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Preliminary protective capacity study of a Dicrocoelium dendriticum antigenic protein in hamsters

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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the protective capacity of 130 kDa Dicrocoelium dendriticum protein in hamsters experimentally infected with this parasite. Forty hamsters divided into four groups of ten animals each were used: G1 (control), G2 (infected), G3 (immunized with Freund’s adjuvant and infected), G4 (130 kDa protein vaccinated + adjuvant and infected). Infection with 40 metacercariae/hamster was carried out 4 weeks after the last immunization. Parasitological studies [number of eggs per gram (epg) and worm burden] and biochemical parameters (total proteins, albumin, and total bilirubin), hepatic enzymes [aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT)], and total IgG levels were determined. A reduction in epg in G3 and G4 was observed 16 weeks postinfection with the higher reduction percentage in the latter (25.2%). No statistically significant differences were detected in the number of recovered worms among groups, although the mean was slightly less in G4 (12.2±2.08, mean±SE) than in G2 (15.4±2.90). In G4, global protection was 20.9% and an increase in AST and ALT levels was observed. Total IgG levels were similar in the three infected groups. The protection obtained was inadequate, so the antigen dose, immunization–infection period, adjuvants, and immunization route must be optimized.

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We wish to express our deep gratitude to M. P. Del-Pozo, M. L. Carcedo, and C. Espiniella (CSIC, León) for their technical assistance. We also thank Dr. C. C. Pérez-García, Director of the León University Animal Housing Section, for providing access to the facilities and L. Alaiz for helping in taking care of and handling the animals. This study was supported by the Spanish CICYT (Project No. AGL2001-1290). The experiments in this study comply with the current laws of the country where they were carried out (Spain).

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Correspondence to C. González-Lanza.

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González-Lanza, C., Manga-González, M.Y. & Revilla-Nuín, B. Preliminary protective capacity study of a Dicrocoelium dendriticum antigenic protein in hamsters. Parasitol Res 99, 749–752 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00436-006-0230-z

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  • Adult Worm
  • Infected Group
  • Protective Capacity
  • Antigen Dose
  • Infected Control Group