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Acquired Resistance to Fasciola Hepatica in Cattle Using a Purified Adult Worm Antigen

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  • Laboratory of Parasite Immunology, Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, Puerto Rico 00931

Calves were immunized twice in 4 weeks with a Fasciola/Schistosoma cross-reactive, cross-protective defined immunity antigen (denoted FhSmIII(M) isolated from F. hepatica adult worm extracts by antibody affinity chromatography and challenged 7 weeks later with F. hepatica metacercariae. F1ukes were recovered at 16 weeks of infection at which time the immunized calves had 55% less F. hepatica than the controls. All of the immunized calves developed high antibody levels of FhSmIII(M), detectable in the ELISA, by 4 weeks after a single immunization. By 9 weeks of infection with F. hepatica the immunized calves had lower sorbitol dehydrogenase levels than the unimmunized, F. hepatica-infected control calves, indicating less liver damage in the vaccinated group. These studies demonstrate that subcellular F. hepatica macromolecules cross-reactive and cross-protective against S. mansoni also have the potential to serve as vaccines in cattle exposed to this parasitic disease.

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