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Vet Parasitol. 2002 May 30;106(1):19-33.

Vaccination of donkeys against Babesia equi using killed merozoite immunogen.

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All India Coordinated Research Project on Blood Protista, CCS Haryana Agricultural University, Hisar, India.


Protective efficacy of a killed Babesia equi immunogen was assessed in donkeys. The immunogen was prepared from B. equi infected blood so as to contain lysate of 2 x 10(10) parasitised erythrocytes per dose. The immunogen was mixed with an adjuvant Quil A (3mg) and inoculated into four susceptible donkeys (group I). A booster inoculation was given after 21 days of first inoculation followed by challenge with fresh infected blood containing 1x10(11) parasitised erythrocytes 14 days later. Two groups of two donkey each were included as adjuvant only control (group II) and uninoculated control (group III), respectively. After challenge, donkeys were observed for a period of 4 weeks. The immunised donkeys (group I) showed significantly high (P<0.05%) enzyme linked immunosorbant assay (ELISA) antibody titres and significantly high (P<0.05%) stimulation indices (SI) in lymphocyte proliferation assay (LPA) than that of groups II and III donkeys from day 14 PI and day 7 PI onwards, respectively. All the immunised donkeys withstood lethal challenge, whereas, control donkeys died within 10 days post-challenge (PC). Parasitaemia rose to mean maximum 8.0+/-6.0% for 5-7 days in group I donkeys after challenge, whereas, it rose to 55.5% in control groups. The percent rise in rectal temperature, total leucocyte count (TLC), fall in haemoglobin (Hb) was less severe in immunised group as compared to the control groups. Two immunised-challenged donkeys were splenectomised recovery. No parasites appeared in the blood during the observation period following splenectomy 4-week. Three times increase in skin-fold thickness at 24h of intradermal inoculation prior to challenge in group I donkeys was observed, thus, indicating a good in vivo cell mediated immunity. It can be concluded that the B. equi immunogen along with adjuvant Quil A, used in the present study, was optimum to elicit a strong immune response against B. equi in experimental donkeys.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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