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Research article2007Open access

Immunization of cattle with live tachyzoites of Neospora caninum confers protection against fetal death

Williams DJL, Guy CS, Smith RF, Ellis J, Bjorkman C, Reichel MP, Trees AJ


Neospora caninum is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite that causes abortion in cattle. It is normally found as a latent infection controlled by a T-helper-cell type 1 response involving CD4(+) cytotoxic T cells and gamma interferon. Cattle may be infected by two different routes: transplacentally as a result of activation of the latent infection in the mother causing congenital infection or abortion and by ingestion of oocysts, which, if it occurs during gestation, can also result in abortion. Here, for the first time, we establish proof that live vaccination protects against fetal death, whereas immunization using whole-tachyzoite lysate in different adjuvants fails to protect against fetal death. Strong antibody responses were induced in all the vaccinated groups, and the quality and magnitude of these responses were similar in the live- and the lysate-vaccinated groups. In contrast, only the group immunized with live tachyzoites had strong cellular and gamma interferon responses prior to challenge, and these responses correlated with protection against fetopathy. These results suggest that a cellular immune response may be important in the mechanisms involved in protection against N. caninum-associated abortions

Published in

Infection and Immunity
2007, Volume: 75, number: 3, pages: 1343-1348

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Animal and Dairy Science
    Veterinary Science

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