Antibody responses to a Cryptosporidium parvum rCP15/60 vaccine
Alexandra J. Burton
Daryl V. Nydam
Thomas C. Linden
Dwight D. Bowman
mesheuropmc: parasitic diseases | animal diseases
Cryptosporidium parvum is a zoonotic apicomplexa-protozoan pathogen that causes gastroenteritis and diarrhoea in mammals worldwide. The organism is transmitted by ingestion of oocysts, which are shed in faeces, and completes its lifecycle in a single host.^1^ C. parvum is ubiquitous on dairy operations worldwide and is one of the leading causes of diarrhoea in calves on these farms.^2,3^ Here, for the first time, we describe the antibody response in a large group of cows to a recombinant C. parvum oocyst surface protein (rCP15/60) vaccine and the antibody response in calves fed rCP15/60-immune colostrum produced by these vaccinated cows. Results of recent genotype surveys indicate that calves are the only major reservoir for C. parvum infections in humans.^4^ Human C. parvum infections are particularly prevalent and often fatal in neonates in developing countries and to immunocompromised people, such as AIDs patients.^4^ Drug therapy against cryptosporidiosis is limited and not wholly efficacious in either humans or calves^5^, making development of an effective vaccine of paramount importance. To date, there is no commercially available effective vaccine against C. parvum, although passive immunization utilizing different zoite surface (glyco)proteins has showed promise.^6-9^ All cows we vaccinated produced an antibody response to the rCP15/60 vaccine and the magnitude of response correlated strongly with the subsequent level of antibody in their colostrum. All calves fed rCP15/60-immune colostrum showed a dose-dependent absorption of antibody. Our results demonstrate that vaccination of cows with rCP15/60 successfully induces antibodies against CP15/60 in their serum and colostrum and that these antibodies are then well absorbed when fed to neonatal calves. With further research, this C. parvum vaccine may well be a practical method of conferring passive protection to calves against cryptosporidiosis. Furthermore, a specifically targeted immune-colostrum may be valuable in protection and treatment of immunocompromised human patients with cryptosporidiosis.