Theileria annulata macroschizont-infected cell lines are successfully used as vaccines in several countries. The inoculated animals produce a strong allogeneic response against the MHC antigens of the immunizing cell line followed by an anti-parasite response. Immunity against the parasite wanes in the absence of challenge and re-immunization is sometimes recommended. However, it is not known if allogeneic responses generated by the first immunization with a T. annulata infected cell line will interfere with the boosting of immunity against the parasite at the time of re-immunization with the same cell line. Animals were primed against MHC antigens by skin grafting, followed by immunization with a T. annulata infected cell line prepared from the skin donor. A strong anti-MHC response was produced. This interfered with parasite transfer and the development of an anti-parasite immune response; the effect was more marked when a low vaccine cell dose was used. There was a negative correlation between the ease of isolating infected cells from the animals after cell line immunization, and the subsequent response to challenge. Where no cell lines could be isolated, the animals were fully susceptible to sporozoite challenge. These observations are of immediate importance in endemic areas where cell lines of T. annulata schizonts are being used as vaccines to control the disease.
Parasite Immunology (1997) 19 (6) 287-290 [DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-3024.1997.d01-207.x]