Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Int J Parasitol. 2003 Jan;33(1):71-80.

Successful vaccination of BALB/c mice against human hookworm (Necator americanus): the immunological phenotype of the protective response.

Author information

  • 1Department of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science, The Nottingham Trent University, Clifton Lane, UK.


In this murine (BALB/c) model of necatoriasis, high levels of protection against challenge infection by Necator americanus larvae (n=300) were afforded by successive vaccinations at 14-day intervals, either subcutaneously or percutaneously, with gamma-irradiated N. americanus larvae (n=300). Percutaneous vaccination was significantly more effective than the subcutaneous route, with pulmonary larval burdens at 3 days post-infection being reduced by 97.8 vs. 89.3%, respectively, after three immunisations (P<0.05). No worms were recovered from the intestines of thrice vaccinated mice. Two percutaneous vaccinations also reduced worm burdens, by 57% in the lungs and 98% in the intestines; P<0.05. In vaccinated animals, lung pathology (mainly haemorrhage) following infection was greatly reduced compared with non-vaccinated animals. In vaccinated mice (but not in non-vaccinated mice) mast cells accumulated in the skin and were degranulated. RT-PCR analyses of mRNAs in the skin of vaccinated animals indicated increased expression of interleukin (IL)-4 relative to gamma-interferon (gamma-IFN). Lymphocytes from the axillary (skin-draining) lymph nodes of vaccinated mice, stimulated in vitro with concanavalin A, exhibited enhanced secretion of IL-4 protein and a higher IL-4/gamma-IFN protein ratio than lymphocytes from non-vaccinated animals. In vaccinated mice, levels of IgG1 and IgG3 (directed against larval excretory/secretory products) were elevated for the most part compared with those in non-vaccinated animals. These data demonstrate the successful vaccination of BALB/c mice against human hookworm infection and suggest that a localised Th2 response may be important for conferring protection against necatoriasis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

LinkOut - more resources

Full Text Sources

Other Literature Sources

PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center