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Avian Dis. 2000 Apr-Jun;44(2):379-89.

A recombinant Eimeria protein inducing interferon-gamma production: comparison of different gene expression systems and immunization strategies for vaccination against coccidiosis.

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Immunology and Disease Resistance Laboratory, Livestock and Poultry Sciences Institute, BARC-East, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA.


A rabbit antiserum against an 18- to 27-kD native protein fraction (F3) from Eimeria acervulina merozoites identified a cDNA (3-1E) containing a 1086-base pair insertion with an open reading frame of 170 amino acids (predicted molecular weight, 18,523). The recombinant 3-1E cDNA expressed in Escherichia coli produced a 60-kD fusion protein and a 23-kD protein after factor Xa treatment of the fusion protein. Both proteins were reactive with the F3 antiserum by western blot analysis. A rabbit antiserum against a synthetic peptide deduced from the amino acid sequence of the 3-1E cDNA reacted with a 27-kD recombinant 3-1E protein expressed in Sf9 insect cells and a 20-kD native protein expressed by E. acervulina sporozoites and Eimeria tenella sporozoites and merozoites. By immunofluorescence staining, a monoclonal antibody produced against the recombinant 3-1E protein reacted with sporozoites and merozoites of E. acervulina, E. tenella, and Eimeria maxima. Spleen lymphocytes from E. acervulina-immune chickens showed antigen-specific proliferation and interferon (IFN)-gamma production upon stimulation with the recombinant 3-1E protein, indicating that the protein activates cell-mediated immunity during coccidiosis. Immunization of chickens with either the E. coli- or Sf9-expressed recombinant 3-1E protein with adjuvant, or direct injection of the 3-1E cDNA, induced protective immunity against live E. acervulina. Simultaneous injection of the recombinant 3-1E protein, or the 3-1E cDNA, with cDNAs encoding chicken IFN-gamma or interleukin (IL)-2/15 further enhanced protective immunity. These results indicate that the recombinant E. acervulina 3-1E cDNA or its polypeptide product may prove useful as vaccines against avian coccidiosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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