Pre-exposure of cattle to drug-abbreviated Fasciola hepatica infections: the effect upon subsequent challenge infection and the early immune response

D V Hoyle, J P Dalton, M Chase-Topping, D W Taylor

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In this study we examined whether juvenile liver flukes are capable of stimulating protective immune responses in cattle. Four experimental groups of cattle were studied as follows: group A, a positive control, received a primary infection on day 0 and a secondary infection 28 days later; group B also received two infections but the primary infection was terminated by drug treatment on day 5; group C, received infections on days 0, 5 and 10 which were terminated by drug treatments on days 1, 6 and 11 and then a secondary infection on day 28; group D received an infection only on day 28. Juvenile flukes appear to induce protective responses because: (a) group B animals had significantly lower levels of gamma-GT (P<0.05) than group D; (b) both groups B and C exhibited lower parenchymal phase GLDH levels (P=0.006 and 0.041, respectively); and (c) both groups B and C had lower secondary phase eosinophilia (P=0.002 and 0.02, respectively) than those in group D. Sera taken from groups A-C contained antibodies reacting to a variety of proteins in adult fluke somatic antigen and excretory-secretory preparations, particularly to proteins of 52-60, 68-72 and 82-96 kDa. After secondary challenge the antibody responses of group A to these proteins declined while reactivity to proteins of 28-30 kDa increased. Antibody responses to the 28-30 kDa proteins were not detected in groups B-D until 3 weeks later than those observed in group A. Antibody responses to Fasciola hepatica cathepsin L proteases, which are known to induce protection, were monophasic, of the IgG1 isotype only and were not observed prior to secondary challenge in any of the four groups. In contrast, the response to another protective antigen fraction, a high molecular sized haem protein, was of a mixed IgG1/IgG2 nature and was detected within 14 days of primary infection. However, no significant difference in antibody titres to either protein preparation was observed after the secondary infection when groups B and C were compared to group D.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-82
Number of pages18
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jan 2003


  • Animals
  • Anthelmintics
  • Antibodies, Helminth
  • Benzimidazoles
  • Cattle
  • Cattle Diseases
  • Fasciola hepatica
  • Fascioliasis
  • Male


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