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Vaccine. 1995 Dec;13(17):1658-64.

Serum and colostrum antibody responses induced by jet-injection of sheep with DNA encoding a Cryptosporidium parvum antigen.

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Parasite Immunobiology Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Beltsville, MD 20705, USA.


In an effort to generate high titer colostrum for immunotherapy of cryptosporidiosis, a study was conducted to test the efficacy of immunizing sheep with recombinant plasmid DNA (pCMV-CP15/60) encoding epitopes of 15 and 60 kDa surface antigens of Cryptosporidium parvum sporozoites. The plasmid DNA was used to immunize preparturient ewes at three dose levels by jet-injection into either hind limb muscle (IM) or mammary tissue (IMAM). Regardless of route of injection, a dose-dependent anti-CP15/60 immunoglobulin response was observed in sera and colostrum from sheep immunized with pCMV-CP15/60 plasmid DNA. High titer antibody responses were observed in one of three animals per group receiving an IM injection of 100 or 1000 micrograms pCMV-CP15/60. IMAM immunization with 100 or 1000 micrograms pCMV-CP15/60 plasmid DNA elicited higher titer colostrum responses and more consistent serum responses compared to IM injections. A negligible serum and colostrum anti-CP15/60 response was observed in ewes injected IM with 10 micrograms pCMV-CP15/60 or 1000 micrograms control plasmid DNA. Immunoblotting of native C. parvum sporozoite/oocyst protein with hyperimmune serum and colostrum corroborated the increased titers against CP15/60 antigen. Serum and colostrum antibodies from pCMV-CP15/60-immunized sheep were eluted from native CP15 protein and bound a surface antigen of C. parvum sporozoites as indicated by indirect immunofluorescence staining.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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