Evaluation of three recombinant multi-antigenic vaccines composed of surface and secretory antigens of Toxoplasma gondii in murine models of experimental toxoplasmosis.Vaccine. 2011 Jan 17; 29(4):821-30.V
The great clinical and economical impact of Toxoplasma gondii infections makes the development of an effective vaccine for controlling toxoplasmosis an extremely important aim. In the presented study, we evaluate the protective and immunogenic properties of three recombinant subunit vaccines composed of rROP2+rGRA4+rSAG1, rROP2+rROP4+rGRA4 and rROP2+rROP4+rSAG1 proteins of T. gondii in an experimental toxoplasmosis model in the C3H/HeJ and C57BL/6 mouse strains. All three recombinant vaccines induced partial protection as measured by the reduction of brain cyst burden following challenge with five tissue cysts of the low virulence DX T. gondii strain. The level of protection was dependent on the antigen composition of the vaccine and the genetic background of the laboratory animals. The strongest protection against chronic toxoplasmosis was induced in both C3H/HeJ and C57BL/6 mice by the mixture of rhoptry proteins rROP2 and rROP4 combined with tachyzoite major protein rSAG1. The average parasite burden in these groups of mice was reduced by 71% and 90%, respectively, compared to non-vaccinated mice. The observed protective effect was related to the vaccine-induced cellular and humoral immune responses, as measured by the antigen-induced release of the Th1 cytokines IFN-γ and IL-2, the antigen-stimulated proliferation of spleen cells of vaccinated animals in comparison to control animals and the development of systemic antigen-specific IgG1 and IgG2a (C3H/HeJ) or IgG2c (C57BL/6) antibodies. Our studies show that recombinant rROP2, rROP4, rGRA4 and rSAG1 antigens may be promising candidates for a subunit vaccine against toxoplasmosis. Additionally, we demonstrate that the ideal composition of vaccine antigens can be equally effective in mice with different genetic backgrounds and variable levels of innate resistance to toxoplasmosis, resulting in strong protection against T. gondii invasion.