The recent meeting of the East Coast fever consortium, which brings together experts in immunology, parasitology and genomics from three continents (ILRI, Edinburgh, Antwerp, IGS, as well as the organization that produces the infection and treatment method (ITM) vaccine, provided a venue to discuss a way forward.
As part of a BMGF-funded consortium a novel Next-generation-sequencing (NGS) approach to high-throughput MHC typing of cattle has been developed that allows rapid, cheap and high resolution characterisation of bovine MHC genotypes
A recent review, as well as current studies in the primary literature, present examples of how cancer research can be used in the study of Theileria biology, suggesting that this might be a turning point that could revolutionize how T. parva infection is studied.
We are here aiming to directly identify the parts or ‘antigens’ of the Theileria parva parasite that are visible to the cellular immune system during infection using a state-of-the-art mass spectrometry approach in order to inform the development of targeted vaccines against Theileriosis.
The partial success of subunit vaccine candidates based on sporozoite proteins give rise to the belief that sporozoite surface antigens might constitute neutralizing vaccine candidates. This milestone together with the protective immunity of whole sporozoite infection and treatment vaccination can be further built upon in order to ultimately achieve protection against ECF infection with a multivalent subunit vaccine.
In the last 9 years, yeast has been tested as a way to help immune cells see and react to human pathogens such as hepatitis C virus, and cancer. Yeast has also helped chickens survive coccidiosis and pigs survive porcine circovirus infection. We are now persuading yeast to wear a coat decorated with T. parva trophies and train cattle immune cells to react appropriately (in this case to kill T. parva).
Antigen screening studies indicate that CD8 T cells from immune cattle recognise a large number of T. parva proteins, but whether or not CD8 T cells specific these proteins are all equally capable of mediating protection is not known. The lack of an antigen delivery system known to be capable of inducing protective CD8 T cell responses represents an obstacle to answering this important question.
The WSU monoclonal antibody (mAb) center was established in 1982 with a focus on developing mAb reagents for use in research. It became a formal service center of the Washington State University and CVM in 2012.
One of our strategies in the ECF Consortium is to target this stage of the sporozoite by improving the immune responses to the sporozoite antigen p67, which has shown to confer protection in previous experiments. We are about to test several nano-technologies for their ability to induce superior antibody responses, which can inhibit the infectivity of the sporozoite and eventually prevent disease.
Tremendous research progress has been made over the last ten years to better control the deadly African disease of cattle known as East Coast fever.