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Infect Immun. 1999 May;67(5):2522-30.

Towards a Taenia solium cysticercosis vaccine: an epitope shared by Taenia crassiceps and Taenia solium protects mice against experimental cysticercosis.

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Department of Immunology, Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas, UNAM, México D.F. 04510, México.


The Taenia crassiceps recombinant antigen KETc7 has been shown to be effective as a vaccine against experimental murine cysticercosis, a laboratory model used to test potentially promising molecules against porcine Taenia solium cysticercosis. Based on the deduced amino acid sequence of this proline-rich polypeptide, three fragments, GK-1, GK-2, and GK-3, were chemically synthesized in linear form. Of the three peptides, only GK-1 induced sterile protection against T. crassiceps cysticercosis in 40 to 70% of BALB/cAnN male mice. GK-1 is an 18-amino-acid peptide which contains at least one B-cell epitope, as demonstrated by its ability to induce an antibody response to the peptide and T. crassiceps antigen without need of a carrier protein. Immunofluorescence studies revealed that anti-GK1 antibodies strongly react with the native protein in the tegument of T. crassiceps and also with anatomical structures of T. solium eggs, oncospheres, cysticercus, and tapeworm. GK-1 also contains at least one T-cell epitope, capable of stimulating the proliferation of CD8(+) and to a lower extent CD4(+) T cells primed either with the free peptide or T. crassiceps total antigen. The supernatant of the stimulated cells contained high levels of gamma interferon and low levels of interleukin-4. Similar results were obtained with T cells tested for intracellular cytokine production, an indication of the peptide's capacity to induce an inflammatory response. The remarkable protection induced by GK-1 immunization, its physicochemical properties, and its presence in all developmental stages of T. solium point to this synthetic peptide as a strong candidate in the construction of a synthetic vaccine against T. solium pig cysticercosis.

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