Immunity to Toxoplasma gondii was studied in pigs, after vaccination with T. gondii antigens incorporated into immunostimulating complexes. Nine pigs (group 1 - G1) were inoculated subcutaneously with T. gondii iscoms (LIV-5 sample) and three doses were given at 21 and 13 day-intervals. The results were compared in other three groups of nine pigs each: animals in group 2 (G2) were immunized with the LIV-5 antigens without Quil A, animals in group 3 (G3) were inoculated with tachyzoites of RH T. gondii isolate, and animals in group 4 (G4) received no vaccination. Four animals were neither vaccinated nor challenged with T. gondii (group 5 - G5). Thirty days after vaccination, pigs were challenged orally with 5´10(4) oocysts at AS-28 T. gondii isolate. Euthanasia was carried out 47 days after challenge and specimens of the heart, muscle, brain, liver, tongue and retina were inoculated into mice. Three out of nine pigs from G2 and one out of nine pigs from G4 showed hypertermia after the challenge. Antibody response was analysed by indirect fluorescent antibody test. The first iscom immunization (G1) induced low antibody levels, the second and third produced high antibody levels, similarly to the RH isolate infection (G3). Western blotting analysis indicated that the antibody response in animals in G1, after challenge, was more intense than in animals in the non-vaccinated group. T. gondii was not isolated by bioassays from tissues of iscom vaccinated pigs, while recovery was obtained from four animals in G4, one in G2 and one in G3.
Toxoplasma gondii; pig; vaccine; iscom