Nutritional deficiencies and parasitic disease: lessons and advancements from rodent models
The dissection of the molecular interactions between nutrition and immunity to nematodes is of strategic importance to predict the risk of infection, define disease predisposition and develop sustainable measures for parasite control in ruminants. Despite the evidence on the effects of nutrition on the manifestations of immunity to gastrointestinal parasites at phenotypic level, the lack of progress on the characterisation of the molecular interactions is directly related to the current lack of appropriate tools for such advancements, including fully sequenced and annotated genomes and immunological tools for small ruminants. To overcome such constraints and achieve rapid progress in exploring the molecular interactions between nutrition and immunity to nematodes, it is proposed here that we capitalise more on the advancements in small mammal models. In this paper, first the literature deriving from growing animals is reviewed, where most evidence originates from primary infection models. The focus is then shifted on peri-parturient animals; the immunomodulatory effects of nutrition are investigated during re-infection. Finally, an approach is suggested on how advancements made in the rodent models, can be utilised in order to expand our understanding in sheep and provide specific examples on how this should work to address sustainable parasite control in ruminants. © 2012 Published by Elsevier B.V.
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