Vaccination of Bovines Against Schistosomiasis Japonica with Highly Irradiated Schistosomula in China

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  • 1 Department of Preventive Medicine and Environmental Health, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242
  • | 2 Institute of Animal Schistosomiasis, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Shanghai, China
  • | 3 Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Shanghai, China
  • | 4 Radiation Research Laboratory, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242

Vaccination of Chinese bovines (cattle and buffaloes) against schistosomiasis japonica with 36 kR gamma-irradiated schistosomula was done for laboratory challenge and for field trials in China. Altogether, 61 bovines were used. All experimental animals were vaccinated 2–3 times with 10,000 irradiated schistosomula per time. For the laboratory challenge, all experimental and control cattle were challenged with 500 normal cercariae and each buffalo, with 2,000 cercariae. The laboratory-challenged bovines were killed after 54–57 days of challenge; the bovines for the field trial in the lightly endemic area, after 5 months in the field; and the bovines for the field trial in the heavily endemic area, after 58–63 days. When the animals were killed, the number of mature worms in the vaccinated (experimental) and non-vaccinated (control) animals was recorded and the percentage of worm reduction in each group was calculated. The first group, consisting of three vaccinated and three non-vaccinated cattle, was given a laboratory challenge; the worm reduction was 71.6%. The second group, consisting of two vaccinated and three non-vaccinated buffaloes, was also given a laboratory challenge; the worm reduction was 74.4%. The third group, consisting of seven vaccinated and eight non-vaccinated buffaloes, was utilized in a field trial in a lightly endemic area; the worm reduction was 75.6%. The fourth group, consisting of eight vaccinated and nine non-vaccinated cattle, and the fifth group, consisting of nine vaccinated and nine non-vaccinated buffaloes, were pastured in a heavily endemic area. The worm reduction was 65.1% in the fourth group and 75.7% in the fifth group. The number of eggs per gram of liver tissue was also studied in the animals in the third, fourth and fifth groups. The egg reduction was found to be 80.9% in the buffaloes in the third group, 54.9% in the cattle in the fourth group, and 70.4% in buffaloes in the fifth group. The results indicate clearly that the vaccine of highly irradiated schistosomula may be used with good efficacy to reduce the transmission and the severity of schistosomiasis japonica in bovines, and indirectly to benefit people, in the endemic areas in China.

Author Notes

Affiliated with the China National Centre for Preventive Medicine since August 1983.