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Characterization of the humoral immune response in alpacas (Lama pacos) experimentally infected with Fasciola hepatica against cysteine proteinases Fas1 and Fas2 and histopathological findings.

  • Timoteo, O1
  • Maco, V Jr
  • Maco, V
  • Neyra, V
  • Yi, P J
  • Leguía, G
  • Espinoza, J R
  • 1 Molecular Biotechnology Unit, Laboratories for Research and Development, Faculty of Science and Philosophy, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, P.O. Box 4314, Lima 100, Peru. , (Peru)
Published Article
Veterinary Immunology and Immunopathology
Publication Date
Jun 15, 2005
PMID: 15910994


A characterization of the humoral immune response of alpacas to Fasciola hepatica Fas1 and Fas2 antigens, two abundant cysteine proteinases in the excretory/secretory (E/S) products, was performed over the course of 6 months of experimental infection. Six adult alpacas aged 1-2 years old received a single dose of 200 F. hepatica metacercariae; two non-infected alpacas were kept as control group. All infected animals shed eggs 8 weeks post-infection (PI) and the number of flukes recovered at necropsy averaged 41+/-4. The livers of infected animals showed regions with chronic inflammation, granuloma containing parasite eggs, necrosis and cirrhosis. Peripheral eosinophilia in infected animals was greatly enhanced 6 weeks post-infection and later. A single peak of serum glutamic piruvic transaminase (SGPT) was observed 4 weeks PI and serum glutamic oxalacetic transaminase (SGOT) elevated 3 weeks PI and later. Circulating IgG Abs against Fas1 and Fas2 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Fas2-ELISA detected the infection 10 days PI reaching to highest titer on 7-8 weeks PI and kept elevated, until the end of infection. Fas1-ELISA detected the infection 2 weeks PI and followed the same pattern as Fas2-ELISA. Anti Fas2 IgG Abs were in higher titers and showed stronger avidity than anti Fas1 IgG Abs. In addition, rabbit IgG antibodies raised against cysteine proteinase Fas2 showed infiltration of this parasite antigen associated to the degradation of bile ducts and liver parenchyma of infected alpacas. In the present study we have established a F. hepatica experimental infection of alpacas, Fas2 appears to have a role in the pathogenesis of the liver damage in alpacas caused by the liver fluke. Infected alpacas elicited a strong humoral immune response against fluke cysteine proteinases Fas1 and Fas2, which might be considered as candidates for immunodiagnosis and vaccine development against fasciolosis in alpacas.

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