Protection of ewes against Teladorsagia circumcincta infection in the periparturient period by vaccination with recombinant antigens
Nisbet, A. J.; McNeilly, T. N.; Greer, Andrew W.; Bartley, Y.; Oliver, E. M.; Smith, S.; Palarea-Albaladejo, J.; Matthews, J. B.
Teladorsagiosis is a major production-limiting disease in ruminants in temperate regions throughout the world and one of the key interventions in the management of the disease is the prevention of pasture contamination with Teladorsagia circumcincta eggs by ewes during the periparturient relaxation in immunity which occurs in the period around lambing. Here, we describe the immunisation of twin-bearing ewes with a T. circumcincta recombinant subunit vaccine and the impact that vaccination has on their immune responses and shedding of parasite eggs during a continuous T. circumcincta challenge period spanning late gestation and lactation. In ewes which displayed a clear periparturient relaxation in immunity, vaccination resulted in a 45% reduction in mean cumulative faecal egg count (cFEC, p = 0.027) compared to control (immunised with adjuvant only) ewes. Recombinant antigen-specific IgG and IgA, which bound each of the vaccine antigens, were detected in the serum of vaccinated ewes following each immunisation and in colostrum taken from vaccinated ewes post-partum whereas low levels of antigen-specific IgG were detected in serum and colostrum from control ewes. Antigen-specific IgG and IgA levels in blood collected within 48 h of birth from lambs largely reflected those in the colostrum of their ewes.... [Show full abstract]