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Exp Parasitol. 1991 Aug;73(2):184-96.

Acanthocheilonema viteae: vaccination of jirds with irradiation-attenuated stage-3 larvae and with exported larval antigens.

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Institut für Tropenhygiene, Heidelberg, Germany.


Jirds (Meriones unguiculatus) were immunized with irradiated (35 krad) stage-3 larvae (L3) of Acanthocheilonema viteae. The induced resistance against homologous challenge infection and the antibody response of the animals were studied. Immunization with 3, 2, or 1 dose of 50 irradiated L3 induced approximately 90% resistance. Immunization with a single dose of only 5 irradiated L3 resulted in 60.8% protection while immunization with a single dose of 25 L3 induced 94.1% protection. The protection induced with 3 doses of 50 irradiated L3 did not decrease significantly during a period of 6 months. Sera of a proportion, but not all resistant jirds, contained antibodies against the surface of vector derived L3 as defined by IFAT. No surface antigens of microfilariae or adult worms were recognized by the sera. Vaccinated animals had antibody responses against antigens in the inner organs of L3 and in the cuticle and reproductive organs of adult worms as shown by IFAT. Immunoblotting with SDS-PAGE-separated L3 antigens and L3-CSN revealed that all sera contained antibodies against two exported antigens of 205 and 68 kDa, and against a nonexported antigen of 18 kDa. The 205-kDa antigen easily degraded into fragments of 165, 140, 125, and 105 kDa which were recognized by resistant jird sera. Various antigens of adult worms, but relatively few antigens of microfilariae, were also recognized. To test the relevance of exported antigens of L3 to resistance, jirds were immunized with L3-CSN together with a mild adjuvant. This immunization induced 67.7% resistance against challenge infection and sera of the immunized animals recognized the 205- and 68-kDa antigens of L3.

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