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Trends Parasitol. 2004 Oct;20(10):488-92.

Veterinary parasitic vaccines: pitfalls and future directions.

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Ghent University, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Virology, Parasitology and Immunology, Salisburylaan 133, B9820 Merelbeke, Belgium.


Most available antiparasitic drugs are safe, cheap and highly effective against a broad spectrum of parasites. However, the alarming increase in the number of parasite species that are resistant to these drugs, the issue of residues in the food chain and the lack of new drugs stimulate development of alternative control methods in which vaccines would have a central role. Parasite vaccines are still rare, but there are encouraging signs that their number will increase in the next decade. The modern paradigm is that an understanding of parasite genes will lead to the identification of useful antigens, which can then be produced in recombinant systems developed as a result of the huge investment in biotechnology. However, we should also continue to devote efforts to basic research on the host-parasite interface.

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