Fasciola hepatica in the rat: immune responses associated with the development of resistance to infection

P S Keegan, A Trudgett

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40 Citations (Scopus)


F. hepatica infections were established in rats and immune responses were monitored during primary and challenge infections. Antibody levels peaked at 3 weeks post-primary infection and at 6 days post-challenge infection. No significant correlation was found between antibody titre and number of flukes recovered at autopsy. Immunoblotting revealed a limited number of immunogenic polypeptides. When antibodies from these reactive bands were eluted and tested by IFA they all gave identical binding patterns: on juvenile fluke sections tegumental syncytium, tegumental cells and gut cells were labelled, while on adult sections the same antibodies labelled gut cells, reproductive tissue, excretory ducts and flame cells. This suggested that these tissues shared a common epitope or range of epitopes. A pronounced eosinophilia was observed throughout the infection period studied and infected liver sections showed massive cellular infiltration. Histochemical and immunocytochemical investigation of infected liver revealed the presence of large numbers of eosinophils, neutrophils, lymphocytes and phagocytes. The implications of these findings, to an understanding of concomitant immunity in the rat are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-69
Number of pages13
JournalParasite Immunology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1992


  • Animals
  • Antibodies, Helminth
  • Antigens, Helminth
  • Blotting, Western
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Fasciola hepatica
  • Fascioliasis
  • Female
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Immunity, Cellular
  • Male
  • Rats


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