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Vet Parasitol. 2010 May 28;170(1-2):30-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2010.02.008. Epub 2010 Feb 18.

Serological responses to Babesia bovis vaccination in cattle previously infected with Babesia bigemina.

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  • 1Parasites, Vectors and Vector-borne Diseases (PVVD), ARC-Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute, Private Bag X05, 100 Old Soutpan Road, Onderstepoort 0110, Pretoria, South Africa. CombrinkM@arc.agric.za

Abstract

Serological responses of field cattle (260) on a farm in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa were determined before and after vaccination with the commercial Babesia bovis live-blood vaccine, using the indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). All the cattle tested negative for B. bovis antibodies before vaccination while 83% of them had significant antibody titres (>or=1/80) to Babesia bigemina, indicating a high degree of natural exposure to the latter parasite. By Day 60 post-vaccination only 53% of the cattle had seroconverted to B. bovis. This raised the question as to why only half of the vaccinated cattle had seroconverted. The possibility of previous exposure to B. bigemina infection interfering with the development of detectable antibodies to B. bovis was therefore investigated under controlled conditions. It was found that simultaneous vaccination with B. bigemina and B. bovis (n=6), and B. bigemina vaccination followed by B. bovis vaccination (n=12), had no effect on the animals' immune responses to B. bovis vaccination. All of these cattle developed a significant antibody response. However, only 58% of cattle (n=12) which had previously been inoculated with the B. bigemina field isolate, obtained from the trial farm, seroconverted (>or=1/80) after B. bovis vaccination, yet parasites for B. bovis could be demonstrated microscopically in all of the animals in this group. These findings confirmed the serology results from the field trial. When challenged with a B. bovis field isolate, cattle in this group did not show clinical reactions compared with an unvaccinated control group. The judicious use of IFAT to establish vaccination success obtained with the current South African B. bovis vaccine is indicated.

PMID:
20207488
DOI:
10.1016/j.vetpar.2010.02.008
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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