Summary Fasciola hepatica, the liver fluke, is a common parasite of cattle in much of the world. Previously, we have shown that cattle infected with F. hepatica have altered responsiveness (delayed type hypersensitivity reaction and cytokine responses) to M. bovis BCG infection. We hypothesized that co-infection with F. hepatica would, likewise, alter the immune response of cattle to virulent M. bovis infection, with possible implications for disease diagnosis and disease progression. Our previous work with F. hepatica/M. bovis BCG-infected cattle demonstrated a reduction in interferon (IFN)-γ responsiveness in co-infected animals. Similar findings are reported here with virulent M. bovis following aerosol infection. The epidemiological significance of these findings, also, require exploration, particularly in view of the considerable resources devoted to the diagnosis and eradication of bovine tuberculosis, and the high prevalence of F. hepatica infection in areas where eradication has proved difficult.
- Bovine tuberculosis