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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory » Research » Research Project #429638

Research Project: Mucosal Immunity Against GI Nematode Parasites in Livestock and Animal Models

Location: Animal Parasitic Diseases Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-32000-105-07-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Sep 1, 2015
End Date: Aug 31, 2020

To 1) Investigate the mechanisms by which GI mucosal immunity is elicited by GI nematode parasites; 2) identify parasite-derived immune modulators that can directly or indirectly modulate mucosal-specific immunities; 3) formulate vaccines using parasitic immunue modulator vaccine candidates, the function of which is to reduce or prevent parasitic immunue modulator-mediated down regulation of host anti-parasitic mucosal immunity; and 4) assess protective efficacies of these candidate vaccines in animal models and/or target animals, with emphasis on protective mucosal immunity.

Efficacious host anti-parasitic mucosal immunity is key to preventing parasite infections. However, the nematode parasites are very effective in evading the host immune surveillance. As a result, the host produces either very low levels or undetectable immune responses to even repeated parasite infections, which explains why re-infection occurs regularly and no or low protective immunity is elicited. ARS will identify specific pathways in the host that are responsible for parasite expulsion and the parasitic molecules that are primalrily responsible for suppressing the host anti-parasite mucosal immune responses. Both mucosal-specific humoral and cell-mediated immune responses will be investigated and the parasite-derived factors accountable for mucosal immunosuppression will be the vaccination targets. The goal is to deplete the parasitic molecules down-regulating host responses and to promote overall mucosal immune responses against infections.