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Microbes Infect. 2002 Jul;4(8):805-13.

Induction of B- and T-cell responses to cruzipain in the murine model of Trypanosoma cruzi infection.

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Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine, St. Louis University Health Sciences Center, 3635 Vista Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA.


Trypanosoma cruzi, the causative agent of Chagas' disease, is an important cause of heart disease in Latin America. The parasite is transmitted mucosally, with both intra- and extracellular life stages in the human host. Cruzipain, the major cysteinyl proteinase of T. cruzi, has been shown to be antigenic in both humans and mice during infection with the parasite. We extend these observations, showing here that multiple murine immune subsets of potential importance for vaccine-induced protection can be induced by cruzipain. Cruzipain-specific serum IgG responses were induced during chronic infection with T. cruzi. In addition, T. cruzi mucosal infection stimulated the development of cruzipain-specific secretory IgA detectable in fecal extracts from infected mice. Cruzipain-specific type 1 cytokine responses characterized by the production of IFN-gamma but not IL-4 were also detectable during murine infection. Furthermore, immunization of mice with a DNA vaccine encoding cruzipain was shown to stimulate cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses capable of recognizing and lysing T. cruzi-infected cells. The induction of serum antibody, mucosal IgA, Th1 cytokine and CTL responses by cruzipain in mice supports the use of this parasite protein for further efforts in T. cruzi vaccine development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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