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Vaccine. 2003 Dec 8;22(1):77-86.

Use of a purified Trypanosoma cruzi antigen and CpG oligodeoxynucleotides for immunoprotection against a lethal challenge with trypomastigotes.

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Cátedra de Inmunología, Instituto de Estudios de la Inmunidad Humoral, Facultad de Farmacia y Bioquímica, Universidad de Buenos Aires, 1113 Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The crucial role played by Ag163B6/cruzipain, the major cystein proteinase of Trypanosoma cruzi, in the process of parasite internalization into mammalian cells and IgG hydrolysis, signals this antigen as a potential target for raising a protective immune response against Chagas' disease. On the other hand, synthetic oligodeoxynucleotides containing CpG-motifs (CpG-ODN) are capable of driving immunity toward a Th1 bias. Considering the importance of Th1 mechanisms in resistance against this intracellular parasite, we analyzed the ability of Ag163B6/cruzipain plus CpG-ODN to induce immunoprotection against a lethal challenge with trypomastigotes. Mice were immunized with Ag163B6+CpG-ODN showing high specific antibody titers, mostly IgG2a. Spleen cells from these mice strongly proliferated and presented significant increase of IL-2 and IFN-gamma concentrations in their supernatant upon antigen stimulation. Trypomastigote challenge rendered elevated parasitemia and mortality in all control groups, meanwhile Ag163B6+CpG-ODN mice displayed the lowest level of blood parasites and 100% survival to acute infection. Besides, we demonstrated that other parasite antigens introduced into mice when challenged, and consequently never seen before by the immune system, also elicited a Th1 immune response. Taken together, these results plus others provide the basis for the design of a multicomponent anti-T. cruzi vaccine which may ultimately be used not only to protect humans at risk of infection, but also may alleviate or prevent the pathogenic responses characteristic of chronic Chagas' disease by reducing or perhaps eliminating tissue parasites from infected patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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