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Int J Parasitol. 1998 Jul;28(7):1111-9.

Progress on developing a recombinant coccidiosis vaccine.

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Immunology and Disease Resistance Laboratory, USDA, BARC-EAST, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA.


The past 10 years of research aimed at developing subunit vaccines against a number of apicomplexans, including Eimeria, Plasmodium and Toxoplasma, have, if anything, revealed the complex nature of parasite-host interactions. The Knowledge gained from this research has shown why developing a subunit vaccine based on a single recombinant antigen from one developmental stage of the parasite was an overly optimistic approach. Many apicomplexan parasites have acquired unique strategies to evade host immunity. The variable expression of genes encoding erythrocyte membrane protein 1 of Plasmodium falciparum [1] (Berendt et al. Parasitology 1994;108:S19-S28) exemplifies one such strategy. The particular mechanism for evading immune destruction depends on a number of interrelated factors, not least of which is the parasite life-cycle and the availability of susceptible hosts. The goal of any vaccine, be it an attenuated organism or a recombinant antigen, is to break the cycle of infection. The development of a recombinant vaccine against apicomplexan parasites will depend on identifying those antigens and intracellular processes that are vital to the parasite survival and those which exist merely as a way of evading immunity. The information that follows is a review of both molecular biology/biochemistry of eimerian parasites and factors that influence host immune responses to coccidia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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