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Title: Immunity to Neospora caninum
Author: Marks, Joanne
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
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This thesis covers three main areas of research. The first is a longitudinal sero-epidemiological study of a dairy herd which suffered an abortion storm linked to infection with N. caninum during August/September 1995. The main aims were to study the long term antibody response in cattle which have suffered N. caninum associated abortion, and to assess the rates of congenital infection, abortion and repeat abortion on the farm during the subsequent 3 year period. The second area of study investigated Neospora antigens recognised by Neospora antibody positive sera using western blot. Diagnosis of infection with N. caninum depends on detection of anti-N.caninum antibody in serum, but animals which have previously aborted due to neosporosis can become sero-negative by Neospora IFAT and ELISA several months post-abortion. The third area investigates cell mediated immune responses to N. caninum and the antigens involved in induction of T cell responses. N. caninum can induce repeat abortion in some individuals unlike the closely related coccidian parasite Toxoplasma gondii which induces life long protective immunity after primary infection. Cellular immune responses are important in the development of immunity to T.gondii and therefore are likely to be important in preventing repeat abortions in 95% of the cattle which abort due to neosporosis. This study showed that experimental infection of calves with N. caninum NC1 tachyzoites stimulated a cell mediated response detectable in peripheral blood using a simple proliferation assay. This response was characterised by the production of the T cell cytokine IFNγ which is produced by CD4+, CD8+ and natural killer cells and is known to be important for protection against other intracellular parasites.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available