Modulation of Haemonchus contortus infection by depletion of γδ + T cells in parasite resistant Canaria Hair Breed sheep Academic Article uri icon


  • Canaria Hair Breed (CHB) sheep display resistance against the adult stage of the nematode, Haemonchus contortus. Previous studies have suggested significant correlations between γδ+ T lymphocytes and fecundity of female adult worms, suggesting a novel role in immune modulation by these cells. The largest proportion of γδ+ T lymphocytes in sheep are the subpopulation of γδ+/WC1+ T cells. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of γδ+⁄WC1+ T cell depletion via infusion of anti-γδ/WC1 monoclonal antibody (mAb) on the subsequent immune response of CHB sheep infected with H. contortus. Significantly lower γδ+ T cell levels in both peripheral blood and in the basal layers of the abomasal tissue resulted following anti-γδ/WC1 mAb infusion of CHB sheep compared to control animals. Worms recovered from the anti-γδ/WC1 mAb treated CHB sheep had significantly longer female worms with correspondingly more eggs in utero than the saline control group. Significant correlations between eosinophils and worm length and fecundity were no longer apparent in the anti-γδ/WC1 mAb treated CHB sheep. These results support the notion that γδ+ T cells in CHB sheep play a critical role in fecundity regulation (length and eggs in utero) of H. contortus adult female worms, and highlights a new mechanism of modulation by this lymphocyte population, possibly involving eosinophil activation.

publication date

  • 2017