الكاتب: Multiple References
Gastrointestinal (GI) nematodes of ruminants evoke a wide variety of immune responses in their hosts. In terms of specific immune responses directed against parasite antigens, the resulting immune responses may vary from those that give strong protection from reinfection after a relatively light exposure (e.g. Oesophagostomum radiatum) to responses that are very weak and delayed in their onset (e.g. Ostertagia ostertagi). The nature of these protective immune responses has been covered in another section of the workshop and the purpose of this section will be to explore the nature of changes that occur in the immune system of infected animals and to discuss the effect of GI nematode infections upon the overall immunoresponsiveness of the host. The discussion will focus primarily on Ostertagia ostertagi because this parasite has received the most attention in published studies. The interaction of Ostertagia and the host immune system presents what appears to be an interesting contradiction. Protective immunity directed against the parasite is slow to arise and when compared to some of the other GI nematodes, is relatively weak. Although responses that reduce egg output in the feces or increase the number of larvae undergoing inhibition may occur after a relatively brief exposure (3-4 months), immune responses which reduce the number of parasites that can establish in the host are not evident until the animal's second year. Additionally, even older animals that have spent several seasons on infected pastures will have low numbers of Ostertagia in their abomasa, indicating that sterilizing immune responses against the parasite are uncommon. In spite of this apparent lack of specific protective immune responses, infections with Ostertagia induce profound changes in the host immune system. These changes include a tremendous expansion of both the number of lymphocytes in the local lymph nodes and the number of lymphoid cells in the mucosa of the abomasum¬¬¬
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