Immune responses and protection after DNA vaccination against Toxoplasma gondii calcium-dependent protein kinase 2 (TgCDPK2).Parasite. 2017; 24:41.P
Toxoplasma gondii, an intracellular zoonotic protozoan parasite, is possibly the most widespread parasite of warm-blooded animals and can cause serious public health problems and economic losses worldwide. TgCDPK2, a member of the T. gondii calcium-dependent protein kinase family, was recently identified as an essential regulator for viable cyst development in T. gondii. In the present study, we evaluated the protective immunity induced by DNA vaccination based on a recombinant eukaryotic plasmid, pVAX-TgCDPK2, against acute toxoplasmosis in mice. BALB/c mice were intramuscularly immunized with pVAX-TgCDPK2 plasmid and then challenged by infection with the highly virulent RH strain of T. gondii. The specific immune responses and protective efficacy against T. gondii were analyzed by cytokine and serum antibody measurements, lymphocyte proliferation assays, flow cytometric on lymphocytes and the survival time of mice after challenge. Our results showed that mice immunized with pVAX-TgCDPK2 could elicit special humoral and cellular responses, with higher levels of IgG antibody, and increased levels of Th1-type cytokines IFN-γ, IL-12(p70), and CD3 + CD4 + CD8 - and CD3 + CD8 + CD4 - T cells, and had a prolonged survival time (14.0 ± 2.32 days) compared to control mice. These results demonstrate that pVAX-TgCDPK2 is a potential vaccine candidate against acute toxoplasmosis.