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Tropical liver fluke-induced stress in experimentally infected and immunised buffaloes
  1. R. Edith, MVSc1,
  2. M. B. Thilagar, MVSc2,
  3. R. Godara, MVSc3 and
  4. R. L. Sharma, MVSc, PhD3
  1. Division of Parasitology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar-243122, Uttar Pradesh, India
  2. Department of Veterinary Medicine, Madras Veterinary College, Chennai-600007, India
  3. Department of Veterinary Parasitology, Apollo College of Veterinary Medicine, Agra Road, Jaipur-302031, India
  1. Correspondence to Mr Godara, e-mail: godara72{at}

Disease-related stress associated with Fasciola gigantica infection was investigated in 16 male, yearling Murrah buffaloes. The animals were randomly assigned to one of four groups. Animals in groups 1 and 2 were vaccinated subcutaneously with 4.8 mg of excretory-secretory antigen (group 1) or 1300 μg infection-specific antigen (group 2), in three doses. Subsequently, all the animals in groups 1, 2 and 3 were infected orally with 800 viable F gigantica metacercariae (bubaline origin) on week 6 of the experiment. The animals in group 4 served as healthy controls. The clinical progress of the disease with respect to the adrenocortical response to infection was assessed periodically. The infected animals in group 3 developed characteristic signs of the disease and had the highest in situ fluke population (mean [se] 331.8 [19.5] ). One of the four animals in group 3 died on day 110 postinfection (PI). Animals that had been immunised before infection (groups 1 and 2) acquired adequate levels of immunity, were comparatively healthier and had significantly lower (P<0.05) fluke populations (mean [se] 194.3 [11.8] in group 1 and 164.5 [9.2] in group 2). Throughout the course of the disease, the group 3 animals had significantly higher cortisol levels than those in groups 1 and 2 (P<0.01) from week 4 PI onward. Although animals in the immunised groups (groups 1 and 2) had increased hormone levels, they were not significantly different from those in the control animals in group 4. Cortisol levels were higher during the early prepatency phase (weeks 1 to 6 PI) than during the late prepatency and/or patency phases of the disease. Cortisol levels in the healthy control animals in group 4 remained within the normal range.

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  • Provenance not commissioned; externally peer reviewed

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