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Antigen delivery systems for the control of fertility in rabbits. - OC9521

Recent research has examined the efficacy of specific reproductive antigens (e.g. sperm proteins, uteroglobulin) for use in contraceptive vaccines for the control of wild rabbit populations. This study will focus on appropriate methods for oral delivery of contraceptive vaccines to wild rabbits by their incorporation into liposomes, immunostimulatory complexes or biodegradable microparticles composed of poly(D,L-lactic-co-glycolide). Uptake of these vectored vaccines by the rabbit intestinal tract and their presentation to lymphoid tissues will be compared, while their efficacy in stimulating mucosal and systemic antibody responses appropriate to fertility control will be assessed. In addition, effects of immunostimulatory proteins (e.g. cholera toxin, cytokines), when conjugated with antigens, on further enhancement of the immune response and modulation of immunogen uptake in vitro will be examined; uptake and fate of the immunogen and vehicle will also be studied in vitro using isolated intestinal loops. The most promising vaccine formulations will then be tested as a means of inhibiting fertility in laboratory rabbits. Results will be used directly to enhance the effectiveness of contraceptive vaccines currently being developed for the rabbit and will also be of interest for developing general oral immunisation procedures for mammals.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1996

To: 1999

Cost: £224,666
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Babraham Institute, Cambridge (BBSRC), Sheffield University, Molecular Biology
Fields of Study
Wildlife Management