The effect of Quil A adjuvant on the course of experimental Fasciola hepatica infection in sheep.

Veterinary Sciences Centre, School of Agriculture, Food Science and Veterinary Medicine, College of Life Sciences, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
Vaccine (Impact Factor: 3.49). 10/2008; 27(1):45-50. DOI: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2008.10.035
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Fasciola hepatica infection causes significant clinical disease in ruminants. Current control methods, based on flukicidal drugs, are becoming less useful because of resistance in fluke populations. Vaccination would be a viable alternative, but as yet no vaccine to protect ruminants against liver fluke infection has been commercialised. Adjuvants can be used to enhance and promote protective immune responses by vaccines. In previous vaccination trials, we have observed a distinct adjuvant effect, or a degree of protection, in animals administered adjuvant alone in the absence of any specific F. hepatica antigen. Understanding this effect will be important for continuing efforts to develop vaccines effective against fasciolosis. This study investigated the effects of three adjuvants (Quil A, Freund's Incomplete and TiterMax Gold) on the course of experimental F. hepatica infection in 6-month-old sheep (n=33). At completion of the trial, all animals were necropsied to determine fluke burden and fluke weight. Quil A administration led to a significant reduction in faecal egg count (P<0.0001) and significantly higher parasite-specific serum antibody activity for all isotypes measured (P<0.01). This suggests that Quil A, which promotes a Th1 response, may be useful as an adjuvant in anti-Fasciola vaccines. Furthermore, it reinforces the results of our previous studies indicating that enhanced Th1 responsiveness to vaccine antigens is required to achieve protection against challenge by F. hepatica.

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