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Parasite Immunol. 1999 Feb;21(2):103-10.

Comparison of antibody and protective immune responses against Trypanosoma cruzi infection elicited by immunization with a parasite antigen delivered as naked DNA or recombinant protein.

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Departmento de Microbiologia, Imunologia e Parasitologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo-Escola Paulista de Medicina, Brazil.


Immunization with naked DNA represents an attractive strategy for development of vaccines against a variety of infections including those caused by protozoan parasites. Recently, we have described that immunization with a plasmid containing the trans-sialidase (TS) gene induced protective immunity against Trypanosoma cruzi infection in BALB/c mice. The present study was aimed at examining and comparing the effectiveness of immunization using either plasmid or recombinant delivered antigens in a mouse strain highly susceptible to infection (A/Sn). Two plasmids were generated containing the coding region for the catalytic domain of TS. TS gene was inserted into pcDNA3 vector with or without the coding region for TS signal peptide. These two plasmids were found to be equally immunogenic at inducing antibodies to TS or inhibition of T. cruzi infection. A third plasmid, in which the TS gene was inserted into the vector VR1012, was as immunogenic as the two others. Immunization with a TS recombinant protein in alum generated a significantly higher antibody response as measured by ELISA or inhibition of TS enzymatic activity. Most relevant, this immunization reduced the mortality due to acute infection.

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