0.001) response when stimulated with zymosan opsonized with heat-inactivated serum compared to those of goat, sheep, and cow lymphocytes from camels exhibited significantly higher (p = 0.001) stimulation indices (SI) with Con-A, PHA, and PWM. Conclusion: The present study suggests that camels are capable of mounting both superior innate as well as adaptive immune responses and provide immunological evidence supporting the belief of some authors, who have proposed that camels are less susceptible to a number of common infectious diseases than other domesticated ruminants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1398-1407
Number of pages10
JournalVeterinary World
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • adaptive immune system
  • chemiluminescence
  • concanavalin A
  • innate immune system
  • phytohemagglutinin
  • pokeweed mitogen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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