The virulence-related rhoptry protein 5 (ROP5) of Toxoplasma Gondii is a novel vaccine candidate against toxoplasmosis in mice.Vaccine. 2013 Sep 23; 31(41):4578-84.V
Infections with the intracellular protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii pose a serious public health problem and are of great economic importance worldwide. The parasite rhoptry protein 5 (ROP5) has been implicated as a major virulence factor that reduces the accumulation of immunity-related GTPases (IRG) in parasitophorous vacuole membrane (PVM), which maintains PVM integrity and evades IFNγ-mediated killing by intracellular parasites. To study the immunoprotective value of ROP5, BALB/c mice were immunized with a recombinant form of the protein administered alone or in combination with another promising vaccine antigen, rSAG1. All mice vaccinated with the recombinant antigens developed a high level of specific antibody responses against soluble tachyzoite antigens (STAg), a statistically significant increase of the splenocyte proliferation response, and significant levels of IFN-γ and IL-2 production. In contrast to rSAG1, which only stimulated the release of IFN-γ and IL-2, rROP5 induced the specific production of IL-10, the Th2-type cytokine, in addition to IFN-γ and IL-2. These results demonstrated that rROP5 could induce significant cellular and humoral (Th1/Th2) immune responses. Moreover, mice immunized with rROP5 displayed a prolonged survival time against a lethal challenge with the T. gondii RH strain. Additionally, vaccination with the mixture of rROP5+rSAG1 resulted in higher levels of T. gondii-specific IgG antibodies and lymphocyte proliferative responses and conferred more efficient protection against T. gondii challenge compared to immunization with rROP5 or rSAG1 alone. Our studies show that recombinant ROP5 antigen may be a promising vaccine candidate against toxoplasmosis. To our knowledge, this is the first report to evaluate the immunoprotective value of ROP5.