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Parasitol Res. 2010 Aug;107(3):623-9. doi: 10.1007/s00436-010-1907-x. Epub 2010 May 19.

Gerbu adjuvant modulates the immune response and thus the course of infection in C56BL/6 mice immunised with Echinococcus multilocularis rec14-3-3 protein.

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Institute of Parasitology, University of Berne, Länggass-Strasse 122, Bern, Switzerland.


Vaccination with Echinococcus multilocularis 14-3-3 protein can protect mice against primary E. multilocularis infection. The present study investigated the efficacy and efficiency of the adjuvant muramyl dipeptide Gerbu, alone or together with recombinant 14-3-3 protein, to modulate the course of secondary E. multilocularis infection in C56BL/6 mice. The application of Gerbu alone already resulted in a parasite weight reduction when compared with infected control mice, while rec14-3-3 did not add to this effect. Immunological parameters were concurrently assessed with a mixed cell reaction including bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) together with lymph node cells from mice with or without immunisation and/or infection. While mice having received Gerbu adjuvant were found to highly proliferate in response to co-cultivation with 14-3-3-stimulated bone marrow dendritic cells, a sensitisation of BMDCs with vesicle fluid (VF) antigen lead to a striking decrease of the lymphoproliferative response in comparison to that of control mice, raising the hypothesis that immunosuppressive components may be part of this VF-antigen. Anti-14-3-3 antibody production was only found in those mice that had been previously 14-3-3-immunised, whereas all other only-infected mice failed to produce such antibodies. Conclusively, Gerbu adjuvant appears to directly generate a non-specific immune response that contributes to the control of the metacestode growth, putatively in association with a BMDC activity suppressed by components of the VF-antigen.

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