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Nat Med. 1998 Dec;4(12):1409-15.

Vaccine requirements for sustained cellular immunity to an intracellular parasitic infection.

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National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA.


The humoral immunity induced by many viral and bacterial vaccines mediates protection that is maintained over a long period of time. In contrast, for other intracellular infections (such as with Leishmania major or Mycobacterium tuberculosis) for which cell-mediated immunity is required for protection, the mechanisms for developing durable responses after vaccination have not been well defined. Here we demonstrate that vaccination with plasmid DNA encoding a specific leishmanial antigen is more effective than leishmanial protein plus recombinant IL-12 in eliciting long-term immunity capable of controlling L. major infection. We also show that leishmanial protein plus IL-12 DNA produces an immunity that lasts much longer than does immunity elicited by leishmanial protein plus IL-12 protein, indicating that the persistence of IL-12 may be the essential determinant in maintaining durable cell-mediated immune responses for an intracellular parasitic infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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