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Systemic humoral immunity in beef bulls following therapeutic vaccination against Tritrichomonas foetus

Alling, Christopher, Rae, D. Owen, Ma, Xiaojie, Neumann, Laura, Lollis, L. Gene, Steele, Elizabeth, Yelvington, John, Naikare, Hemant K., Walden, Heather Stockdale, Crews, John, Boughton, Raoul
Veterinary parasitology 2018 v.255 pp. 69-73
Tritrichomonas foetus, antibodies, beef bulls, blood sampling, diagnostic techniques, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, humoral immunity, immune response, immunoglobulin G, parasites, pathogens, polymerase chain reaction, vaccination, vaccines
The utility of therapeutic vaccination of bulls against Tritrichomonas foetus has been advocated in previous studies, but anecdotal reports suggest this practice does not clear infections and may additionally confound diagnostic testing by reducing parasite burdens below detectable limits. The objective of this study was to characterize the systemic humoral immune response to therapeutic vaccination in T. foetus-infected bulls over a period of four months using an indirect ELISA and to compare the dynamics of this response to culture and PCR results to establish the existence of a relationship (or lack thereof) between immunization and infection status. A study population of 4- to 6-year-old T. foetus-infected beef bulls (n = 20) was divided equally into a treatment group and a control group. The treatment group received two doses of commercially prepared whole cell killed vaccine 2 weeks apart while the control group received injections of vaccine diluent. Blood samples were collected at each injection and at 4 subsequent dates every 4 weeks thereafter (i.e. 0, 2, 6, 10, 14, and 18 wks) to measure IgG1 and IgG2 antibody subisotype response via an indirect ELISA. Preputial smegma samples were collected at the four monthly intervals following vaccination for diagnosis of infection via InPouch™ culture, Modified Diamond’s Medium (MDM) culture, and PCR. Humoral response for both IgG isotypes from week 2 through week 18 were significantly increased in vaccinates compared to controls. No significant decrease in infection prevalence was detected in the treatment group for any of the diagnostic methods used. The apparent lack of pathogen clearance during a stimulated immune response suggests that therapeutic vaccination may not be a useful T. foetus management practice.