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Parasitology. 1997 Mar;114 ( Pt 3):293-9.

Protective immunity to the blood-feeding nematode Haemonchus contortus induced by vaccination with parasite low molecular weight antigens.

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Utrecht University, Department of Parasitology and Tropical Veterinary Medicine, The Netherlands.


Partially purified low molecular weight antigens obtained by gel filtration of whole worm homogenates or total adult excretory-secretory (ES) products were tested in a vaccination experiment to determine their ability to induce protective immunity against Haemonchus contortus in sheep. Sheep were challenged with 20,000 infective 3rd-stage larvae. One animal in the low molecular weight vaccinated group showed no protection against H. contortus, whereas the 4 other sheep in this group showed a mean reduction of 99.9% in faecal egg counts and of 97.6% in abomasal worm burden compared to the non-vaccinated controls and the adjuvant controls. The ES-vaccinated sheep showed a 32.2% reduction in parasite egg production and a 63.7% reduction in abomasal worm counts. Analysis of the humoral immune responses revealed no significant differences in antibody recognition of putative protective antigens between the protected and non-protected vaccinated animals. However, a marked lower lymphocyte proliferation response was found in non-protected sheep.

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