Protective immunity induced by a DNA vaccine expressing eIF4A of Toxoplasma gondii against acute toxoplasmosis in mice.Vaccine. 2013 Mar 25; 31(13):1734-9.V
Toxoplasma gondii is an obligate intracellular protozoan parasite infecting humans, mammals and birds. Eukaryotic translation initiation factor (eIF4A) is a newly identified protein associated with tachyzoite virulence. To evaluate the protective efficacy of T. gondii eIF4A, a DNA vaccine (pVAX-eIF4A) encoding T. gondii eIF4A (Tg-eIF4A) gene was constructed. The expression ability of this recombinant DNA plasmid was examined in Marc145 cells by IFA. Then, Kunming mice were intramuscularly immunized with pVAX-eIF4A and followed by challenge infection with the highly virulent T. gondii RH strain. The results showed that vaccination with pVAX-eIF4A elicited specific humoral responses, with high IgG antibody titers and specific lymphocyte proliferative responses. The cellular immune response was associated with significant production of IFN-γ, IL-2 in Kunming mice, and a mixed IgG1/IgG2a response with predominance of IgG2a production, indicating that a Th1 type response was elicited after immunization with pVAX-eIF4A. In addition, the increase of the percentage of CD8+ T cells in lymphoid in mice suggested the activation of MHC class I restricted antigen presentation pathways. After lethal challenge, the mice vaccinated with the pVAX-eIF4A showed a significantly prolonged survival time (23.0±5.5 days) compared with control mice which died within 7 days of challenge (P<0.05). These results demonstrate that pVAX-eIF4A could elicit strong humoral, Th1-type cellular immune responses and increase survival time of immunized mice, suggesting that eIF4A is a promising vaccine candidate against acute T. gondii infection in mice.