Vaccination for the prevention of cysticercosis
Several species of taeniid cestode parasites cause cysticercosis in their intermediate hosts. The most important species is Taenia solium, which infects pigs as the natural animal intermediate host but also may infect humans as intermediate hosts, leading to the disease known as neurocysticercosis. T. solium has been identified as a potentially eradicable disease and increasing attention is being placed on efforts to control transmission of the parasite. One option to assist with control of the disease is to prevent infection occurring in pigs by vaccination, thereby breaking the parasite's life-cycle and removing the source of infection for humans. Several approaches are being examined towards development of vaccines against T. solium, one of which is the application of recombinant oncosphere antigens. Two different oncosphere antigens, designated TSOL18 and TSOL45, have been evaluated, each of which has been shown to induce complete or near complete protection against experimental challenge infection in four separate vaccine trials in pigs. Investigations have begun towards characterising various aspects of this vaccine before undertaking controlled field trials. The TSOL18/TSOL45 vaccine has the potential to make a substantial contribution to the control and, potentially, the eradication of human neurocysticercosis.
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