Schistosoma mansoni ex vivo lung-stage larvae excretory-secretory antigens as vaccine candidates against schistosomiasis
Schistosoma mansoni lung-stage larvae are known to be the major target of innate and acquired immunity to schistosomiasis. Lung schistosomula cytosolic or surface membrane antigens are hidden, entirely inaccessible to the host immune system, and hence are not particularly important as vaccine candidates. Conversely, excretory-secretory (E-S) products released from intact, viable, elongated, and contractile schistosomula are ideal potential vaccines, as such molecules can readily play a central role in the induction of local primary and memory immune response effectors that would directly target, surround, and pursue the larvae while negotiating the lung capillaries. Therefore, 6-day-old ex vivo larvae were isolated from mouse or hamster lung cells and used for generation of E-S products, which were shown to elicit strong immune responses and significant (P<0.05) protection against challenge infection in BALB/c mice. Proteomic analysis of E-S molecules following 10x concentration and sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis identified peptides related to innumerable host and about 15 S. mansoni-specific proteins. Selected S. mansoni-specific E-S peptides prepared in a multiple antigen peptide (MAP) or recombinant form were shown to stimulate considerable specific antibody response and peripheral blood mononuclear cell expression of mRNA for several cytokines in immunized C57BL/6 and BALB/c mice. However, highly significant (P<0.05 to <0.005) reduction in challenge infection worm burden and egg load was recorded only when the immunization conditions in test mice provided the S. mansoni antigen-specific T helper (Th) type response milieu favorable for each immunogen. That was polarized Th1 for S. mansoni aldolase and thioredoxin peroxidase 1 MAPs, polarized Th2 for recombinant 14-3-3-like protein, mixed Th1/Th17 for calpain MAP, and mixed Th1/Th2 for recombinant p18 protein. The findings together indicated that the immune responses issue is as critical as the nature and source of the antigen for the development of vaccine against schistosomiasis.
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