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Infect Immun. 1998 Nov;66(11):5073-81.

Vaccination with trypomastigote surface antigen 1-encoding plasmid DNA confers protection against lethal Trypanosoma cruzi infection.

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Department of Cellular Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA.


DNA vaccination was evaluated with the experimental murine model of Trypanosoma cruzi infection as a means to induce antiparasite protective immunity, and the trypomastigote surface antigen 1 (TSA-1), a target of anti-T. cruzi antibody and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-restricted CD8(+) cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses, was used as the model antigen. Following the intramuscular immunization of H-2(b) and H-2(d) mice with a plasmid DNA encoding an N-terminally truncated TSA-1 lacking or containing the C-terminal nonapeptide tandem repeats, the antibody level, CTL response, and protection against challenge with T. cruzi were assessed. In H-2(b) mice, antiparasite antibodies were induced only by immunization with the DNA construct encoding TSA-1 containing the C-terminal repeats. However, both DNA constructs were efficient in eliciting long-lasting CTL responses against the protective H-2Kb-restricted TSA-1515-522 epitope. In H-2(d) mice, inoculation with either of the two TSA-1-expressing vectors effectively generated antiparasite antibodies and primed CTLs that lysed T. cruzi-infected cells in an antigen-specific, MHC class I-restricted, and CD8(+)-T-cell-dependent manner. When TSA-1 DNA-vaccinated animals were challenged with T. cruzi, 14 of 22 (64%) H-2(b) and 16 of 18 (89%) H-2(d) mice survived the infection. The ability to induce significant murine anti-T. cruzi protective immunity by immunization with plasmid DNA expressing TSA-1 provides the basis for the application of this technology in the design of optimal DNA multicomponent anti-T. cruzi vaccines which may ultimately be used for the prevention or treatment of Chagas' disease.

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