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Vaccine shown to protect sheep against parasitic nematode

A. J. Nisbet, T. N. McNeillym, L. A. Willblood, A. A. Morrison,

D. J. Bartley, C. Longhi and others

Teladorsagia circumcincta is the primary cause of parasitic gastroenteritis, which is common in small ruminants in temperate conditions and is generally controlled using anthelmintics; however, multidrug resistance to the nematode is increasing. This paper describes the development of a vaccine against T circumcincta and a study to investigate its efficacy in challenged sheep.

By studying the immune responses directed at proteins specific to larvae that had infected sheep, a vaccine was developed containing eight recombinant proteins and tested in sheep in two independent trials. In both trials, sheep were given the vaccine with an adjuvant on three occasions, three weeks apart. Control groups received the adjuvant only, at the same time as the vaccinated groups. Following the final immunisation, all sheep were challenged with T circumcincta and dosed three times per week for four weeks.

Overall, vaccinated sheep had significantly lower mean faecal worm egg counts over the sampling period, with a mean reduction in egg output of 70 per cent in trial 1 and 58 per cent in trial 2. During peak worm egg shedding, vaccinated …

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