Evaluation of recombinant P23 protein as a vaccine for passive immunization of newborn calves againstCryptosporidium parvum

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Cryptosporidiosis is a zoonotic protozoan disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract of animals and humans. Diarrhoea as the most important indication of the infection leads to high economic losses in livestock industries and is a life threatening infection in immunocompromised individuals. In the absence of the effective drugs, vaccine has an effective role in the prevention of infection. For this purpose we developed a vaccine utilizing recombinant P23 protein and immunized pregnant cows four times from 70 days to parturition every 2 weeks. After parturition, each calf received his dam colostrum and challenged with 1 × 107 Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts at 12 h of age. Results showed that in contrast with the control group, the antibody titre in the sera and first milking colostra of the immunized cows significantly increased and calves fed hyperimmune colostrum did not show cryptosporidiosis signs. Moreover, enriched colostrum not only reduced significantly the amount of oocyst excretion but also delayed its onset. Our study showed that recombinant P23 protein could be used for passive immunization of newborn calves against Cryptosporidium parvum.

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