Analysis of the humoral immune response to Oestrus ovis in ovine

Vet Parasitol. 2005 Nov 25;134(1-2):153-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2005.06.009. Epub 2005 Jul 25.


Antibody responses (IgG, IgM and IgA) against Oestrus ovis were analyzed in sheep and in first year grazing lambs from Sardinia (Italy) by an indirect-enzyme-linked immunoassay test and L2 O. ovis excretory/secretory antigens. Serum samples from 208 sheep were obtained prior to be slaughtered, and then heads were removed and cut open along their longitudinal axis to collect the parasites from the nasal cavities, turbinates and sinus. Besides this, blood samples were monthly collected from the lambs of G-1 (maintained under field conditions) and the lambs of G-2 (kept housed since birth to avoid Oestrus infestations) throughout a year. In the sheep, a positive significant correlation was observed between the number of first instar O. ovis larvae and the values of IgM, and between the second instar larvae and the IgG optical densities. In the lambs, all classes of antibodies increased significantly from July in G-1. The highest values of IgG were reached in September (IgG) and decreased in November-December. The IgM response peaked in November, and very low values of IgA were observed during the study. Matching these data with chronobiology of O. ovis in this region, we conclude that the first infection occurs on May, stimulating the production of humoral antibodies. The reduction of the IgG antibody levels starting from October means the beginning of the diapause while the IgM response seems to be associated to the presence of L1 in the nasal cavities. The data obtained led us to forecast an early treatment of the ovine on June-July, which should keep away from the maturation of O. ovis L1 larvae, avoiding the development of clinical lesions and interrupting the life cycle of this parasite.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / immunology
  • Diptera / immunology*
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay / veterinary
  • Immunoglobulin A / blood
  • Immunoglobulin G / blood
  • Immunoglobulin M / blood
  • Italy
  • Kinetics
  • Myiasis / immunology
  • Myiasis / parasitology
  • Myiasis / veterinary*
  • Nasal Cavity / parasitology
  • Sheep
  • Sheep Diseases / immunology*
  • Sheep Diseases / parasitology*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric


  • Immunoglobulin A
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunoglobulin M