Possible mechanisms of host resistance to Haemonchus contortus infection in sheep breeds native to the Canary Islands

Guo Z, Gonzales JF, Hernandez JN, McNeilly TN, Corripio-Miyar Y, Frew D, Morrison T, Yu P, Li, RW.

Scientific Reports 2016 6:26200.

Haemonchus contortus is one of the most economically important parasites affecting small ruminants worldwide. The parasite resides in the true stomach (abomasum) where it is capable of causing severe disease in affected animals. To understand the basis of host resistance to the parasite, we used gene expression analysis of the site of infection to study the host response to H. contortus infection in two breeds of sheep native to the Canary Islands which are either more resistant (Canaria Hair Breed, CHB) or susceptible (Canaria Sheep, CS) to the parasite. We found that processes associated with inflammation, cell proliferation, tissue repair and immunity directed against parasite egg production all contributed to development of host resistance to H. contortus in the CHB sheep. This study provides the framework for further studies aimed at improving host resistance to this important disease-causing parasite.

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