Liver fluke vaccines in ruminants: strategies, progress and future opportunities Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • The development of a vaccine for Fasciola spp. in livestock is a challenge and would be advanced by harnessing our knowledge of acquired immune mechanisms expressed by resistant livestock against fluke infection. Antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity directed to the surface tegument of juvenile/immature flukes is a host immune effector mechanism, suggesting that antigens on the surface of young flukes may represent prime candidates for a fluke vaccine. A Type 1 immune response shortly after fluke infection is associated with resistance to infection in resistant sheep, indicating that vaccine formulations should attempt to induce Type 1 responses to enhance vaccine efficacy. In cattle or sheep, an optimal fluke vaccine would need to reduce mean fluke burdens in a herd below the threshold of 30-54 flukes to ensure sustainable production benefits. Fluke infection intensity data suggest that vaccine efficacy of approximately 80% is required to reduce fluke burdens below this threshold in most countries. With the increased global prevalence of triclabendazole-resistant Fasciolahepatica, it may be commercially feasible in the short term to introduce a fluke vaccine of reasonable efficacy that will provide economic benefits for producers in regions where chemical control of new drug-resistant fluke infections is not viable. Commercial partnerships will be needed to fast-track new candidate vaccines using acceptable adjuvants in relevant production animals, obviating the need to evaluate vaccine antigens in rodent models.

publication date

  • 2014