Cellular and humoral immune responses associated with protection in sheep vaccinated against Teladorsagia circumcincta
Due to increased anthelmintic resistance, complementary methods to drugs are necessary to control gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN). Vaccines are an environmentally-friendly and promising option. In a previous study, a Teladorsagia circumcincta recombinant sub-unit vaccine was administered to two sheep breeds with different levels of resistance against GIN. In the susceptible Canaria Sheep (CS) breed, vaccinates harboured smaller worms with fewer eggs in utero than the control group. Here, we extend this work, by investigating the cellular and humoral immune responses of these two sheep breeds following vaccination and experimental infection with T. circumcincta. In the vaccinated CS group, negative associations between antigen-specific IgA, IgG2 and Globule Leukocytes (GLs) with several parasitological parameters were established as well as a higher CD4+/CD8+ ratio than in control CS animals, suggesting a key role in the protection induced by the vaccine. In the more resistant Canaria Hair Breed (CHB) sheep the vaccine did not significantly impact on the parasitological parameters studied and none of these humoral associations were observed in vaccinated CHB lambs, although CHB had higher proportions of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells within the abomasal lymph nodes, suggesting higher mucosal T cell activation. Each of the component proteins in the vaccine induced an increase in immunoglobulin levels in vaccinated groups of each breed. However, levels of immunoglobulins to only three of the antigens (Tci-MEP-1, Tci-SAA-1, Tci-ASP-1) were negatively correlated with parasitological parameters in the CS breed and they may be, at least partially, responsible for the protective effect of the vaccine in this breed. These data could be useful for improving the current vaccine prototype.