High levels of variability in immune response using antigens from two reproductive proteins in brushtail possums

Immune-based fertility control is being considered as an effective long-term approach for controlling the pest brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) population in New Zealand. This relies heavily on the immune response of each immunised possum. A strong and lasting immune response in the majority of individuals in a population is essential. In this study, possums and the model macropod species, the tammar wallaby (Macropus eugenii) were immunised with either a luteinising hormone or androgen receptor synthetic peptide coupled to the carrier molecule KLH (keyhole limpet haemocyanin). The antibody response of wallabies to the antigens was relatively uniform. In contrast, the possum immunoglobulin response to both synthetic peptides and KLH was variable. The apparent high level of variation in the immune response of possums raises questions about the feasibility of using these two antigens to control possum numbers in New Zealand.

Author Deakin, J. E., Belov, K. , Curach, N. C. , Green, P. and Cooper, D. W.
Year 2005
Secondary title Wildlife Research
Volume 32
Pages 1-6
Control method Fertility Control
Region NZ
Links https://www.publish.csiro.au/paper/WR03107.htm