Gastrointestinal nematodes are a considerable parasitic burden to the livestock industry in the EU. The associated nematodoses are currently controlled by the strategic use of anthelmintic drugs, but this has become unsustainable due to the emergence of anthelmintic resistance and increasing concerns about drug residues entering the food chain and the environment. Novel control strategies are urgently required and vaccination is now a feasible alternative. The proposed collaborative grouping has identified a number of helminth proteases which have potential as vaccine antigens. The aim of the proposed research is, initially, to assess the utility of selected native secreted and somatic proteases to protect against infection with homologous and heterologous nematode species. Subsequently, cDNAs encoding protective proteases will be isolated and expressed in recombinant form for evaluation of their vaccine utility. This work will be underpinned by a definition of the protective properties of the respective antigens and the host's immune response to vaccination. The ultimate aim is the development of monovalent/multivalent nematode vaccines.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts