Vaccines against helminth infections
Start date: Apr 1, 2011,
End date: Mar 31, 2015
Livestock production efficiency is impaired by helminth infection which is ubiquitous in cattle, sheep and goats world-wide. It causes severely debilitating gastro-intestinal, respiratory and hepatic disorders, dependent on the infecting species. The treatment and prevention of helminth parasitism in livestock continues to rely almost exclusively on the use of anthelmintic drugs, an approach threatened by the global emergence of anthelmintic resistance. An alternative approach is vaccination.Members of the present consortium (from the EU and Switzerland, North and South America, North and South Africa, Australia, 2 SMEs and 1 major animal health company) have developed prototype vaccines with the predicted required efficacy to control major gastro-intestinal nematode infections of livestock, notably Ostertagia ostertagi in cattle and Haemonchus contortus in sheep, the liver fluke Fasciola hepatica in sheep and cattle with leading positions in subunit vaccine development against Cooperia onchophora, Dictyocaulus viviparus in cattle and the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus in dogs.This proposal aims to deliver at least one prototype vaccine to the point of uptake by the commercial sector or through government/philanthropic agencies and this will be addressed by1) Developing effective native or synthetic vaccines, the latter using novel, molecular expression systems.2) Defining the protective immune responses induced by these vaccines to order to optimise the structure of the antigens and the method of their delivery.3) Defining vaccine efficacy with trials in both housed and grazing livestock4) Providing a platform for training and knowledge exchange which includes participation in training programmes, short exchanges of staff, workshops,and web site provision.5) Interacting closely with computer modellers, the animal health industry, farmer organisations and other stakeholders to define required vaccine characteristics.6) Knowledge exchange/dissemination to policy makers, scientists, government departments and the general public.
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