Leader: John Huntley
Deputy: Alvaro Martinez Moreno
A better understanding of the pathogenicity of parasite infections in goats and of the mechanisms involved in the caprine immune response would help to design adapted means to stimulate protective immunity. Within this WG, the different tasks are :
Task 2.1. Compared pathogenicity of parasites in sheep and goats.
The pathogenicity of shared parasites in sheep and goats will be investigated in controlled trials in order to assess and compare the pathophysiological consequences. This will provide information on the possible existence of circulating parasite isolates for one host rather than for another.
Task 2.2. Immune responses to parasites in goats.
The specificities of humoral and cellular immune responses to parasitic diseases in goats will be investigated in controlled trials in order to explore changes in blood cells, mucosal tissues and associated lymphoid tissues indicative of development of immunity. The differences between young and adult goats and between first-infection and re-infection will be considered. Serological and molecular methodologies will be used to analyse the role of inmunoregulation in the control of parasites in goats and possibly to explore the balance with behavioural mechanisms.
Task 2.3. Interactions between chemical treatment and immunity in goats.
Some results suggest that one of the main differences in goats in contrast to sheep, is that the presence of an existing helminth population seems required to stimulate the immune mechanisms regulating the newly incoming parasites. This will be investigated in controlled and field trials to better understand the effects of treatments on further parasite establishment and development in re-infection.
Task 2.4. Adapted diagnosis methods for caprine parasitic diseases.
The diagnostic techniques for ruminant parasites are well-standardized in cattle and sheep. However, the parasitic infections in goats are generally diagnosed by techniques standardized in sheep. The objective of this task is to validate and standardize diagnostic techniques for goat parasitic diseases in caprine models, in order to improve the diagnostic tools to study the immune responses and the dynamics of parasites in goats. In-house methodologies will be compared between the participant European laboratories to validate the techniques used. These validated techniques will allow to compare the epidemiological results obtained in different countries involved in the Action.