The mean number of bacteria shed followed the dynamics of infection, in that, shedding was high during the initial first month and decreased thereafter, although occasional peaks were observed up to 17 weeks post infection. The variability in the shedding pattern was unexpected but supports the hypothesis that rabbits with a chronic B. bronchiseptica infection can be long-term shedders, through a persistent infection in the upper respiratory tract. Specifically, most of the bacteria were shed at irregular intervals and with intensities that vary both within and between individuals. However, we also showed that some individuals never shed bacteria while infected, and this supports the hypothesis
of a non-linear relationship between host infectiousness CCI-779 and B. bronchiseptica transmission. Moreover, since the immune system imposed constrains on the Tariquidar in vitro level and duration of infection we may argue that there was also a non-linear relationship between immune AZD6738 concentration response and transmission dynamics. The host acquired immunity, and probably the level of the early response, influenced the intensity, duration and pattern of bacteria shed. Serum IgG appeared to contribute to bacteria clearance in the lungs and trachea and the initial reduction in the nares. IgG also exerted a negative effect on the amount of B. bronchiseptica shed and together with IgA and white blood cells appeared to influence
the initial and long-term shedding pattern. Indeed, a robust and timely IgG response probably modulated the long term shedding of B. bronchiseptica by quickly reducing or controlling replication in the nares below a threshold value required for consistent and prolonged pathogen transmission. In contrast, it is possible that the initial lower infection levels stimulated a milder immune response that allowed bacteria replication above a threshold necessary for long term shedding. While the number of bacteria in the nares was positively associated to the level of bacteria shed, some infected learn more individuals never shed bacteria, supporting the hypothesis that a minimum threshold level of
infection is necessary for bacteria shedding. Serum IgA was probably more involved in the initial clearance of the lower respiratory tract, which agrees with the general role of this immunoglobulin in the early protection against invasive infections . Serum IgG and IgA have been previously shown to be sufficient for B. bronchiseptica clearance in the lower but not the upper respiratory tract [16–18, 25]. Similarly, neutrophils are involved in the early clearance of B. bronchiseptica from the lower respiratory tract [16, 26, 30]. Our findings on the role of serum antibodies and bacteria clearance are in line with previous work but also highlight the effect of serum IgG on the dynamics of B. bronchiseptica shedding.