Evaluation of intracellular survival of Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus in bovine endometrial cells by qPCR

Document Type : Full paper (Original article)


1 Department of Genetics and Virology, Faculty of Chemical Sciences, Autonomous University of Coahuila, Saltillo, Mexico

2 Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Department of Agricultural and Animal Production, Metropolitan Autonomous University-Xochimilco, Mexico City, Mexico

3 Biological and Health Sciences Division, Department of Agricultural and Animal Production, Metropolitan Autonomous University-Xochimilco, Mexico City, Mexico

4 Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Department of Agricultural and Animal Production, Metropolitan Autonomous University-Xochimilco, Mexico City, Mexico


Background: Campylobacter fetus subsp. fetus is the causal agent of sporadic abortion and infertility in bovines that produces economic losses in livestock. Aims: This study evaluates the capability of C. fetus subsp. fetus to invade and survive in bovine endometrial epithelial cells and attempts to describe a pathogenic mechanism of this microorganism. Methods: Primary culture of bovine endometrial epithelial cells was challenged with C. fetus subsp. fetus. Intracellular bacteria, represented by the number of genomic copies (g.c.) were quantified at 0, 2, 4, 10, and 24 hours post-infection (h.p.i.), by quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR). The presence of intracellular bacteria was evaluated by immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry. Results: The results showed that only viable C. fetus subsp. fetus could invade endometrial cells. The g.c. number in assays with viable C. fetus subsp. fetus reached an average value of 656 g.c., remained constant until 4 h.p.i., then decreased to 100 g.c, at 24 h.p.i. In assays with non-viable microorganisms, the average value of g.c. was less than 1 g.c. and never changed. The intracellular presence of this bacteria was confirmed at 2 h.p.i. by immunofluorescence and immunohistochemistry. Conclusion: The results suggest that only C. fetus subsp. fetus viable can invade bovine endometrial epithelial cells but will not replicate in them, indicating that the endometrial cells do not represent a replication niche for this pathogen. Nonetheless, this invasion capability suggests that this type of cell could be employed by the pathogen to spread to other tissues.


Main Subjects

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