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Echinococcus granulosus is an important zoonotic parasite that is distributed worldwide. The EG95 vaccine was developed to assist with control of E. granulosus transmission through the parasite's livestock intermediate hosts. The vaccine is based on a recombinant antigen encoded by a gene which is a member of a multi-gene family. With the recent availability of two E. granulosus draft genomes, we sought to map the eg95 gene family to the genomes. We were unable to map unequivocally any of the eg95 gene family members which had previously been characterized by cloning and sequencing both strands of genomic DNA fragments. Our inability to map EG95-related genes to the genomes has revealed limitations in the assembled sequence data when utilized for gene family analyses. This study contrasts with the expectations expressed in often high-profile publications describing draft genomes of parasitic organisms, highlighting deficiencies in currently available genomic resources for E. granulosus and provides a cautionary note for research which seeks to utilize these genome datasets.
Specific antibody responses were assessed in pigs immunized with the Taenia solium vaccine TSOL18. Anti-TSOL18 responses were compared 2 weeks after secondary immunization, where the interval between primary and secondary immunization was 4, 8, 12, 16 or 20 weeks. All animals responded to the vaccine and there was no diminution in antibody responses in animals receiving their second injection after an interval up to 20 weeks. Pigs receiving vaccinations at an interval of 12 weeks developed significantly increased antibody responses compared with animals receiving immunizations 4 weeks apart (P = 0·046). The ability to deliver TSOL18 vaccination effectively where the revaccination schedule can be delayed for up to 12–16 weeks in pigs increases the options available for designing T. solium control interventions that incorporate TSOL18 vaccination.
Neurocysticercosis continues to be a major health burden on humans living in many regions of the world, despite the availability of highly effective taeniacides and identification of the cause, Taenia solium, as being potentially eradicable. Several T. solium control trials have been undertaken, generally achieving limited success and none that has been fully documented has achieved what was demonstrated to be a sustainable level of disease control. Pigs act as intermediate hosts for T. solium and two new control tools have become available for application in pigs – single-dose oxfendazole treatment of porcine cysticercosis and the TSOL18 vaccine. Three potential intervention scenarios for pigs are compared for control of cysticercosis, using either oxfendazole or vaccination. A control scenario involving vaccination plus oxfendazole treatment delivered at 4 monthly intervals was predicted to achieve the best outcome, with no pigs slaughtered at 12 months of age having viable T. solium cysticerci. Now that new control tools are available, there are opportunities to concentrate research attention on evaluation of novel control scenarios leading to the implementation of effective and sustainable control programmes and a reduction in the global burden of neurocysticercosis.
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