Twenty parasite-naive calves aged approximately four months were divided randomly into four groups of five. Two groups were treated with oral lungworm vaccine. One immunised group plus another non-immunised group were put out to graze on May 1 on a pasture known to be contaminated with Dictyocaulus viviparus infective larvae during the previous autumn. All the calves both indoor and outdoor were treated with ivermectin at three, eight and 13 weeks after the first groups started to graze and again at housing at the end of September. After the winter housing period on April 27 of the following year all the calves were given an artificial challenge of D viviparus infective larvae at the rate of 15 larvae per kg bodyweight, and the clinical and parasitological reactions monitored. All the calves which had been vaccinated or exposed to field infection during year 1 reacted strongly in ELISAs using antigen prepared from fourth stage D viviparus larvae but much less strongly in similar tests using adult derived antigen. Clinically those calves exposed to previous field infections were less severely affected than the housed calves, although parasitologically all three groups with prior exposure to D viviparus appeared to have a similar functional level of immunity to the challenge infection in comparison to the unexposed calves of the same age.
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