BACKGROUND: Pasteurella multocida B:2 causes haemorrhagic septicaemia in cattle and buffaloes. However, buffaloes are found to be more susceptible to the infection than cattle. Upon infection, the pathogen rapidly spread from the respiratory tract to the blood circulation within 16-72 h, causing septicaemia. So far, limited study has been conducted to evaluate the response of endothelial cells of buffalo towards P. multocida B:2 and its lipopolysaccharide (LPS). This study aimed to evaluate the ultrastructural changes in the aortic endothelium of buffaloes (BAEC) following exposure to P. multocida B:2 and its endotoxin. The endothelial cells were harvested from the aorta of healthy buffaloes and were prepared as monolayer cell cultures. The cultures were divided into 3 groups before Group 1 was inoculated with 107 cfu/ml of whole cell P. multocida B:2, Group 2 with LPS, which was extracted earlier from 107 cfu/ml of P. multocida B:2 and Group 3 with sterile cell culture medium. The cells were harvested at 0, 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, and 48 h post-inoculation for assessment of cellular changes using transmission electron microscopy.
RESULTS: The BAEC of Groups 1 and 2 demonstrated moderate to severe endothelial lysis, suggestive of acute cellular injury. In general, severity of the ultrastructural changes increased with the time of incubation but no significant difference (p > 0.05) in the severity of the cellular changes between Groups 1 and 2 was observed in the first 18 h. The severity of lesions became significant (p