Article

Immune responses during pregnancy in heifers naturally infected with Neospora caninum with and without immunization.

Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA.
Parasitology Research (Impact Factor: 2.33). 05/2005; 96(1):24-31. DOI: 10.1007/s00436-005-1313-y
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study was designed to identify changes in parasite-specific immune responses that occur during vertical transmission of Neospora caninum and can be used as indicators of parasite reactivation in naturally infected heifers. Ten heifers were unimmunized and 11 immunized with killed tachyzoites. One unimmunized heifer, which aborted at week 19 of gestation, had an increase in parasite-specific antibodies, mainly IgG(2), from week 15 to week 19 and a concomitant decline in parasite-specific cell-mediated immune (CMI) responses. Eight unimmunized heifers, which had live full-term congenitally infected calves, had an increase in antibodies, mainly IgG(2), from week 21 onwards. All immunized heifers delivered live full-term congenitally infected calves, and had a bimodal increase in antibodies; primarily IgG(1) following immunization and predominantly IgG(2) from week 17 onwards. Immunized heifers had significantly greater overall mean humoral and CMI responses than unimmunized heifers. Nine uninfected control heifers and their calves were seronegative. These results indicate that reactivation of a latent infection occurred in the naturally infected heifers, regardless of their immunization status, and was associated with increased parasite-specific antibodies, mainly IgG(2).

0 Bookmarks
 · 
90 Views
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A vaccine is urgently needed to prevent cattle neosporosis. This infectious disease is caused by the parasite Neospora caninum, a complex biological system with multifaceted life cycles. An in silico vaccine discovery approach attempts to transform digital abstractions of this system into adequate knowledge to predict candidates. Researchers need current information to implement such an approach, such as understanding evasion mechanisms of the immune system, type of immune response to elicit, availability of data and prediction programs, and statistical models to analyze predictions. Taken together, an in silico approach involves assembly of an intricate jigsaw of interdisciplinary and interdependent knowledge. In this review, we focus on the approach influencing vaccine development against Neospora caninum, which can be generalized to other pathogenic apicomplexans.
    Trends in Parasitology 08/2014; · 6.22 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to determine the transmission paths of Neospora caninum in a dairy herd of crossbred cattle. Two hundred and ninety animals were grouped according to the year of their birth to verify the distribution of infection according to age. The blood of 196 cattle was collected thrice, with an average interval of 210 days, to evaluate the existence of horizontal transmission in the herd. To evaluate vertical transmission, the blood of 64 calves was collected prior to ingestion of colostrum and from their mothers at parturition. Moreover, 63 family trees were built. The presence of anti-N. caninum antibodies was detected using an indirect fluorescent antibody test. The chi-square test (χ(2)) with Yates' correction or Fisher's exact test was used to evaluate the relation between the serology and age groups and between the serostatus of cows and their progeny in different calvings. A higher seropositivity (p=0.035) was found in animals born in 2008 compared to those born in 1997-2007. The serological status of only 13 animals presented changes, of which six (3.1%) became seropositive, indicating a low proportion of horizontal transmission. All seropositive cows gave birth to seropositive calves, resulting in 100% vertical transmission. Sixty-three family trees were constructed. In 29 (46%) of these families, there were animals seropositive for N. caninum. Congenital infection in relation to the number of births was estimated from the relation of Mother+ and Daughter+, without significant differences (p=0.84) between the number of births and the transmission of the parasite from infected cows to their progeny. The low proportion of horizontal transmission combined with the high proportion of vertical transmission allowed us to conclude that transplacental transmission is the principal route of N. caninum infection in the herd.
    Veterinary Parasitology 01/2014; · 2.55 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neospora caninum is an intracellular apicomplexan parasite, which is a leading cause of abortion in cattle; thus neosporosis represents an important veterinary health problem and is of high economic significance. The parasite can infect cattle via trans-placental transmission from an infected cow to its fetus (vertical transmission), or through the oral route via ingestion of food or water contaminated with oocysts that were previously shed with the feces of a canid definitive host (horizontal transmission). Although vaccination was considered a rational strategy to prevent bovine neosporosis, the only commercialized vaccine (Neoguard®) produced ambiguous results with relatively low efficacy, and was recently removed from the market. Therefore, there is a need to develop an efficient vaccine capable of preventing both, the horizontal transmission through infected food or water to a naïve animal as well as the vertical transmission from infected but clinically asymptomatic dams to the fetus. Different vaccine strategies have been investigated, including the use of live attenuated vaccines, killed parasite lysates, total antigens or antigen fractions from killed parasites, and subunit vaccines. The vast majority of experimental studies were performed in mice, and to a certain extent in gerbils, but there is also a large number of investigations that were conducted in cattle and sheep. However, it is difficult to directly compare these studies due to the high variability of the parameters employed. In this review, we will summarize the recent advances made in vaccine development against Neospora caninum in cattle and in mice and highlight the most important factors, which are likely to influence the degree of protection mediated by vaccination.
    Experimental Parasitology 03/2014; · 1.86 Impact Factor