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First demonstration of protective immunity against foetopathy in cattle with latent Neospora caninum infection

Williams, Diana J.L., Guy, C. S., Smith, R. F., Guy, F., McGarry, J.W., McKay, J. S. and Trees, Alexander J. (2003) 'First demonstration of protective immunity against foetopathy in cattle with latent Neospora caninum infection'. International Journal for Parasitology, Vol 33, Issue 10, pp. 1059-1065.

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The parasite Neospora caninum is an important cause of abortion in cattle world-wide. Chronically infected dams transmit the parasite transplacentally and infected foetuses may be aborted or born chronically infected but clinically normal. Chronically infected cows repeatedly transmit the parasite to foetuses in several pregnancies and some may abort more than once suggesting that the immune response in these cattle is compromised during pregnancy. To investigate the nature of the immune response in chronically infected cattle, five naturally, chronically infected cows were challenged with N. caninum tachyzoites at 10 weeks of gestation. No foetopathy occurred and all five delivered live calves at full-term. In four naive pregnant cows challenged at the same time, all four foetuses died within 3-5 weeks of challenge. Of the five live calves born to the chronically infected challenged cows, three were transplacentally infected with N. caninum. The kinetics of the maternal anti-N. caninum antibody responses during gestation suggested that these transplacental infections were not the result of the superimposed challenge, but the result of the recrudescence of the maternal chronic infection-which occurred concurrently in non-challenged, chronically infected pregnant controls. These data provide the first experimental evidence that protective immunity occurs in neosporosis. They also suggest that whilst immunity to a pre-existing infection will protect against an exogenous challenge, this protective immunity will not prevent transplacental infection. This implies that a subtle form of concomitant immunity exists in chronically infected cattle and has important implications for vaccine development. (C) 2003 Australian Society for Parasitology Inc. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: W General Medicine. Health Professions > W 20.55.V4 Veterinary biomedical research
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Veterinary Parasitology Group (2002-2008)
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
Depositing User: Martin Chapman
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2014 09:36
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:04


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