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J Biomed Res. 2012 Jan;26(1):8-16. doi: 10.1016/S1674-8301(12)60002-5.

Leishmania donovani whole cell antigen delivered with adjuvants protects against visceral leishmaniasis in vervet monkeys (Chlorocebus aethiops).

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Department of Tropical and Infectious Diseases, Institute of Primate Research, Karen, Nairobi 24481-00502, Kenya; ; Department of Zoological Sciences, Kenyatta University, Nairobi 43844-00100, Kenya.


In a previous immunogenicity and efficacy study in mice, montanide ISA 720 (MISA) was indicated to be a better adjuvant than bacillus calmette guerin vaccine (BCG) for a Leishmania vaccine. In the present study, we report the safety, immunogenicity and efficacy of Leishmania donovani (L. donovani) sonicated antigen delivered with alum-BCG (AlBCG), MISA or monophosphoryl lipid A (MPLA) in vervet monkeys following intradermal inoculums. Vaccinated and control animals were challenged with virulent L. donovani parasites and the parasitic burden was determined. Only animals vaccinated with alum-BCG adversely reacted to the inoculum by producing ulcerative erythematous skin indurations. Non-parametric ANOVA followed by a post test showed significantly higher IgG antibodies, and revealed the presence of lymphoproliferative and interferon gamma responses in both AlBCG+Ag and MISA+Ag as compared to the MPLA+Ag or other groups (P < 0.001). We conclude that L. donovani sonicated antigen containing MISA is safe and is associated with protective immune response against Leishmania donovani infection in the vervet monkey model.


Leishmania donovani; adjuvants; sonicated antigen; vervet monkey; visceral leishmaniasis

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