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Targeting a global health problem: Vaccine design and challenges for the control of tick-borne diseases

It has been over twenty years since the first vaccines for the control of tick infestations became commercially available. These vaccines proved their efficacy and the potential of this approach for the control of tick-borne diseases (TBDs), which represent a growing burden for human and animal health worldwide. In all these years, research in this area has produced new tick-derived and pathogen-derived candidate protective antigens.

A thermostable presentation of the live, attenuated peste des petits ruminants vaccine in use in Africa and Asia

The research objective was to develop a thermostable vaccine against peste des petits ruminants (PPR), a morbilliviral disease of small ruminants targeted for eradication that is a major constraint on the livelihoods of the rural poor throughout much of Africa and Asia. Although existing PPR vaccines provide life-long immunity, they require continuous refrigeration. This limits their utility in developing countries.

Approaches to vaccination against Theileria parva and Theileria annulata

Despite having different cell tropism, the pathogenesis and immunobiology of the diseases caused by Theileria parva and Theileria annulata are remarkably similar. Live vaccines have been available for both parasites for over 40 years, but although they provide strong protection, practical disadvantages have limited their widespread application. Efforts to develop alternative vaccines using defined parasite antigens have focused on the sporozoite and intracellular schizont stages of the parasites.

Prospects for vaccination against pathogenic African trypanosomes

African trypanosomes cause human and animal African trypanosomiases, which are chronic, debilitating and often fatal diseases of people and livestock in sub-Saharan Africa. The extracellular protozoan parasites are exemplars of antigenic variation. They direct host-protective B-cell and T-cell immune responses towards hypervariable components of their variable surface glycoprotein coat and evade immune elimination by generating new surface coat antigenic variants at a rate that supersedes immune destruction.

Progress in the development of subunit vaccines for gastrointestinal nematodes of ruminants

The global increase in anthelmintic resistant nematodes of ruminants, together with consumer concerns about chemicals in food, necessitates the development of alternative methods of control for these pathogens. Subunit recombinant vaccines are ideally placed to fill this gap. Indeed, they are probably the only valid option for the long-term control of ruminant parasitic nematodes given the increasing ubiquity of multidrug resistance in a range of worm species across the world.

Strategies for new and improved vaccines against ticks and tick-borne diseases

Ticks infest a variety of animal species and transmit pathogens causing disease in both humans and animals worldwide. Tick–host–pathogen interactions have evolved through dynamic processes that accommodated the genetic traits of the hosts, pathogens transmitted and the vector tick species that mediate their development and survival. New approaches for tick control are dependent on defining molecular interactions between hosts, ticks and pathogens to allow for discovery of key molecules that could be tested in vaccines or new generation therapeutics for intervention of tick–pathogen cycles.

Current Status of Rift Valley Fever Vaccine Development

Rift Valley Fever (RVF) is a mosquito-borne zoonotic disease that presents a substantial threat to human and public health. It is caused by Rift Valley fever phlebovirus (RVFV), which belongs to the genus Phlebovirus and the family Phenuiviridae within the order Bunyavirales. The wide distribution of competent vectors in non-endemic areas coupled with global climate change poses a significant threat of the transboundary spread of RVFV.

Field evaluation of poultry red mite (Dermanyssus gallinae) native and recombinant prototype vaccines

Vaccination is a desirable emerging strategy to combat poultry red mite (PRM), Dermanyssus gallinae. We performed trials, in laying hens in a commercial-style cage facility, to test the vaccine efficacy of a native preparation of soluble mite extract (SME) and of a recombinant antigen cocktail vaccine containing bacterially-expressed versions of the immunogenic SME proteins Deg-SRP-1, Deg-VIT-1 and Deg-PUF-1. Hens (n=384 per group) were injected with either vaccine or adjuvant only (control group) at 12 and 17 weeks of age and then challenged with PRM 10days later.

A Novel 3D Skin Explant Model to Study Anaerobic Bacterial Infection

Skin infection studies are often limited by financial and ethical constraints, and alternatives, such as monolayer cell culture, do not reflect many cellular processes limiting their application. For a more functional replacement, 3D skin culture models offer many advantages such as the maintenance of the tissue structure and the cell types present in the host environment. A 3D skin culture model can be set up using tissues acquired from surgical procedures or post slaughter, making it a cost effective and attractive alternative to animal experimentation.

Future research to underpin successful peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) eradication

Peste des petits ruminants virus (PPRV) is a significant pathogen of small ruminants and is prevalent in much of Africa, the Near and Middle East and Asia. Despite the availability of an efficacious and cheap live-attenuated vaccine, the virus has continued to spread, with its range stretching from Morocco in the west to China and Mongolia in the east. Some of the world’s poorest communities rely on small ruminant farming for subsistence and the continued endemicity of PPRV is a constant threat to their livelihoods.

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