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Cestode vaccines: origins, current status and future prospects

  • M. W. LIGHTOWLERS (a1)

Recombinant vaccines have been developed which are highly effective in preventing infection with Taenia ovis in sheep, Taenia saginata in cattle, Taenia solium in pigs and Echinococcus granulosus in livestock animals. T. ovis and T. saginata are economically significant parasites and the commercial success or otherwise of vaccines against them will rely on their economic value. E. granulosus and T. solium are zoonotic parasites that cause cystic hydatid disease and neurocysticercosis, respectively, in humans. Vaccines against these parasites have been developed to assist with the control of transmission of the human diseases rather than for prevention of infections in livestock per se. Regions of high prevalence for cystic hydatid disease and neurocysticercosis occur primarily in the developing world. As a consequence, vaccines against them are of little or no commercially interest – they are Orphan Vaccines. Lack of commercial interest in these vaccines has made public sector support for their development necessary well beyond the research phase trough into completion of commercial scale-up and other more commercially-related assessments. Practical use of the vaccines will require commercial-scale production according to international manufacturing standards. Identifying partners and support in this endeavour is now of prime importance in efforts to achieve the potential of these vaccines as new tools for the control of cystic hydatid disease and neurocysticercosis.

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