U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

February 2006


Published in Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology 2003, 1.


Human sexually transmitted infections are prevalent throughout the world. Several have been associated with adverse pregnancy outcome and increased susceptibility to HIV infection, in addition to the discomfort of inflammation of the genital tract. Yet vaccines to protect against the infection at the genital mucosa are not available. Hepatitis B is an exception, but this virus becomes systemic and protection may be at the systemic level. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have long been associated with reproductive failure in cattle. These infections cause considerable economic loss, which has been a stimulus to investigation. Consequently, vaccines and mechanisms of immune protection have been studied quite thoroughly. The results obtained with two commercially available vaccines will be used to illustrate principles of protective immunity against STDs. Both Campylobacter fetus subsp. venerealis and Tritrichomonas foetus are only transmitted sexually and both cause reproductive failure in cattle.