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Developing vaccines to control protozoan parasites in ruminants: dead or alive?

AuthorsInnes, Elisabeth A.; Bartley, Paul M.; Rocchi, Mara S.; Benavides, Julio ; Burrells, A.; Hotchkiss, E.; Chianini, F.; Cantón, Germán J.; Katzer, Frank
Issue Date2011
CitationVeterinary Parasitology 180: 155- 163 (2011)
AbstractProtozoan parasites are among some of the most successful organisms worldwide, being able to live and multiply within a very wide range of hosts. The diseases caused by these parasites cause significant production losses in the livestock sector involving reproductive failure, impaired weight gain, contaminated meat, reduced milk yields and in severe cases, loss of the animal. In addition, some protozoan parasites affecting livestock such as Toxoplasma gondii and Cryptosporidium parvum may also be transmitted to humans where they can cause serious disease. Data derived from experimental models of infection in ruminant species enables the study of the interactions between parasite and host. How the parasite initiates infection, becomes established and multiplies within the host and the critical pathways that may lead to a disease outcome are all important to enable the rational design of appropriate intervention strategies. Once the parasites invade the hosts they induce both innate and adaptive immune responses and the induction and function of these immune responses are critical in determining the outcome of the infection. Vaccines offer green solutions to control disease as they are sustainable, reducing reliance on pharmacological drugs and pesticides. The use of vaccines has multiple benefits such as improving animal health and welfare by controlling animal infections and infestations; improving public health by controlling zoonoses and food borne pathogens in animals; solving problems associated with resistance to acaricides, antibiotics and anthelmintics; keeping animals and the environment free of chemical residues and maintaining biodiversity. All of these attributes should lead to improved sustainability of animal production and economic benefit. Using different protozoan parasitic diseases as examples this paper will discuss various approaches used to develop vaccines to protect against disease in livestock and discuss the relative merits of using live versus killed vaccine preparations. A range of different vaccination targets and strategies will be discussed to help protect against: acute disease, congenital infection and abortion, persistence of zoonotic pathogens in tissues of food animals and passive transfer of immunity to neonates. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.vetpar.2011.05.036
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