Paraflagellar rod proteins (PFR) are a potent immunogen against experimental Trypanosoma cruzi infection. PFR are highly conserved among kinetoplastid parasites. We therefore evaluated the immunogenicity of the Leishmania mexicana pfr-2 gene and protein product in the hamster model of American cutaneous leishmaniasis. Immunization with pfr-2 DNA-induced specific antibody, confirming immunogenicity. Subsequent challenge with 10,000 and 500 stationary phase L. mexicana promastigotes respectively, resulted in delayed appearance of lesions, and significant reduction in lesions post infection in male hamsters, yet exacerbated lesions in female hamsters. Immunization with recombinant PFR-2 protein (rPFR-2) prevented lesion development in female hamsters challenged with L. panamensis, but was ineffective against L. mexicana. Nevertheless, prime boost immunization of female hamsters with rPFR and pfr-2 DNA significantly reduced lesion size following challenge with 500 L. mexicana promastigotes, supporting the relevance of PFR-2 as a potential vaccine constituent.
- DNA vaccine
- Paraflagellar rod protein
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Infectious Diseases