Fasciola hepatica vaccine: We may not be there yet but we're on the right road

Verónica Molina-Hernández, Grace Mulcahy, Jose Pérez, Álvaro Martínez-Moreno, Sheila Donnelly, Sandra M O'Neill, John P Dalton, Krystyna Cwiklinski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Citations (Scopus)


Major advances have been made in identifying potential vaccine molecules for the control of fasciolosis in livestock but we have yet to reach the level of efficacy required for commercialisation. The pathogenesis of fasciolosis is associated with liver damage that is inflicted by migrating and feeding immature flukes as well as host inflammatory immune responses to parasite-secreted molecules and tissue damage alarm signals. Immune suppression/modulation by the parasites prevents the development of protective immune responses as evidenced by the lack of immunity observed in naturally and experimentally infected animals. In our opinion, future efforts need to focus on understanding how parasites invade and penetrate the tissues of their hosts and how they potentiate and control the ensuing immune responses, particularly in the first days of infection. Emerging 'omics' data employed in an unbiased approach are helping us understand liver fluke biology and, in parallel with new immunological data, to identify molecules that are essential to parasite development and accessible to vaccine-induced immune responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-11
Number of pages11
JournalVeterinary Parasitology
Issue number1-2
Early online date15 Jan 2015
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2015


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