Within the Cooperation programme STD-2 of the EU, in Project
The kinetics of antibodies have been studied in sheep and
goats infected with F. hepatica at single and repeated dosages.
Knowledge of the duration of the antibodies detectable, the
earliness with which a positive reaction is manifested, as well
as the intensity of the reaction, are highly applicable to
diagnostic methods as well as to prevalence studies. Knowledge
of the best time to take samples increases the reliability of the
epidemiological surveys. In addition, effort has been devoted to
developing a commercial diagnostic kit based on the use of an
indirect ELISA method in order to detect antibodies of F.
hepatica. These efforts fall within the framework of the chapter
on the improvement of diagnostic methods and epidemiological
prediction (Framework Programme IV of the EU, Animal health).
Another important section pertains to the study of pathology
in goats, where up to now the pathogenic mechanisms were unknown
or else simply those known in sheep were applied.
The study of the immune response is one of the most widely
treated aspects, both ordinary and experimental hosts. Analyses
have been made of the different factors involved as mediators of
inflammation, humoral and cellular response. Noteworthy is the
study of the immune phenomena mediated by cells, such as the
measurement of the phagocytic activity of the PMN, lymphoblastic
activity and types, subtypes and lymphocytic subpopulations. The
intrinsic knowledge of similar mechanisms, by which it is
possible to detect and identify resistance markers, serves as a
base for establishing genetic improvement programmes for the
resistant strains of the disease, since the genetic traits that
increase resistance are inherited and therefore may be related.
Similarly, resistance assays were performed by vaccinations which
served as support for developing prevention and control
programmes for diseases of economic importance (Framework
Programme IV, EU).
In addition, attention has been devoted to the evaluation
of the effectiveness of some fasciolycides in the fight against
the disease, also analyzing the influence of the treatments in
the possible establishment of induced immunity.
In summary, this is an ambitious project, yielding more than
satisfactory results in the field of parasite pathology. The
research carried out represents a significant contribution, in
terms of quality, to the field of immunoparasitology. The
scientific production observed in the works published are of a
high level and quality, in the most up-to-date lines of research
within this field of science. Finally, it is notable that the
development of this project has made it possible to form contacts
and exchange information between research groups, as encouraged
by the movement of researchers, facilitating brief visits in
different research centres. This research has produced 8
publications describing the scientific results obtained.
For more information contact
Dr. C. Boulard
Institute National de la Recherche Agronomique
Centre de Recherches de Tours
Pone 33 47 427757
Fax. 33 47 427774