Jacqueline Matthews, a qualified veterinarian, has focussed on helminthology research and teaching throughout her 26-year career. Her group works on equine and ruminant nematodes and their research spans sub-unit vaccine development, anthelmintic resistance and the epidemiology of helminth infections. She has published > 110 peer reviewed research papers and numerous lay articles, as well as given many presentations to industry, stakeholder and scientific audiences. Thus far, her research has attracted over ?13 million in external funding, with highlights including the discovery of an effective sub-unit vaccine for control of teladorsagiosis in sheep and the development of an diagnostic ELISA for larval cyathostominosis. She has taught or examined at most of the UK?s veterinary schools and holds a ministerial appointment as Parasitology Expert on the UK Veterinary Products Committee. She is currently based at Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, and holds an Honorary Professorship at the Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, University of Edinburgh.
Jacqueline Matthews, Moredun Research Institute, Edinburgh, UK
Despite decades of research, the development of commercially viable recombinant sub-unit vaccines against parasitic nematodes has been unsuccessful. We developed a strategy to identify antigens for inclusion in a vaccine to control Teladorsagia circumcincta, the major pathogen causing parasitic gastroenteritis in small ruminants in temperate regions. We did this by studying IgA responses directed at proteins specific to post-infective larvae and by searching for antigens that would have a potential immunomodulatory role at the host/parasite interface. Recombinant versions of eight molecules selected on the basis of immunogenicity, homology with vaccine candidates in other nematodes and/or with potential immunoregulatory activities, were tested in a vaccine formulation, administered in the context of Quil A adjuvant. Vaccinates were subsequently subjected to a repeated challenge infection designed to mimic field conditions and the levels of protection obtained in vaccinates compared to those in sheep administered with Quil A alone. A number of trials have now been performed with varying levels of immunity obtained in the different trials. The level of immunity induced varies amongst individuals and is particularly associated with the age of the sheep at vaccination, with significant levels of protection obtained in sheep over 6 months of age. This presentation will describe the vaccine components, the immunisation trials and the steps that we are currently taking to optimise the prototype in an attempt to mitigate the variation in responsiveness observed amongst different sheep.