Vaccination with the Leishmania infantum ribosomal proteins induces protection in BALB/c mice against Leishmania chagasi and Leishmania amazonensis challenge

Chávez-Fumagalli, M.A.; Costa, M.A.F.; Oliveira, D.M.; Ramírez, L.; Costa, L.E.; Duarte, M.C.; Martins, V.T.; Oliveira, J.S.; Olortegi, C.C.; Bonay, P.; Alonso, C.; Tavares, C.A.P.; Soto, M.; Coelho, E.A.F.

Microbes and Infection 12(12-13): 967-977


ISSN/ISBN: 1769-714X
PMID: 20601076
DOI: 10.1016/j.micinf.2010.06.008
Accession: 056829792

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Leishmania chagasi and Leishmania amazonensis are the etiologic agents of different clinical forms of human leishmaniasis in South America. In an attempt to select candidate antigens for a vaccine protecting against different Leishmania species, the efficacy of vaccination using Leishmania ribosomal proteins and saponin as adjuvant was examined in BALB/c mice against challenge infection with both parasite species. Mice vaccinated with parasite ribosomal proteins purified from Leishmania infantum plus saponin showed a specific production of IFN-γ, IL-12 and GM-CSF after in vitro stimulation with L. infantum ribosomal proteins. Vaccinated mice showed a reduction in the liver and spleen parasite burdens after L. chagasi infection. After L. amazonensis challenge, vaccinated mice showed a decrease of the dermal pathology and a reduction in the parasite loads in the footpad and spleen. In both models, protection was correlated to an IL-12-dependent production of IFN-γ by CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells that activate macrophages for the synthesis of NO. In the protected mice a decrease in the parasite-mediated IL-4 and IL-10 responses was also observed. In mice challenged with L. amazonensis, lower levels of anti-parasite-specific antibodies were detected. Thus, Leishmania ribosomal proteins plus saponin fits the requirements to compose a pan-Leishmania vaccine.