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Strategic vaccination of hair sheep against Haemonchus contortus

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In this study, we evaluated in two trials a protocol designed to protect hair sheep using Barbervax®, a vaccine containing Haemonchus contortus gut membrane glycoprotein antigens. Results indicated that naturally infected vaccinated sheep had significant egg count reductions (90.2 ± 4.03%) compared with controls, although blood parameters remained relatively unchanged probably because the level of challenge was low. Vaccination prevented the periparturient rise in egg shedding of ewes, as well as egg shedding in lambs (37.1%). In the second trial, sheep which were experimentally exposed to higher artificial challenge also showed an efficient response to the vaccine as confirmed by high antibody levels and reduced egg counts and worm burdens (87 ± 5.4% and 79%) respectively. Thus, we believe that the vaccine should be integrated with other management practices for meat hair sheep as it has the advantages of adequate efficacy, reducing anthelmintic utilization and avoiding milk and environmental contamination with chemical residues.

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The authors thank Dr. Alessandro Amarante for technical support.


The authors thank the FUNCAP, CNPq, EMBRAPA, and Moredun Research Institute for funding this study, and César C. Bassetto received financial support from São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP), Grant #2015/00221-2.

Author information

Correspondence to Antônio Francisco Igor Magalhães Matos.

Ethics declarations

This study was approved by the Ethics Committee for the Use of Animals of the Universidade Estadual Vale do Acaraú (CEUA protocol number 029.12), and all of procedures were based on Resolution Number 1000 of the Federal Board of Veterinary Medicine (Brazil, 2012).

Conflict of interest

Dr. Smith is employed by Wormvax Australia which is a subsidiary of the Moredun Research Institute, a not for profit organization which manufactures and sells Barbervax®. He supplied the vaccine for the trial and advised on the trial designs, but was not involved in obtaining any of the results.

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Teixeira, M., Matos, A.F.I.M., Albuquerque, F.H.M.A. et al. Strategic vaccination of hair sheep against Haemonchus contortus. Parasitol Res 118, 2383–2388 (2019).

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  • Nematode
  • Infection
  • Control
  • Haemonchus