Untreated Taenia solium cysticerci obtained from different naturally infected pigs vary notably in their capacity to develop into intestinal tapeworms in prednisolone-treated hamsters, whereas cells derived from Taenia crassiceps cysticerci after 2 mo of infection almost always develop to cysticerci in the peritoneal cavity of susceptible BALB/cAnN mice. Preincubation of whole cysticerci or parasite cells with mice immunoglobulins raised against an 18-mer peptide epitope (GK-1) common to both parasites significantly interferes with both transformations. These crippling effects of antiparasite antibodies suggest new forms of immunological interference with parasite biology other than simple killing. Antibodies that cripple biological functions of the parasite, e.g., their development to reproductive or pathogenic stages, make them important protagonists in taeniasis/cysticercosis disease as classic parasitocidal antibodies. Different serum levels of crippling antibodies in the infected pigs could be responsible for the varied ability of cysticerci to convert to tapeworms. Antigens capable of inducing crippling antibodies, e.g., GK-1, could be useful as a therapeutic vaccine for pigs in order to reduce parasite transmission.
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