Vaccination with trypomastigote surface antigen 1-encoding plasmid DNA confers protection against lethal Trypanosoma cruzi infection

Benjamin Wizel, Nisha Garg, Rick L. Tarleton

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79 Scopus citations


DNA vaccination was evaluated with the experimental murine model of Trypanosoma cruzi infection as a means to induce antiparasite protective immunity, and the trypomastigote surface antigen 1 (TSA-1), a target of anti- T. cruzi antibody and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I- restricted CD8+ cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses, was used as the model antigen. Following the intramuscular immunization of H-2(b) and H-2(d) mice with a plasmid DNA encoding an N-terminally truncated TSA-1 lacking or containing the C-terminal nonapeptide tandem repeats, the antibody level, CTL response, and protection against challenge with T. cruzi were assessed. In H- 2(b) mice, antiparasite antibodies were induced only by immunization with the DNA construct encoding TSA-1 containing the C-terminal repeats. However, both DNA constructs were efficient in eliciting long-lasting CTL responses against the protective H-2K(b)-restricted TSA-1;515-522) epitope. In Hs(d) mice, inoculation with either of the two TSA-1-expressing vectors effectively generated antiparasite antibodies and primed CTLs that lysed T. cruzi- infected cells in an antigen-specific, MHC class I-restricted, and CD8+-T- cell-dependent manner. When TSA-1 DNA-vaccinated animals were challenged with T. cruzi, 14 of 22 (64%) H-2(b) and 16 of 18 (89%) H-2(d) mice survived the infection. The ability to induce significant murine anti-T. cruzi protective immunity by immunization with plasmid DNA expressing TSA-1 provides the basis for the application of this technology in the design of optimal DNA multicomponent anti-T. cruzi vaccines which may ultimately be used for the prevention or treatment of Chagas' disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5073-5081
Number of pages9
JournalInfection and immunity
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Infectious Diseases


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