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FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2007 Aug;50(3):333-41. Epub 2007 May 23.

Comparative evaluation of therapeutic DNA vaccines against Trypanosoma cruzi in mice.

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Laboratorio de Parasitología, Centro de Investigaciones Regionales Dr Hideyo Noguchi, Universidad Autónoma de Yucatán, Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico.


Chagas disease, caused by the protozoan parasite Trypanosoma cruzi, is a major public health problem in most of Latin America. A key priority is the development of new treatments, due to the poor efficacy of current ones. We report here the comparative evaluation of therapeutic DNA vaccines encoding various T. cruzi antigens. ICR mice infected with 500 parasites intraperitoneally were treated at 5 and 12 days postinfection with 20 microg of plasmid DNA encoding T. cruzi antigens TSA-1, TS, ASP-2-like, Tc52 or Tc24. Treatment with plasmid encoding TS and/or ASP-2-like antigens had no significant effect on parasitemia or survival. Treatment with Tc52 DNA significantly reduced parasitemia, as well as cardiac parasite burden, and improved survival, although myocarditis was not significantly affected. Finally, treatment with plasmids encoding Tc24 and TSA-1 induced the most complete control of disease as evidenced by significant reductions in parasitemia, mortality, myocarditis and heart parasite burden. These data demonstrate that therapeutic vaccine efficacy is dependent on the antigen and suggest that DNA vaccines encoding Tc24, TSA-1, and Tc52 represent the best candidates for further studies of a therapeutic vaccine against Chagas disease.

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