Fecundity in adult Haemonchus contortus parasites is correlated with abomasal tissue eosinophils and gamma delta T cells in resistant Canaria Hair Breed sheep Academic Article uri icon


  • Canaria Hair Breed (CHB) sheep are more resistant than Canaria sheep (CS) to experimental Haemonchus contortus infection. Protective responses appear effective against the adult stage of the parasite, not as commonly reported in other breeds against the larval stages. In this study we have quantified several abomasal immune cells and correlated these with parasitological variables for each breed. A significant negative correlation between CD4+ T cell numbers and worm burden or length at 28 dpi was seen only in CS sheep. Significant negative correlations for both abomasal eosinophils and γδ/WC1+ T cells, and fecundity of the adult worms were observed only in the resistant CHB sheep breed. Tissue eosinophils and γδ/WC1+ T cells were positively correlated in CHB sheep. We suggest that the two sheep breeds have disparate immune responses following infection with the parasite and that γδ+ T cells in association with eosinophils may play a hitherto unrecognised role in modulating fecundity in H. contortus adult female parasites.


  • Gonzalez, JF
  • Hernandez, A
  • Meeusen, ENT
  • Rodriguez, F
  • Molina, JM
  • Jaber, JR
  • Raadsma, HW
  • Piedrafita, D

publication date

  • 2011